Monday, March 16, 2009

Naming and shaming

Bonuses are a way of life in some fields, it appears. Not in mine, and not, I suspect in the lives of many in this country.

But I recognise that bonuses are a way to reward excellent behaviour, and some companies insist that it's better to give a big, temporary reward instead of a smaller, but permanent raise. (As opposed to my field, where we didn't get raises this year, but that's another story).

Anyway, let's suppose that some people deserve bonuses under the current system in their industry. Let's make some of them justify what they did to deserve it --- or at least, make them think about it. Let's see a list, say, of all those whose bonuses exceeded, say the median income for a family of four. Or if you want to be nicer to those executives (the ones, it seems, who got AIG into the problems which are causing our economy to plummet) let's put a $100K limit: if you made more than that in bonuses last year, I'm inviting you to come forth and explain why it is that you deserve a bonus of this size.... just how is it that you helped your company, rather than leading it to disaster? Please! A hundred grand? Surely you can spend a few minutes justifying why you deserve a bonus of that much!

Yours, modestly proposing,

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