Thursday, June 16, 2005

Raising the Price of Fame

I may not be posting much, but I do take requests. Alas, I think Brian got the thrust of Norman Augustine's opinion piece absolutely, totally 100 percent wrong. My take on his piece is that he's absolutely not making any sort of argument for limiting executive pay scales at all. Instead, he seems to be mocking what Congress has done, limiting companies' deduction for executive pay to $1 million, unless performance-based, and further limiting the compensation of chief executives of, say, defense contractors, like maybe Lockheed Martin, of which Mr. Augustine was CEO, to $473,318.

Now, the main problem with this "he's mocking Congress" idea is that the article appeared in the NYT; had it been in the WSJ, I'd be perfectly fine leaving my analysis at that. But the cause of CEO of defense contractors' pay wouldn't seem to be the sort of thing that would normally take up the valuable op-ed page of the NYT. So, why'd the NYT publish it then? Well, they might just have taken him at face value, as I think Brian did. Alternatively, maybe they're trying to branch out, and open their page to other viewpoints. Or maybe there's something else I'm not thinking of, since I'm not feeling very clever right now.

UPDATE: Going back and reading this post, I probably come off a lot harsher toward Brian than I intended. Really, no malice was intended at all. Really, I just laughed when I was reading the op-ed, and was in that mood of jocularity when I wrote the post, though I guess maybe it didn't come across very well. N.B. I haven't heard anything from Brian about this, so I guess this is mostly just a record correction.

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