Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Struggling On A Small Salary

by Dick Mac

The statements against Occupy Wall Street have been filled with lies.

Some liars are good liars, and some liars are bad liars.

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, is a terrible liar. I think this is part of what has made him appealing to voters: they don't know he's a bad liar, but when he's in a jam and doesn't know the answer to a difficult question, he lies. Not vindictively, not with a sense of evil; but he stammers through a couple of sentences that show his ignorance, but makes him endearing to us and in some ways lets us ignore his statement.

The Mayor is remarkably silent about Occupy Wall Street. He's made some statements and answered some questions, but has truly detached his office from the fracas and left it squarely on the shoulders of the police. Sadly, policing is not what this uprising needs, the people participating in Occupy Wall Street need a leader, a billionaire, or a powerful elected official (someone who Wall Street will listen to) to begin negotiating on their behalf.

Bloomberg would be perfect, but there is no way he would ever take the side of the protesters, and hardly acknowledges their existence.

To prove his ignorance about the reality of the situation (a reality that no billionaire could really fathom in this day and age), a recent statement about the protests exposed his ignorance.

The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line. Those are the people that work on Wall Street or on the finance sector.
Bloomberg sheds a tear for bankers, makes up bogus numbers

Either the mayor believes that the people working on Wall Street earn forty grand a year, or he is lying, neither of which is really acceptable during these times.

This notion that the employees on Wall Street are somehow victimized by government regulation or consumer protest is absurd.

I know people who work on Wall Street (or for financial institutions that are not on Wall Street, itself, but are considered part of "Wall Street"). Wall Street, although an actual street in lower Manhattan that runs from Broadway to South Street, is an industry, the financial industry. So, many companies whose address is not actually ON Wall Street are considered to be part of Wall Street.

The average amount of money made by people in each industry is information that has been collected and analyzed for almost a century by the United States Department of Commerce. I don't know about you, but I don't think the Commerce Department is involved in a conspiracy to fudge the numbers gathered by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. See for yourself in Section 6 of this page: National Income and Product Accounts Tables

When citizens display anger about Wall Street, they are not actually discussing only the people who work on Wall Street, but are discussing the industry. Generally, Wall Street is considered to be those people who work in securities, commodity trading, and investments. I believe the lawyers who work for them should be included, but for statistical purposes they are not.

Receptionists at Wall Street firms earn more than fifty grand. Analysts, engineers, and other lower-level staff make double, sometimes triple that. Bankers, managers and brokers earn four, fix, six times more than that. Or even more. Executives and directors earn amounts of money that most of us don't even dream of.

What is the average salary on Wall Street?

In 2010, the average salary on Wall Street was $204,539. That's almost a quarter million dollars.

I do not object to those salaries, nor do I think the government should dictate or define, in any way, shape, or form, the salaries. I think American workers should be paid as much money as they can get from their bosses.

When Michael Bloomberg, one of the most successful men on Wall Street, puts forth an argument that people on wall Street earn forty or fifty thousand dollars, when in reality they earn, on average, four to five times that, it proves part of the point that the protesters are trying to make: the people in the financial industry and the government are completely out-of-touch with the realities of being an American citizen.

Unemployment is rising all the time, and the people who control industry and finance, that is, Wall Street, continue to off-shore our jobs, lower our salaries, reduce our benefits, and now are dismantling our government!

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are not hurting working people; they are hurting no one. They are shining a light on the invisible problem that is the control of our financial industry.

People on Wall Street earn a lot of money, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Anonymous said...

For related stories I'd recommend the book "The Running of the Bulls - From Wharton to Wall Street," if you can stand it. This book was published the year I graduated from Wharton and went to work for Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice. I was never after the big bucks but boy was it ever obvious what an anomaly I was there... http://www.indiaclub.com/shop/SearchResults.asp?ProdStock=19112

Adam said...

I don't know if Bloomberg is lying or just totally out of touch. I think the out of touch aspect is something that happens when politicians have become ensconced for too long. I'm beginning to find the protest fascinating, though. I wonder where it would be if it weren't for the pepper spraying - I don't think it would have gotten that far. I say more power to them.