Tuesday, April 26, 2011

American Capitalism is failing

-A report has surfaced that Katie Couric is leaving the post of anchor of the CBS Evening News.    An item included in that news report states that her salary is fifteen million dollars per year ($15,000,000 each year).
That's the equivalent of $300,000 a year for 50 years.  She has a five year contract so her 5 year gross earnings have been $75,000,000.  That's $1,500,000 per year for 50 years.
Ms Couric's job is not worth that size salary.  Her talents and background and education do not support payment of that size salary.  So what was CBS paying for?  If one asks, one will hear words like 'household name', 'celebrity', 'large fan base', 'cachet', 'star', etc.
Who someone is can be important but it should not be more important than what they can do.
I cite Ms Couric only as an example of a trend that has been evident for years,  especially in sports  and entertainment.  Less well-known but equally offensive are the inflated salaries and benefits for top corporate officers.
This is a serious symptom.  The wheels and gears and chains that move and drive the American capitalistic engine are badly out of balance or sync.  There is a disproportinate relationship between product and value.  This is an infection that  weakens and devalues the structure of our economic system.
The American ecologist Eugene Odum put it very well when he wrote "Growth beyond the optimum becomes cancer."

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