Just to put some perspective on the bonuses for bank execs

Investment bankers at Bank of America will receive a total of $4.4 billion in bonuses for 2009 performance, averaging $400,000 each.

The large non-profit healthcare/social services agency where I work also just paid out bonuses. The company has a very strong belief in making sure that their funds are managed in a financially responsible way. Aside from things like mortgages on properties, the agency avoids going into debt. When funds are tight, as they have been for the past couple of years, the agency forgoes giving salary raises and instead pays out periodic bonuses once they're certain they have extra money left.

Last week, the agency paid out bonuses. I got $50. So did the top executives, if they even paid themselves bonuses, which I doubt they did. So did each of the several-hundred people who make $20,000 per year handing out medication and wiping asses and making sure everyone eats dinner. People who are directly responsible for the safety and well-being of other human beings. People who, if they do their job incorrectly, are usually immediately fired for putting human life in danger. There's no waiting around to see if people are a little safer and better cared for next quarter -- they're required to do their job correctly and successfully 100% of the time. For many of them, the $50 bonus is likely to have tipped the scales toward choosing not to leave and find a better-paying and much easier job, at least not this month.

Why is there not more outrage that people are getting paid an extra $400,000 (roughly the amount of money I've made in my life) for barely keeping their industry from totally failing?


1 comment:

Jodie said...

Woo-hoo! I got a $50 bonus, too! I bought groceries with it.