By Other Words
By Jim Hightower
Have you heard about the earthquake that has shaken Wall Street to its very core? Well, brace yourself, for this really is a shocker: bonus payments are down.
Yes, the exorbitant bonus checks pocketed each year by the Goldman Sachers, Citigroupers, and other financial tinkerers have been cut by about 25 percent this year, and — oh! — you should hear the Wall Streeters moaning the hard-times, down-and-out banker blues. “It’s a disaster,” sobbed one. “The entire construct of compensation has changed.”
Cynics, of course, will say, “Good — about time.” It’s difficult in these times of middle-class collapse and rising poverty to get teary-eyed over a few financial swells getting a trim. But, come on, open your hearts to their pain.
A hedge-fund manager, for example, says it’ll now be a strain for him to make his $7,500 annual membership dues in the Trump National Golf Club. Plus, he worries about food, health care, and boarding. Not for him, but for his two dogs. He’s been laying out $17,000 a year for upkeep of his labradoodle and bichon frise, including around $5,000 to hire a daily dog-walker for them.
The crunch is so bad for these 1-percenters that one says he now has to shop for discounted salmon for dinner and has had to give up his annual ski trip to Aspen. And a high-dollar accountant who does financial planning for the wealthy practically weeps for clients who have to cut back. Empathizing with the stress of it all, he asks: “Could you imagine what it’s like to say, ‘I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out?’ How do you do that?”
Dabbing his eyes with tissues, he adds that these people have been raking in around $500,000 a year, and they never dreamed “that they’d be broke.”
Broke? Get a grip. We should all be as “broke” as they are.
Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.