These are the headlines that line our newspapers and cover our favourite newsworthy blogsites and forums. It’s amazing how many top executives are receiving a hefty annual income bolstered by exorbitant bonus obligations by company stockholders. It’s almost a daily occurrence that hard working citizens the world over are shocked and outraged by the amount of money these seemingly ‘lucky’ fat-cat executives receive simply for doing their jobs.
I’m not going to lie, there’s a part of my scalp that itches and my left eye twitches when I hear about someone already in a position of power being paid yet another annual bonus of multi-millions because they can.
Over the past four years, twenty of the U. S’s top banks paid out more than two billion dollars in deductible performance bonuses to their top executives. In Australia, pay packets did shrink by an average of three percent, but the annual payout of bonuses increased dramatically leading to investigations by several major authorities.
These annual increases in bonuses and often hefty supplement salaries have also become topics of debate among politicians and used as a platform to coerce votes. It’s safe to say that there’s nothing that pleases the lower income-earner more than knowing the rich will somehow be penalised for their success and the playing field levelled for those not capable of keeping up with the Jones’s.
I have to wonder if these newspaper articles and blog reports regarding company expenditure and bonus payout don’t just irk us simply because we are not the intended recipients? I have no doubt that some major corporations are underhanded in their executive appointment of salaries and bonuses while the worker bees of the company are set to suffer on minimum wage. I also have no doubt that some of these CEO’s have sacrificed time with their loved ones; hours upon hours spent in corporate towers worldwide going over documents and overseeing projects. There is fairness and blatant acts of disregard for employees across any occupation whether entry level or executive.
It’s easy for a lower income-earner like myself to criticise big companies for their gross expenditure on a few, highly prioritised individuals rather than the worker populace as a whole, but that would also be a massive assumption on my part that every profitable company is extorting their workers for the sake of executive income.
For example, LinkedIn’s CEO—Jeff Weiner—boosted employee morale this year by distributing his annual fourteen-million-dollar stock bonus to avoid internal talent from jumping the proverbial ship. Bill Gates—net worth ninety-billion-dollars—consistently gives his money away to various charity groups including giving thirty-billion-dollars to the Melinda Gates Foundation to fight hunger, disease and poverty. Spanx founder—Sara Blakely—has helped many women world-wide finance their college educations and also donated one million to Oprah’s Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa.
As you can see, despite our own personal jealousy and inability to subsidise our own low incomes with multi-million dollar bonuses, there are top company executive out there trying to make a difference in a world so desperately driven by the almighty dollar. Although there are those that abuse a multitude of systems and some that support abolishing poverty too, it’s simply best to focus on what you can control; your own personal contribution to either your wealth or the betterment of those not nearly as financially settled. Every single day someone dies from poverty-stricken conditions. The choice is really up to the individual to make a difference and if that person isn’t you, then how the hell can you ride a high horse about CEO’s that may at least try?