Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bad Banks or Bad Bankers

Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, of JP Morgan Chase, defended Executive Bonuses for Bank Employees at a hearing on Capitol Hill Yesterday. Mr. Dimon likened the hard work that is asked of some in the banking industry to that of Viet Nam. Mr. Dimon stated that assigning a tough job to someone calls for a bonus. This is the problem. Maybe bankers don't realize that people all over America do really hard work, day in and day out for just their salary. A salary that is a mere pittance of the extraordinary amounts of money that we have seen bandied about in the wake of the Federal Bailout and the revelations of the compensation being handed out to bankers who shuffle paper and create fake assets.

Mr. Dimon and his ilk are out of sync with what it is like to work for a living, and what hard work encompasses. As Mr. Dimon and his kind sit in the back of their chauffeured limousines maybe they should reflect on the the people's lives who built the road that they are riding on, these are the people who do hard work. Most American Workers toil and sell their bodies to their employees for a salary, no bonuses expected. If a Construction crew gets a call in the middle of the night because a bridge collapses or a road caves in or a building crumbles, they answer that cal with the expectation that they will receive their pay check, not an expectation of a multi-million dollar bonus. When the police, firemen, and EMT's answers calls that save lives, their only expectation is their salary, they do not expect a bonus for their hard work, which is really hard work.

By comparing the work that bankers do to the jobs that were done in Viet Nam, Mr. Dimon diminishes the work that Military Personnel do. Bankers do not put their lives on the line for the benefit of society, wrinkled suit pants from sitting all day hardly qualifies as a job that requires extra compensation. It is a Societal Defect that Bankers receive higher compensation than teachers, nurses, janitors, construction workers, retail clerks, police, fireman, EMT's and all the rest of the Professions that enable Bankers like Mr. Dimon to pretend that they have a hard job and should receive compensation that is equivalent to the yearly salaries of over 170 average American Workers. If the purpose of Mr. Dimon's testimony was to create sympathy for the work that bankers do, he not only failed miserably, but he also exposed the backwards thinking of his Industry that thinks that they are entitled to be compensated at the same rate as 170 ordinary American Workers.
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