About Me

My photo
Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Obama proposes cap of $500,000 on executive pay...

...for those companies that receive TARP funds.

The Times quotes this winner:

“That is pretty draconian — $500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus,” said James F. Reda, founder and managing director of James F. Reda & Associates, a compensation consulting firm. “And you know these companies that are in trouble are not going to pay much of an annual dividend.”

It's a select few that would view a salary of half a million dollars a year as draconian. In the US, and in the world. It's also an insult to the vast majority of the human beings on earth who work for pennies a day.

Learn to live with a half a million dollars a year. Or don't take public funds. Sounds fair to me.


Matthew Trumbull said...

I agree. The cap would only apply to a company that takes bailout funding, for as long as it took bailout funding. Want a bigger salary, than figure out a way to get your company out of the sh*t without grabbing Uncle Sam's outstretched hand.

I somebody on the radio whining that the bright minds of tomorrow would not enter into companies or industries knowing they would might come up against The Cap. Hm. Perhaps the bright minds of tomorrow might also stay away from companies or industries that foundered so bad due to mismanagement, they need the government to bail them out. That might be a reason they stay away, too.

MattJ said...

I'm a hardcore Obama supporter, a bleeding heart liberal, and a proudly registered Democrat.

But I completely disagree. I think the cap on executive pay is BS. I think the media and Obama has sensationalized the idea of the American people as "shareholders" in corporations, however technically true it might be, and we've become hyper-critical of business' day to day activity and judging everything they do as if we know what we're talking about when it comes to running a multi million dollar corporation.

I also think the stimulus plan is really poor. I agree with everything in it as the liberal I am, but it is not the time for meandering or for Obama to push his 100 days agenda through. The stimulus bill needs to be superpowered and targeted towards putting money back into the system, and doing it NOW. Obamas plan barely does that at all. I'm very not pleased. And now we're going to end up with some congressionally mish-mashed middle of the road bill which doesn't do anything.

Fire away.

Ted said...

While it should go without saying that even a legitimate President’s “ordered” $500,000 pay cap is an unenforceable intrusion into the private sector, as if that weren’t enough, Obama LACKS EVEN OSTENSIBLE AUTHORITY to issue the order UNTIL HE OVERCOMES “RES IPSA LOQUITUR” BY SUPPLYING HIS LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PROVING HIS ELIGIBILITY TO BE PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE US CONSTITUTION.

Freeman said...

Matt -

I don't think anyone's looking to criticize the day-to-day activities as if they are "shareholders." But the truth is, business wants it both ways. It wants to be free to operate with as few government constraints as possible, focus entirely on profit, and often, in doing so, harm the public. Then, when the economy is hurting them, they want money from the tax payers as if they are a public good or utility.

So...strings should be attached, and there should be rules that are restrictive. And, frankly, the gap between the pay of top executives in this country and the regular workers is obscene. All the guys facing "the cap" are already multi-millionaires.

Also, I disagree with your stimulus concerns. You said that money has to go "back into the systems." Which systems? Those for infrastructure? Those for alternative fuels? Those for building projects?

The stimulus bill, as far as I can tell, is full of different kinds of spending all over the place. My guess is that economics don't have any idea what will actually trigger a fix in the economy, but they know they can't cut interest rates any further and tax cuts (the Republican argument) are slow stimulus and are mostly put into savings during a recession. So they only thing the government can do is spend, and spend big, and spend on everyone. It's really the only option available.

I'm sure there are parts of the bill (it did go through Congress, after all) that can be rightly criticized. But I think if Congress spends a lot of time whittling it down to... what? 700 Billion? What was the point? Let's get this thing passed and move on.

And Ted -

You poor, poor man. You really don't think a brown guy can be an American citizen without personally showing you his paperwork, do you?

David D. said...

Wow. Ted's comment plays like a parody of Internet Comments.

RLewis said...

While I like the message that this sends, when you look at the details there really is not limit on executive salaries. It's just that if you take the Cheese and want to pay your leaders more, you only have to disclose such. No limit. And you can also give the person all the stock and deferred comp' you'd like (or that the leader would like). It can't be redeemed until the taxpayer is paid back, but I'd take that deal.

I'd like to see them apply this compensation limit to professional athletes & their executives and hollywood screenwriters, directors & stars, if any of the Stim' goes to their career fields.