In an ideal world, employees should be paid according to the effort made, the risk taken, and the benefit brought to the company. It must be difficult for management to set pay standards for the lower ranks, but for themselves it is impossible: their contribution is unique as is their personal interest in that setting.
When such a company has received vast financial support from the federal government, the conflict of loyalties between one’s family and one’s shareholders is compounded by a new constraint, loyalty to one’s neighbors in this term’s grand sense. Until now, there have been no good alternatives, but consider this as a possible easement to their burden:
·Let all bonuses be paid in corporate stock and withheld by the Federal Government.
·For each of ten years, one tenth of that contribution would be returned to its owner along with whatever dividends had been accumulated by that portion.
·The returns could start at the beginning of the first year and hence be completed in nine years.
Of course, if management risks long-term growth or future law suits, so does it also risk its bonuses. By this, the public and benefited corporations gain some assurance that there will be no more rescues. There had been insufficient qualifications for last year’s federal largess, so now it is too late for such.
I appreciate the caring of the Obama administration, but to apply that unconditionally is to be overly presumptuous about people who are each in their many ways unique.