It might be one of the silliest stories I have read in a long time. On Friday, Allen Salkin of the New York Times wrote a piece entitled “You Try to Live on 500K in This Town” in which he argues that a family of four needs to earn around $1.6 million just to cover living expenses in New York city.
The article is aimed at criticizing the Obama administration’s proposal to limit the base salary of top executives at AIG, Bank of America, and Citigroup to $500,000 per year as long as their companies are staying afloat thanks to government aid. The argument is kind of short-sighted anyway, given that the executives in question already have net worths in the tens (or even hundreds) of millions of dollars, and therefore forgoing huge salaries for a couple of years is not going to result in their lavish Manhattan apartments being foreclosed on.
Nonetheless, the idea that the very executives who are largely to blame for the financial crisis should not have to make any financial sacrifices, like the rest of the country is being forced to, is pretty ridiculous. I highly doubt the content of this article is going to win any sympathy from the vast majority of people reading it, but maybe that’s just me. What do you think of Mr. Salkin’s argument?