According to Captain Obvious: Wall Street Occupiers Not Altogether Consistent

Actually finding a single, cohesive grievance among the Occupy Wall Street crowd is difficult, but one issue that seems to unite the protesters is this idea that the 1% (that would be the wealthiest 1%) are ruining everything for the other 99%.  Okay, let’s run with that for a minute.

This is a list the top financial CEO’s for 2010 according to study by Equilar, a compensation research firm, as found in the New York Times.  The figures include salary, bonus, perks, stock, options.  Incidentally, Robert Kelly of BNY Mellon didn’t even break the top 15 in overall executive pay.

  1. Robert P. Kelly – Bank of New York Mellon – $19.4M
  2. John G. Stumpf – Wells Fargo – $17.6M
  3. James M. Cracchiolo – Ameriprise Financial – $16.8M
  4. Kenneth I. Chennault – American Express – $16.3M
  5. John R. Strangfeld, Jr. – Prudential Financial – $16.2M
  6. Richard K. Davis – US Bancorp – $16.1M
  7. Daniel P. Amos – Aflac – $15.9M
  8. Richard D. Fairbank – $14.9M
  9. Lloyd C. Blankfein – Goldman Sachs Group – $14.1M
  10. Brian Duperreault – Marsh and McLennan – $14.0M

So the financial sector bigwigs are making a lot of money each year. But this is where the OWS crowd misses the point.  I could go on and on about how it’s not the banks or corporations that have gotten us in this mess and how it’s because of the government but that’s lost on the economically ignorant or those who simply refuse to believe that their omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent state could ever do such a thing.  Instead, I roll out some other numbers.

Top five paid baseball players for 2011:

  1. Alex Rodriguez – $32M
  2. Vernon Wells – $26.2M
  3. C C Sabathia – $24.3M
  4. Mark Teixeira – $23.1M
  5. Joe Mauer – $23M

Top five paid basketball players for the 2008-2009 season:

  1. Kevin Garnett – $24.8M
  2. Jason Kidd – $21.4M
  3. Jermaine O’Neal – $21.4M
  4. Kobe Bryant – $21.3M
  5. Shaquille O’Neal – $21M

The top five NFL players for the 2009-2010 season:

  1. Philip Rivers – $25.5M
  2. Jay Cutler – $22M
  3. Eli Manning – $20.5M
  4. Kurt Warner – $19M
  5. Kelvin Hayden – $17.5M

All but one of these athletes were paid more than the top paid financial company executive.  But there’s still more.  For example, here are the top paid actors and actresses for 2010 according to Vanity Fair (top actress – Kristen Stewart – $28.5M, ranking her 13th):

  1. James Cameron – $257M
  2. Johnny Depp – $100M
  3. Steven Spielberg – $80M
  4. Christopher Nolan – $71.5M
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio – $62M
  6. Tim Burton – $53M
  7. Adam Sandler – $50M
  8. Todd Phillips – $34M
  9. Taylor Lautner – $33.5M
  10. Robert Downey, Jr. – $31.5M

You read that correctly. James Cameron made approximately $257,000,000 in 2010.  In the study linked above, all 22 financial chief executive combined made roughly $250,000,000. Combined.  Even if you take the top chief executives of all industries listed in the Equilar study it would take the top four combined to eclipse Cameron’s $257M.

Now, I don’t begrudge these people any of the money they’ve made.  I don’t want to take their money away from them.  I’m not interested in killing their goats (see first full paragraph here).  So what’s my point? Well…if it’s the 1% v. the 99% that OWS is all about, I’m really confused.  It looks like instead of (or at least in addition to) Wall Street, the “99%” should be occupying Hollywood or Park Avenue, NY (home of the NFL and MLB).  I’m not going to hold my breath (or maybe I should).

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One response to “According to Captain Obvious: Wall Street Occupiers Not Altogether Consistent

  1. Pingback: Don’t Steal…the Government Hates Competition | Nailing Jello to the Wall

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