This isn’t as much about understanding rich people as it is understanding why they feel like they should be treated differently.
Let’s take the Comcast/Time Warner merger. As we know, monopolies are bad. (However, I assume libertarians feel there is nothing wrong with monopolies as government involvement is even worse). At any rate, the intent of the merger is to be able to take advantage of economies of scale. In theory, this could even be beneficial for the consumer as reduced costs for the company means the savings can be passed on to the consumer, right? That’s what American Airlines/US Airways told regulators that the merger will be good for consumers, but then apparently, they lied. At any rate, at least Comcast isn’t even trying to hide the fact that the merger will not be good for consumers, Comcast Executive VP David Cohen said:
“The impact on customer bills is always hard to quantify. We’re certainly promising that customer bills are going to go down or even increase less rapidly. Frankly, most of the factors that go into customer bills are factors beyond our control.” Factors beyond their control? Like how much profit they want to make? Like how much they want to stick it to the consumer?
But I digress. I didn’t want to talk about rich companies (Comcast’s profit in 4Q2013 was $1.91 billion as if billions in profits in one quarter is not enough.)
Instead, my post is about the people who are part of a merger. When two companies merge, they obviously do not need two CEOs so one is considered redundant. Enter Robert Marcus, CEO of Time Warner. Based on him becoming redundant, he will get an $80 million “golden parachute”.
Hmmm, when a “normal” employee is identified as being redundant, somehow he or she doesn’t get an $80 million golden parachute, but when the CEO of a company who wasn’t able to put the company in good enough position to prevent being taken over, or who didn’t put his company to be the bigger of the two companies… or in other words, was a rather mediocre CEO, then this person gets $80 million when he is made redundant. And actually, Robert Marcus has been CEO for less than 3 months.
How could it be that someone who is CEO for 3 months receives an $80 million golden parachute? Because Robert Marcus had it written in the deal that this would be the payoff. Why can’t normal employees get some kind of deal to help guarantee how they will be treated? Oh, they could if they were part of a union… but somehow a union is a bad word, but golden parachutes like this are accepted? We really must live in a Bizarro world.
Everyone knows how controversial fracking is. However, somehow the Mayor and City Council members who had managed to put a moratorium on fracking in Flower Mound, TX were replaced by a more “business-friendly” Mayor and City Council. So basically if you are concerned about your health or your children’s health, you have to tough it out or move… unless you’re the CEO of Exxon Mobile. Then you start a suit that you don’t want fracking in your town. This is what Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerman and his Republican buddy Dick Armey have done. Heaven forbid if the property value should go down on his 83-acre horse ranch or 18-acre homestead. (Technically speaking, the fracking won’t be done in their town, only the building of a water tower required for fracking in neighboring Flower Mound.)
PS. My bad. Seems like fracking is safe and all the concerns about fracking are ideas planted into my mind by environmentalists. At least this is the explanation from Marita Noon, Executive Director of Energy Makes America Great as to why people express concern about fracking. You can see the video from the Daily Show below: