Tuesday, April 11, 2006

See the light!

You don't need Do It Yourself Lasik surgery to see the bullshit here.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.

(The painless procedure part is just opinion.)

How can you legally sell an At-Home Lasik Kit? Wow.

Well, now that I have opened your eyes to the light, (or the laser) allow me to spew some pseudo-communist shit.

I know topics like executive pay and wage stagnation aren't exactly sexy topics, that's what Ciara is for, but this shit is aggravating enough that I have to write about it.

The newest instance of corporate bullshit is from ConAgro, the corporation that makes such
products as Chef Boyardee, Hunt's ketchup and Healthy Choice dinners.

Peep the comparison between a lifelong employee at the company and a previous CEO.

  • IN 1977, James P. Smith, a shaggy-haired 21-year-old known as Skinny, took a job as a meat grinder at what is now a ConAgra Foods pepperoni plant. At $6.40 an hour, it was among the best-paying jobs in town for a high school graduate.

    Nearly three decades later, Mr. Smith still arrives at the same factory, shortly before his 3:30 a.m. shift. His hair has thinned; he has put on weight. Today, his union job pays him $13.25 an hour to operate the giant blenders that crush 3,600-pound blocks of pork and beef.

    His earnings, which total about $28,000 a year, have not kept pace even with Omaha's low cost of living. The company eliminated bonuses about a decade ago. And now, almost 50, Mr. Smith is concerned that his $80,000 retirement nest egg will not be enough — especially since his plant is on a list of ones ConAgra wants to sell.

    "I will probably have to work until I die," Mr. Smith said in his Nebraskan baritone.
It's easy to look down on working Joes like that and say, "Shoulda went to college, shoulda left Omaha" and all that, but in a country with over 300 million people, someone needs to grind the pepperoni, so to speak.

I'm not saying you need to be a millionaire for grinding pepperoni, but your salary should at least keep up with inflation.
And the incompetent white man grinding your company into the ground and burning up your job should not get a private jet for life as his reward.

Here's the story of the CEO Bruce Rohdes, who stepped down last September
  • All told, Mr. Rohde, 57, received more than $45 million during his eight years at the helm, and was given an estimated $20 million retirement package as he walked out the door.

    Each year from 1997 to 2005, when Mr. Rohde led ConAgra, he was awarded either a large cash bonus, a generous grant of stock or options, or valuable benefits, such as extra years' credit toward his guaranteed pension.

    But the company, a food giant with more than 100 brands, struggled under his watch. ConAgra routinely missed earnings targets and underperformed its peers. Its share price fell 28 percent. The company cut more than 9,000 jobs. Accounting problems surfaced in every one of Mr. Rohde's eight years.

    Even when ConAgra restated its financial results, which lowered earnings in 2003 and 2004, Mr. Rohde's $16.4 million in bonuses for those two years stayed the same.

And to top it all off,

  • The average pay for a chief executive increased 27 percent last year, to $11.3 million, according to a survey of 200 large companies by Pearl Meyer & Partners, the compensation practice of Clark Consulting. The median chief executive's pay was somewhat lower, at $8.4 million, for an increase of 10.3 percent over 2004. By contrast, the average wage-earner took home $43,480 in 2004, according to Commerce Department data. And recent wage data from the Labor Department suggest that workers' weekly pay, up 2.9 percent in 2005, failed to keep pace with inflation of 3.3 percent.

    The average top executive's salary at a big company was more than 170 times the average worker's earnings in 2004, up from a multiple of 68 in 1940, according to a study last year by Carola Frydman, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, and Raven E. Saks, an economist at the Federal Reserve.

So if you work about 250 days a year, the average CEO would only need to work about a day and a half to make what you make.

That's a fun thought to ponder as you head off to work.

1 comment:

  1. Please tell me the at home Lasik thing is a joke?

    Your post on the wage gap was also very interesting. I work in the government as a temp so I don't get paid as high as I would if I was a government employee, but it's ironic that this is still the easiest and highest paying job that I've every had.

    It's very hard for me to work here because I see so much waste. We have a contract here to allow every employee to have a plant in their workstation. The yearly budget for the plants as well as maintenance is more than my salary. (we have people come in here to water the plants) I don't know exactly where the budget comes from but I would hope that my tax dollars are being used in a better way.

    I could go on about how much other waste I see and how much some of the these employees make here for doing nothing but I don't want my comment to be longer than your post :-)