Sunday, November 1, 2009

The three tens: Dow 10,000, unemployment 10%, bonuses of $10 million

Thinking about the three tens: Dow Jones at 10,000, unemployment at 10 percent, and Wall Street bonuses at $10 million a head. What’s wrong with this picture?

Our society is growing more and more unequal—more unemployed people at the bottom, more zillionaires at the top, 23% of total national income going to the top 1% of earners. We Americans pride ourselves on America being the land of opportunity. But the promise seems to be slipping further and further away.

The ethical person has to ask himself occasionally, “What kind of person am I? What kind of community am I a part of?” The answer can’t be very comforting. The three tens have to make us pretty uncomfortable.

The left wants to legislate limits on executive pay; the right wants to preserve the ability to gain super wealth without government interference. But what about the people getting the $10 million bonuses. Do they ever ask, “What kind of person am I? What kind of community am I a part of?” They have the ability and the moral authority to change the system. If they ask the question.

The 32 National Football League owners asked the question six years ago and it profoundly changed the league. More about that model in a day or two..

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