Who should decide???

Laura and I had an interesting conversation the other night that took shape from my recent encounters (more like avoidances) of the Children International workers on the sidewalks of Manhattan. I admire their dedication and persistence, enduring the cold weather, wind and snow flurries, trying to persuade people to stop and listen to their cause. Children International is a humanitarian organization similar to World Vision or Save the Children. I did some research to see if they were legitimate and they appear to be.

One of my findings in this search is that their CEO’s salary is over 300k. My immediate reaction was negative. This seemed quite generous to say the least. But the CEO salaries of the other similar charitable organizations (World Vision, etc) were comparable if not more. And I do not want to begrudge anyone’s salary capabilities. I don’t know if that is any of my business.

Neither Laura nor I know the duties and responsibilities of a CEO. Obviously it must be worth 300k or someone would offer to do it for less, right? We started thinking of some local charities and people we know who run them. What do they get paid? What is the job worth?

We didn’t really know how to answer. 50k? 60k or 70k? Long Island, NY is not a cheap place to live. Fifty grand goes pretty quick here.

This conversation is one I have been having with myself since Joe the Plumber brought the phrase “spread the wealth around” out of now President Obama. Is redistribution right? It already takes place in various ways so I guess the question is do we need more of it? If so who decides how much, who the beneficiaries are, and who pays? Another option I have read about is a maximum wage. Again, who will determine this?

Do we really want the government doing it? Elected and appointed officials who fail to report income and pay taxes? I do not think so.

I propose voluntary redistribution. It really is “better to give than to receive”. If enough people take initiative to help those in need, it will become contagious. This cannot be regulated by government, only inspired and made easier by easing the oppressive tax burden. Most of the men and women we elect are multi-millionaires (or their spouses are). They can set the example.

One thing I hope comes out of the Obama presidency is that people will really organize in community against the injustices in our society and a great place to start is with the local, state and federal governments. Oooo…was that a tingle up my leg or I am just Chris Matthews?

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