Mayor Mike accidentally said something really interesting on the phenomena of CEOs taking on $1 paydays during the economic crisis. The “You get what you pay for” sentiment rings true in ways he might not intend – it shows that the recession and the bailout were never just about CEO pay or corporate largesse- it’s also about democracy, and who controls the fate of our collective economic future.
Bloomberg points out that for these folks, cutting your salary is a desperate bid to stay in the driver’s seat after having your leadership totally discredited. It’s the last ditch against losing power, taking a pennance and hoping people move on. (even though you’ll keep your stock, and all that other stuff you bought with your life of excess) The real issue, then, is about who controls the companies that control our economy, who doles out the capital that makes the machine run. The inability to make any real demands on the people at the helm in the nation’s failing banks shows that our economy works on everything besides a meritocracy or democracy, and that it needs serious, systemic reevaluation.