Some hedge fund managers made over a billion dollars [in 2007]. Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made a clever bet against subprime mortgages, made close to $4 billion.
How much is 4 billion dollars? If you work as a sales clerk in a retail store, you’d have to work 200,000 YEARS to make 4 billion dollars. If you have a steady $50,000 a year job as a laborer and work for 50 years, in all that time you’d make as much as the hedge fund manager gets in one hour at the office.
4 billion dollars would pay a year’s salary for ALL the public school teachers in New York City.
Yet this money goes to one individual.
When something goes wrong with hedge funds or others in the finance industry, executives still collect their bonuses. But think how much you’ve heard about how teachers’ unions are one of the big problems with education today, standing in the way of efficiency. Think how much you’ve heard about auto workers being the problem in their industry—when they work for decades to earn what this one hedge fund guy takes in in an hour. And at least auto workers produce cars instead of the economic crisis that’s been the major thing to come out of Wall Street recently.
It’s time for the traditional media to take a hard look at their assumptions about profitability and fair wages, to recognize that working people are not the problem.