Where Did It All Go?

Fed: Americans’ wealth dropped 40 percent – The Washington Post.

The article speaks for itself.  I wonder where all that money went?  Did it just disappear?  Or maybe…it’s here!  “Trickle-down economics”, continuing its failure to the cheers of so many it’s failing!

To the Shock of No One, CEO Pay Hits Record Highs Again

The Associated Press reported on the pay of CEOs last year and as expected their pay has continued to increase at levels higher than the pay of everyone else.  CEO pay increased by over 6 percent while the pay of the average worker increased by only 1 percent, less than the rate of inflation.  These statistics exclude the high unemployment rate which makes life even harder for the average person versus the now even wealthier CEO.  All of this should make perfect sense (to the clinically insane) since those CEOs have done such a wonderful job of hiring people and getting the economy going again.  Or was it that they didn’t do that?  I get confused based on looking at their pay sometimes.

Lots of interesting points in the article such as the fact shareholders now have the ability to vote down a CEO’s pay package.  This helps to bring down the average pay of CEOs (not really as the stats show) and gives shareholders more power over what happens at the companies they invest in.  Right!…Right?…No.  Since their vote was given no teeth whatsoever you get what happened at Simon Properties:

Simon Property’s shareholders rejected (CEO) Simon’s pay package ($137 million) by a large margin: 73 percent of the votes cast for or against were against.

But the company doesn’t appear likely to change the 2011 package. After the shareholder vote, it released a statement saying that “we value our stockholders’ input” and would “take their views into consideration as (the board) reviews compensation plans for our management team.” But it also said that Simon’s performance had been stellar and it needed to pay him enough to keep him in the job.

That worked well.  Good to see being a shareholder at Simon Property matters to the company.  And I guess the company is correct.  I mean, seriously.  What kind of a desperate low life would stay at a company for a paltry $50 or $60 million?  The shareholders clearly have no idea how hard it is to make it in this world on only eight figures a year.

This ridiculousness was later followed by this incredible sentence:

Military contractor General Dynamics stopped paying for country club memberships for top executives, though it gave them payments equivalent to three years of club fees to ease “transition issues” caused by the change.

My apologies.  Need a second.  My head just exploded on my screen.

Message to General Dynamics: that is not a “transition issue”.  A real transition issue is when you actually lose something, like your job, and you have to figure out what to spend the last of your money on, food or bills.  In this case, no one lost anything.  When you take a lavish perk away then compensate the party enough money to recover said perk the only “transition issue” is filling out the paperwork yourself for your own country club membership.  That is not a real issue.  It’s a slight inconvenience at best.  Real issues, like unemployment and rising health care costs, are appalled by your attempt to associate country club memberships with them.

And, as if this even needs to be pointed out anymore, this article shows the continued failure of the absurd idea of “trickle down economics”.  A tiny group of people at the top of the income ladder increasing their pay by over 6 percent last year.  A far larger group’s wages not keeping up with inflation.  Obviously the trickle down effect is working like a charm…if you are one of the few at the top, of course.  I’m not sure how many times the theory has to fail in reality before people catch on that the only ones pushing hard for trickle down policies are the very few who stand to heavily benefit from them and they have so much money they are able to flood the media with their dreadful theory.  This propaganda tricks people into thinking they are right and it does somehow work.

But then again, even if we had a group of people who didn’t believe the theory become shareholders in a company, it’s not like it would matter regardless of what the majority says.