I attended a family gathering not long ago, liberally populated with Liberal in-laws, in which the mood was decidedly sour. Discussions revolved around the poor job market, employment uncertainty and health insurance.
In conversations, a lot of resentment was directed at corporations, CEOs and their “disgusting and greedy” profits, salaries, benefits and bonuses. I understand (but don’t excuse) much of this as pure envy, a failing that I see expressed far more in Liberal/Left circles than conservative circles. I should also point out that some of this is the bitterness expressed by people that were pretty casual about their own work ethics and careers and now, in middle age, confront an uncertain future, not to mention retirement prospects. We all make critical decisions at key junctures in life with which we have to live.
I have also known and worked with enough CEOs and senior execs with large corporations to know that they work under highly stressful conditions and in between short, sleepless nights. The ones that I have known were extremely hard workers 24/7 and I, personally, value my quality of life far too much to envy them their salaries and perks (we don’t need to explore how seriously pathetic many of their personal and family lives are). Anyway, I consider envy a particularly ugly member of the deadly sins.
One irony is that my Liberal/Left relatives (some of whom purport to be very well educated) apparently cannot draw the connection between corporate profitability, personal incentives and a healthy jobs market. I can understand this to be the case with college students (sophomoric minds full of mush), but working adults have no excuse.
However, what floors me, is that these same Liberal/Lefty in-laws seem to have no trouble accepting the extraordinary high incomes of a) sports figures and b) entertainment figures (newscasters, movie actors, television personalities, etc.).
Sports figures that play games to entertain, singers that…sing songs…, actresses that pretend to be people they aren’t (when they do work) and newscasters that read copy from teleprompters are idolized.
Corporate executives that manufacture services and products that improve our lives (drugs, fuel, cars, food, shelter, insurance, bank loans, etc.) are vilified.
Why is this the case? Any ideas? Please help to understand.