Wednesday, July 20, 2005

We Were Soldiers Once, and Broke

"Maybe I can summarize the dissonance in this little example: In the financial section of the newspaper or the business magazine, there is an article about a man, Philip J. Purcell, who has just left a huge financial services company after his performance was deemed subpar, and he's taking home a $113.7 million severance package.

Then there's an article about the fellow who is replacing him, and about how he was offered something like $25 million a year. A fellow on the job just three months, whose main quality was apparently loyalty to the subpar-performing manager, is getting $32 million...

...Then I turn from the financial news to the general news section of the paper, or to the barrage of e-mail messages I get from people in the Army and Navy and Marines and Air Force, and I read about men and women who are taking fire from insurgents in Iraq and being blown up by homemade bombs that the Pentagon refers to as improvised explosive devices. The people being blown up are maybe corporals, and they get $1,900 a month, including combat pay.

Or I read a letter from a buddy of a member of the Navy Seals who was killed recently in Afghanistan when his helicopter went down, and he was getting maybe $1,950 a month, fighting the Taliban and fighting Al Qaeda (which killed 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001). That means the guy at the hedge fund is getting as much as, say, 10,000 of these corporals per annum...
and the money quote
The link is that the men and women of Wall Street and of corporate America do their very important work - and it is vital work, indeed - inside a box of security and safety created by the courage of the men and women who wear battle dress uniforms and ride down the highway of death in Iraq in armored personnel carriers handling machine guns."


Post a Comment

<< Home