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Let’s pass a hat for the poor, poor investment bankers

9.February 2009

This article from the New York Times is endlessly frustrating. Basically, it’s trying to make a case for the massive salaries Wall Street Types make and denouncing the idea of Obama’s proposed $500,000 salary cap. The most frustrating bits of the article for your reading pleasure:

“Sure, the solution may seem simple: move to Brooklyn or Hoboken, put the children in public schools and buy a MetroCard. But more than a few of the New York-based financial executives who would have their pay limited are men (and they are almost invariably men) whose identities are entwined with living a certain way in a certain neighborhood west of Third Avenue: a life of private schools, summer houses and charity galas that only a seven-figure income can stretch to cover.”

Here we’re taking it as a given that these MEN have a God-given right to live that extravagant lifestyle… sure, I’m not going to say it’s not their right to, but in light of what they’ve done to the economy, I think they can stand a little frugality, too. Also, prices will only stay that high as long as the market can bear it, surely. So wouldn’t it be good for everyone for the number of people who can afford that lifestyle to dwindle and drive prices down? I know, I know, then the RABBLE would get in.

“The work in the gym pays off when one must don a formal gown for a charity gala. “Going to those parties,” said David Patrick Columbia, who is the editor of the New York Social Diary (newyorksocialdiary.com), “a woman can spend $10,000 or $15,000 on a dress. If she goes to three or four of those a year, she’s not going to wear the same dress.” Total cost for three gowns: about $35,000.”

I guess it goes without saying that the man in these couples is inevitably going to be buying the dress for his wife or girlfriend who is busy hanging out with society types and working on charities and is obviously not earning a living. This brings me to my biggest gripe with this article and with the whole system behind it. These Big Wall Street Men are allowed by our society to expect this kind of coddled existence, including a big pay check to pay for all these completely unnecessary things and it is just accepted as the state of affairs that one of these things is a trophy wife of varying intellect who doesn’t work and doesn’t contribute to the exorbitant bills their lifestyle kicks up. How is this shit still going on? Don’t these people realize that if both people in the couple were earning $500,000, then they’d be back up to their precious seven figures and then they’d maybe have a good reason to hire a nanny? Ugh. I hate investment banking/bankers/the society that still allows this kind of shit.

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