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Is Your Pension Worth $20 Million?

  • by
  • March 31, 2009
  • 7:11 pm
Is Your Pension Worth $20 Million?

By Darrell Spurlock

When I first heard that GM CEO Rick Wagoner had resigned under pressure from the White House, I was momentarily satisfied.  I was glad that for once, if performance conditions that were set out from the beginning weren’t being met, the consequences would be real for those involved.  So, if GM wasn’t making good on promises about reorganization, a re-focusing on fuel-efficient cars, and innovation on the assembly line, then someone had to pay.  This usually means the person at the top and in GM’s case, that was Rick Wagoner.

But then I read that Mr. Wagoner’s pension is valued at at $20 Million.  That’s right, $20,000,000.  Granted, Mr. Wagoner has been at GM for 31 years, but I bet there isn’t an assembly worker whose pension is worth even a quarter of that amount.  Given that GM has lost over $50 Billion in shareholder money in the last 8 years, I can’t imagine what his pension would look like if he had done a better job at GM.  Forbes reported in 2004 that Mr. Wagoner’s compensation was $13.7 Million for the 3 years prior, and in the 5 years prior according to the 2008 Forbes Executive Pay survey, he made $25.24 Million.  Mr. Wagoner has done pretty good for himself in the last few years, wouldn’t you say? 

I know I would be happy to ride off into the sunset (in my Cadillac, of course) with a personal wealth of likely more than $30 Million, and a $20 Million pension. 

How about you – are the consequences we are seeing for executives sufficient, or should more be done to recoup the dollars that have been lost under their leaderhsip?

Watch the new GM CEO talk about what’s next for GM.

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Image © 2008 - Kevin.Ward

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7:59AM PDT on Apr 5, 2009

Unfortunately, it affects the REAL working people on this planet and NOT the Corporate Fascists and International Bankers who keep us all in perpetual servitude for our entire lives.

7:57AM PDT on Apr 5, 2009

Well, you're a point Tony S.. And I have to agree about making the right financial purchases and basing those purchases on eco-common sense and staying away from corporations that give neither decent wages or health packages to their employees, not to mention the fact that it is no wonder that these mega-corporations cannot afford health and retirement packages when the CEO's, CFO's VP's, Board of Director's Members and the Major Stock Holders are sucking up all the profits so that the company CAN stay afloat in a realistic way. Interestingly enough, my last purchase of a vehicle was a Jeep Cherokee Sport in 1996 back when gas here in California was $.90 a gallon. It cost $20.00 to fill it up. Now it's closer to $60.00 and rising. Aside from that, I had always owned Japanese cars. But I thought I'd give my people a chance. Well, as it turned out, most of my car wasn't even built in this country. It's all farmed out from across the planet. Now THAT's efficiency...isn't it? How much crude oil is used to transport all those parts for the assembly of my Jeep in the end? The only reason WHY all these mega-corporations have had to farm out all their products in the first place is all based on the stock market's ridiculous and incessant need for that all important 20% quarterly margin that the Stock Holders absolutely MUST earn in order to maintain their investment profits! The Stock Market DESERVES to implode!

2:30PM PDT on Apr 3, 2009

Thank You Tony 4 part I and II you made your point thank you you've spent alot of time expressing your views, and as I siad before I wish U well & good luck. I know we all know that no mater who the President is we will pay the price. I 'm not putting blame on any party. Thats not what this is about. I am a Demicrate becuse it suites me best, Your choice is yours I would never try 2 take that away from U. I do beleave the past is a hitching post. And my hores R riding free. And I do have faith that America will turn around. Take Care and have a nice weekend. Peace & Love 2 u Goodnite

12:55PM PDT on Apr 3, 2009

Part II

There is no moral or ethical superiority of one party or the other, it just depends on which direction you wish to go.

The worst of this whole particular issue is that the White House (Obama Administration) has no business and no right telling private industry who should be in charge. We are not socialistic (the government owns all business, outright or through majority control, see Pres Chavez in Venezuela), and I don't think anyone, well ok, the vast majority of us, wants to have a socialistic government.

Someone mentioned the threat of a "caste" system becoming the model here, and referred to India as the example. Bad example. A caste system is not the rich and poor, it also includes everything in between. And it is very strict with a long history of ritual that is practiced to this day. We as a nation are not at risk of having that.

However, we are at risk of our middle class becoming so small as to radically affect all areas of society. The middle class is essential to our success, and that segment of society needs true support for us to be able to get out of our current economic mess.

So before applauding the Administration for having a hand in the resignation of Wagner, think about the precedent. Does he deserve a $20m dollar pension? It's up to the Board of Directors and the Shareholders, not we the people.

You really want change? Then do your part, and be willing to accept the price tag that comes with it.

12:42PM PDT on Apr 3, 2009

Part I

There are several important issues being overlooked. One is, we are a free market/capitalistic nation. While I'm outraged by how much $$$ CEO's of major industries are paid, I don't agree that their salary's should regulated by our Government or the people. It's private industry, and that's what drives our Country and economy. If you don't like the way a business is run, do what someone else suggested, boycott their product. Just be sure to let them know.

If you don't like seeing what's happened to our economy, then again, do something about it. Encourage your elected rep in DC to work towards building in some new safeguards since the old (previous regulations) have been discarded. If you want this "change" that so many are clamoring for, you have to work for it. It's not free, there will be a price to be paid. Change means doing things differently, and to do that, you need to pay for it, or you end up with one of the many "unfunded mandates" that have been so popular from DC.

Change isn't easy, because you need to do more than just type insults against a particular political party or private corporation. If you think the dems are better than the republicans then you're not watching what our elected officials are doing. They all have their PAC's, pork projects, and other pet projects, none of them have the right to point the finger of shame at the other.

11:06AM PDT on Apr 3, 2009

Thank you 4 your opinon sorry U were insuted, but that is in the eyes of the beholder. I still stand by my words, And wish U well in yours. Peace & Love claudia

7:13PM PDT on Apr 2, 2009

Do mind the words, "We R not in Russia". And do not limit it just to freedom of speech but acknowledge that this is also attributed to freedom of enterprise. People work hard for something, money. If I work hard it is not for you or anyone else who needs money. The money I make is a reflection of the work I put in. Granted not all management is dedicated to quality work but condemning all of those who are "On Top" is an insult. If someone works hard to produce quality their whole life and they have worked themself into a position of wealth then they deserve every penny they legitimately earned. Generalization is nothing more than misled condemnation of the mind.

3:33AM PDT on Apr 2, 2009

This People must be helped to come down to Earth . They have such a wrong concept about them selfs , they think they GOD . and above everyone else . They must be Stoped .

8:06PM PDT on Apr 1, 2009

I don't like discovering that I have been a virtual guinea pig in a huge virtual social policy experiment any better than you do, but any competent scientist will tell you that negative results are as valuable as positive ones. We have a lot of valuable insight as to what will and will not work in a capitalist society--let's get busy and put it to work and stop wasting our valuable time and energy on the blame game, what do you think?

8:00PM PDT on Apr 1, 2009

Any competent scientist will tell you that negative results of an experiment are as valuable as positive ones...I don't like discovering that I have been a virtual guinea pig any better than the rest of you, but the blame game isn't going to serve anyone's best interests. The real question now is: what WILL serve everyone's best interests, and do we have the guts and the corporate will to "engage"?

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