Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pay, Or Lack Thereof

I don't think my glow-in-the-dark Virgin Mary is glowing in the dark anymore. Oh well...what are ya gonna do? Just another cheap piece of plastic crap from China with toxic phosphorescent paint. So much for divine renderings.
I'm sitting here skimming through the Sunday newspaper, notably Parade Magazine - the annual "What do People Earn?" issue. And I must tell you - I'm surprised. Sort of. I knew I was on the lower rungs of the earnings ladder, due to my choice of gigs in the wonderful world of non-profit. Yet it still astounds me how much some people make that you might not expect. Like the U.S. Air Force Colonel who gets $130,000.00 a year. Wow. That sounds like a lot to me. Especially from my pay-grade.
But most of the people featured make more than me. Substantially more. Do I care about being able to acquire lots of toys? No. But I do care about being able to pay the bills without juggling or contortions each month. That sure sounds good. Sometimes just that in itself sounds like a luxury.
Nor do I consider my earnings to be a measure of my personal worth. But just about everyone else in this country does. We evaluate each other constantly based on what we earn. It is a scorecard, even when we choose not to play the game.
What about you? Does your pay suck or is it okay? What would you be getting paid in a more equitable world?
On a different employment note, Senate repugs have just shot down another measure to implement an unemployment extension. Lindsey deep-in-the-closet Graham says he doesn't want to add to the deficit. One wonders for the umpteenth time where Lindsey and his cohorts were during the reign of George the Simple. When no amount of borrowing for a needless and fraudulent war was too much, no amount of deficit spending too great.
But, we certainly can't have Gov-Corp spending taxpayer money on the taxpayers, now can we? That's like stealing from the corporations! Egads.


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anna, I was looking at the same Parade Magazine article and wondering the same thing. Interestingly, the Air Force colonel's very lucrative pay also struck a cord with me. I would have thought it was surely a typographical error, if it wasn't for the fact that I recently worked with a woman whose husband is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Army. She mentioned to me that he made $160,000 the year before last (much of it tax-free), and I immediately thought this military certainly isn't the military of my departed father. I even chastised her a little bit about it, since she seemed to be flaunting the fact and was proud of it.

This was the first time I'd been confronted with the very disturbing fact that many of our military personnel make so much money. Sacrificing in the name of country? I hardly think so.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Wow - 160k?? Do commercial pilots even make that much? I'm thinking not; at least not the ones I've known.
When I look at what my education cost vs. what I've earned in the human services ghetto, it wasn't a good move. Wish I would've gone to trade school instead.
And did you see how little the copy editor earned? Or child care workers?
Compare that to the salaries of the sports and entertainment figures. That's the real test of what a culture's values are. Societies reward what they value.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather the government spend money on the people than giving money to banks that are paying LOSING MONEY MANAGERS millions of dollars as a frigging BONUS.

Giving a buttload of money to people who are draining millions of dollars out of the public's money is evil. and no one is going to ever call them on it.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And i have no problem with military pay. Do you want someone making servant's wages responsible for a nuclear payload in an intercontinental jet?

My father was a colonel in the Air Force. He also had to be out in a B52 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. (he ordered mom to take us kids down to her mother 'for a couple of weeks' before he left for the base. During a school year. 'Can't tell you why, just go. Tell the teachers to give you P's lessons..." ( was in second grade, my sis was a toddler)

10:50 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dragonet, I think you're confusing too many issues and lumping them all into the same category. Personally, and politically, I agree with your first statement -- I also wish the government would spent revenues to assist struggling people, instead of bailing-out financial institutions. That's a given. We see eye-to-eye on that issue.

But, I do take issue with your second post where you "have no problem with military pay." The military pay of today, which has exponentially increased in real terms since your father was aboard SAC bombers, is horribly out-of-line with the equivalent function in the private sector. And, by the way, this isn't restricted to just military personnel. It has occurred for most civil servants, when comparing apples-to-apples. This is a recent phenomenon. It never was this way until just recently. (Which is a discourse for another time, as to the "whys and wherefores".)

By the way, my father was also in SAC, a career military NCO. I remember the same scenario you described during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. But, despite that critical time in our nation's history, if your father were making the same "real wages" at that time that the colonel in question currently is (adjusted downward, of course, due to inflation, etc, etc.), I'd still feel like it was excessive. (But, remember, your father wasn't making the equivalent of $130,000 back then. Not even close!)

4:25 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

While we're on the subject...

"For the average American, what all this means is that of every dollar you send to the IRS, 53 cents will be going to pay for blowing stuff up, fattening the wallets of colonels admirals and generals, bloating the portfolios of investors in military industries, and of course funding the bonuses paid to executives of those companies, and the campaign chests and expense accounts of the members of Congress who vote for these outlandish budgets."

Think about that first sentence in the paragraph above. If that were cut in half, let's say to around 27 cents, wouldn't we be able to reduce our national debt in a relatively short time plus afford universal health care for all

9:00 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

That's "...wouldn't we be able to reduce our national debt in a relatively short time plus afford universal health care for all?"

Sorry, that was supposed to be a question. A rhetorical question, yes, but a question nonetheless.

9:05 PM  

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