Thursday, April 27, 2006


So many zeroes! When I hear numbers like that I wonder "how much is that, stacked up in 20's"? Would it fill my living room? A semi-trailer? A boxcar?

At midnight my NPR station switches to the BBC news; their lead story last night was that an arrest warrant had been issued in South Korea for the chairman of Hyundai motors for embezzling one hundred million dollars! They said that the son of the president of Kia had already been taken into custody in a related matter!

It's probably wrong of me to say, not knowing how much the man's annual wage is, but here that would be considered a reasonable compensation it seems by most of the major corporations. I remember when Roger B. Smith (ex-CEO of GM, he of Michael Moore's "Roger & Me") got 140 million in the early 80's, plus stock options for twice that; meanwhile I was spending as much time laid off as working, and no, I didn't get the 95% they are always complaining about as I didn't have 10 years seniority at the time! Probably only about half of the 5,000 of us that worked at my plant did have enough time to collect their SUB pay.

So if you took even half of Roger B.'s 140 million and translated into today's dollars, somehow I bet it would cover the 300 million they lost last quarter...let alone the stock options!

I remember being very impressed the first time I toured "Ben and Jerry's" while we were visiting my wife's family in Vermont. When they founded their company, besides being very environmental in their approach, besides being very locally focused as far as everything they used, Ben and Jerry also made sure the wage difference between themselves and the lowest employees was only 20:1! When they finally sold the company several years ago they stipulated that all of the environmental, wage and locally produced stuff had to remain in place, or they get the company back.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a few more people grew a conscience?



MB said...

It would be wonderful, wouldn't it! Well, we can keep hoping, and we can do what we each do in our own individual lives to make a difference for others. Which brings me to: Alan, you leave the best comments. Thank you so much.

sttropezbutler said...

Indeed it would!


Patricia said...

ben and jerry should be cloned as much for their humane business practices as for their ability to come up with such heaven as tofee bar crunch

dragonflyfilly said...

hey all: (JIP, alan, tai)yeah, i found this (one of the many gifts from the GreatSpirit) in my cleaning up papers, i have posted it before, on one of my [sub-blogs]- but felt inspired yesterday to re-publish it - and happy to share it with people who appreciate such things!
luv, etc,

p.s. be back soon to chat more, must get to super store!

scrappy rose said...

all hail ben & jerry... for thier policies and their ice cream!!

boo said...


puhpaul said...

It's pretty incredible that someone can just siphon off that much money.

TDharma said...

answer to your last question: indeed! I have been reading many articles of late about the wage disparity and the greed of corporate officers. It's shameful. I heard a Rodney Crowel (sp?) song on the radio this a.m. about that very thing! I want mine! Gimme gimme gimme!

The ethics and moral codes of old (were they ever there?) have been replaced with unprecendented greed and corruption in this country. These are not the ideals we were founded on.