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Punish CEO, Help No-One   December 2nd, 2008
Ford CEO promises to sell corporate jet and take salary of $1       


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In a classic demonstration of the media's obsession of style over substance, the CEO of Ford has promised to sell Ford's corporate jet and take a salary of $1.


Ford Motor became the first of the three U.S. automakers to unveil its turnaround plans to Congress Tuesday, but the plan contained little in the way of new cost cuts or other changes beyond what the company had previously announced.

This is inherently a symbolic move made to appease a symbolic media and symbolic politicians that are more interested in focusing on irrelevant CEO perks--and punishing CEOs--than addressing the real problem. As the article itself says, there was little else in the proposal in terms of cost-cutting.

While I'm not defending CEOs and other high-level managers in companies that are most likely paid far more than what they're worth, how much they're worth and what perks they get is between the company, shareholder, and the people receiving the pay/perks. I'm getting very sick of politicians dwelling on the issue of CEO pay, and equally tired of the media reporting on it. Pretty much the only time CEO pay is a problem is when it gives CEO's incentive to cook the books to create higher bonuses for themselves. Other than that I don't see any reason why anyone (other than the company and shareholders) should care how much someone else--CEO or otherwise--is earning. It all comes down to intentional class warfare and envy, and it's disgusting.

The fact that the CEO of Ford will sell the corporate jet and accept a salary of $1/year will not significantly change Ford's profitability. It will not reduce the price of the cars they sell nor will it increase the pay of other employees at the company in any meaningful way. It's simply a concession to politicians and the media that are, apparently, far more interested in style than substance.

And this is the media we trust to report the news and the politicians we trust to run the country?

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