Thursday, November 20, 2008

The LuLac Edition #645, Nov. 20th, 2008



Bobby Kennedy would have turned have turned 83 today had he not been shot in 1968 and presuming he would have lived a normal life. Yesterday, three generations of Kennedys joined former President Bill Clinton and New York's powerbrokers to mark the renaming of the Triborough Bridge as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Speaking in Astoria Park, the bridge at his back, Clinton said Kennedy "moved a generation" of Americans by reminding them "that together we can cross any divide and overcome any adversity, as long as we do it together." Kennedy ran an ill fated race for President in 1968. Shortly before his death, on Memorial Day weekend, Kennedy said in a TV interview that he could foresee a black man being President in a few decades. He was right, as he was about many issues.


During the Great Depression and during WWII, Franklin Roosevelt tabbed the best and brightest in business and academics by luring them to Washington to participate in his great experiment in government. Known as the "dollar a year men", these wealthy, well off young men gave of their time and talent to get us out of the depression and win a war on two fronts. I thought about them yesterday as the corporate execs from GM and other auto CEO's testified before Congress begging for a bailout. They were asking for money to fix things they screwed up. Much to the chagrin of our Congressman Paul Kanjorski, these men offered no plan, no solution, no justification for the money they were asking for. How ironic that car guys couldn't sell the Congress on the idea of a bailout. These guys couldn't close the sale. If there is a bailout, Congress should demand the corporate execs relinqush all pay and become "dollar a year men". Even adjusting for inflation and cost of living, I'd be okay with giving them "a dollar a day", that's $365.00 a year until they got their houses in order and could justify their salaries. In my employment travels, I have met the CEOs of two major companies I worked for. They blew in from out of town and visited the facilities I was working at. The management was all a twitter because they graced us with their presence. I found that they were no worse or better than managers of hardware stores I used to call on when I was in broadcast sales. My point here is that CEOs are not gods. And surely the ones operating or those running into the ground American business are not. Like their workers, they should be paid on performance. And judging from that, my pay scale and FDR's is more than generous. Instead of marching before Congress and saying "show us the money", we as Americans should respond to those fatcat, overfed and under performing CEOs, "show us your ability".


At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Auto Maker Execs did themselves in with the corporate jets and they still dont get it. They gave the American People and the Congress something to focus on. An outward display of arrogance and greed and the bankers would have done the same.
Your pay option is far too generous. Let em work until they work it out at no charge or replace them! Let them demonstrate that they can make a Ford or a Chevy or a Chrysler that'll last ten years like they should. Remind them of the Packard which according to legend people didnt trade in because they lasted too long and nobody bought new ones.

Old Timer against bailouts


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