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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 23, 2009 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Politics of Envy

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | No doubt many will cheer executive pay cuts ordered by the Obama administration at companies that received U.S. bailouts last fall, but the celebration will prove short-lived. Obama pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, who has unprecedented authority to dictate pay in the private sector, has told executives at seven companies that their paychecks will be cut by 90 percent this year. In lieu of cash, the top 25 executives at American International Group (AIG), Bank of America, Citigroup, Chrysler, General Motors, and the financing arms of the two car companies will receive restricted stock in their companies, most of which they can't touch for years. On average, their total compensation will drop by 50 percent.

So what's the problem with the administration dictating deep pay cuts for a few fat-cat corporate types, especially those whose jobs might not exist now if the taxpayers hadn't rescued the companies they work for? These guys having been making what seem like obscene amounts of money for years. And now that taxpayers are footing some of the bill, why not use the opportunity to roll back pay? But as natural, and tempting, as these sentiments might be, acting on them will be a bad bargain for Main Street as well as Wall Street.

If Americans are ever to recoup their investments, we must have the best available talent to return these companies to profitability. Like it or not, that usually means paying top dollar, not punishing the people who will get the job done. And drastically cutting pay will likely lead to an exodus in talent — not only at the very top, but in the layers underneath where much of the work gets done.

Why would a chief financial officer at a major bank stick around when he's just seen his actual paycheck reduced by 90 percent, even if he's promised long-term incentives in stock, since those incentives, too, would be less than he formerly made? He could probably walk out the door and sign on with another company or get a partnership in an accounting firm that would pay him far more — and without the hassles and insults. And last I checked, even well-paid indentured servitude was outlawed by the 15th Amendment. Though, who knows, the Obama administration may seek to amend the Constitution to punish executives at companies the feds now virtually control.

The populist zeal to seek revenge on those who make a lot of money is targeted almost exclusively at corporations. I haven't heard outcries about Hollywood actors who make millions per film, even when those movies are a bust at the box office and the talent at issue has none. There's no outrage over athletes like New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's $33 million salary or Celtic power forward Kevin Garnett's $25 million. Nor should there be. These are exceptionally talented individuals whose teams' owners think they're worth every penny.

And that's the point. In the private sector, the people whose investment makes an enterprise possible call the shots. In corporate America, stockholders elect boards of directors to make those decisions. Those boards are coming under increasing pressure to reign in pay, especially if it is not aligned with shareholders' returns. Full disclosure, I know because I sit on boards of two large, publicly traded companies.

Citigroup, GM, and some other companies who are in the Obama administration's bull's-eye are now owned, in part, by Uncle Sam — which is why Feinberg can mandate pay changes. But doing so punitively, or to satisfy opinion polls, won't help taxpayers see their money repaid. Indeed, the companies who have already paid back the Troubled Asset Relief Program money they took were able to do so because they turned a profit, in no small part owing to their ability to reward and keep talented executives. J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and several other banks repaid TARP funds in June — and, in some cases, paid hefty dividends, too. But they also paid big salaries and bonuses.

There is no question that executive compensation requires scrutiny and supervision. The question is: Who should be doing it? American capitalism has created enormous wealth, not just for those at the top but for the country as a whole over decades. But in the last couple of years, many Americans have seen their own wealth diminish, so it's natural they'd begrudge others who seem to still rake in lots of money. But the politics of envy won't make anyone wealthier — and they could well make the country, not just a handful of highly compensated executives, a whole lot poorer.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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