Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bonuses As A Way Of Life

The big complaint about the AIG bonuses was that they were supposedly rewarding failure. If the government hadn't stepped in, would anything have been said? No. It's a way of life that reaches far beyond top executives!

In a time of economic stress at all levels, how about signing bonuses for coaches at a time when university budgets are being cut to the bone, teachers are facing either pay cuts or job loss, and fewer students are being accepted? Take for example Washington State's basketball coach Tony Bennett jumping ship for the University of Virginia. His total package is around $1.7 million a year plus a $500,000 signing bonus! That would provide a lot of faculty pay and tuition for a lot of students! What's even more questionable is the fact he's an unproven entity considering the differences between a Washington State and a Virginia! Failure isn't even an issue here. It's for signing on with high hopes. Heck of a deal.

Even harder to swallow for a lot of students, I should think, is John Calipari's deal with Kentucky. His eight year deal will bring him some $31.65 million plus a $2.5 million signing bonus. Please don't tell me it's worth that kind of money because of what the program brings in for the school. If it was all that successful, why are the budgets being cut?

It goes even further. Let's go back to tax payer money. The Wall Steet Journal tells us of the practice of Congress giving sometimes substantial bonuses to aides - with tax payer dollars.

We're told that last year more than $9.1 million was awarded to over 22,000 staffers. These discretionary bonuses went to staff earning more than $100,000, as merit bonuses.

To repeat a theme I harp on often, Congress gives itself automatic pay raises and gives out staff bonuses. Coaches are receiving huge signing bonuses while their schools flounder. Meanwhile Social Security cost of living increases are going to be frozen for the next three years, if not longer.

Does anyone besides me see the hypocrisy in all this?


Margie's Musings said...

You bet! As usual, the top money goes to the top earners. The rest of us..struggling to make it on our social security...don't get raises at all.

Anonymous said...

Technically the AIG bonuses weren't for a job well done. They were retention bonuses which was the sneaky way to get around "excessive salary regs". (a la Bill Clinton. They were a part of the salary package...supposedly. And yes, I have the same obvious question, if that is so, why call them a bonus at all? Why not just salary? Darned if I know...but why should big business make any sense, the govt. doesn't. CU

Word Tosser said...

there is talk about how with so many people losing their jobs, that not enough money is going into the SS. so they will run out of money 10 years before what they thought before...

As I read about Bennetts contract, I wondered about the kids going to college there and how their rates will go up to pay for this. And how some are just on the line of if they can afford to go or not.
Even Idaho is talking of upping their rates because it is costing so much to run the colleges.
So many students may have to drop out, because they can't afford the prices.. didn't see any professors or admininstration cuts in pay to cover it, so will less students mean less jobs for them?