Book Trailer The Noble Train

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Three Percent

What is really behind the AIG bonus rage is the suspicion that there is a group of people in this country who are laughing their way to the bank. It is that old idiom that ninety seven percent of the money is given to three percent of the people and the remaining ninety seven percent must split the remaining three percent. AIG bears this out. But what is really behind our collective outrage is that this group of people who seem to have it all don't work for their money. They don't. Ivy League schools dump out business graduates and they are snapped up by companies like AIG who put them in positions that require six figure retention bonuses. Normal people do not get hundreds of thousands of dollars for staying on the job. But once you are the three percent then the Christmas baubles rein down. You not only get the bonuses but outrageous salaries and stock options that set up people for life. For Life. The deck is surely stacked. Imagine what has gone on under the wire. We are getting a fraction of what really goes on in the land of three percent. Millions of dollars are paid out that we will never know about. And these people are not putting in brutal hours, making life and death decisions. These are derivative traders, glorified mortgage brokers who just have a much much more lucrative yield spread. Instead of making a few thousand on a loan they make a few million. America was founded on the precept that yes anyone can become anything but we also demand a level playing field. That was what the Revolution was all about. We should not be put in a position where others can take advantage of of us. So we have a representative form of government that says we all have the same rights under the law and the same opportunities. But it would seem that the three percent have an unfair advantage over the rest of us. The three percent get their money regardless. Why? Because they are entitled and entitlement goes beyond a bankrupt company or an economy teetering on a depression. Americans hate the thought that one group of people are somehow more deserving because of the accident of birth or an Ivy league school. Sure, give them their money, but lets see them earn it. That's what the rest of us have to do. We have to work and earn our money. Maybe the three percent should earn theirs now, because I don't think America can afford to have a slacker class anymore.

Books by William Hazelgrove