NYT Bemoans GM Retiree Health Care Cuts and Says Squat About CEO's Millions

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
nyt bemoans gm retiree health care cuts and says squat about ceos millions

TTAC has highlighted the inherent obscenity of GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s compensation for flying the artist formerly known as the world’s largest automaker straight into the ground. While Wagoner inherited enormous structural problems from his predecessors, he has done nothing to correct them. Throughout his administration he’s shown a startling lack of courage and foresight, no product savvy whatsoever and an abject inability to face-up to the reality of GM’s peril. And yet he has drawn down over $100m in direct compensation since his installation at the top of the GM pyramid. This reporter (that’s me) was widely and loudly ridiculed when he cried foul at Wagoner’s bankruptcy-proof pension (and for asking if GM Car Czar Bob Lutz enjoyed same). Lest we forget, Wagoner’s compensation was INCREASED (a.k.a. “restored”) in April to $14.4m per year (and the rest). That’s more than all top ten of Toyota executives combined. Make of that what you will, but how can The New York Times report GM’s cutbacks in white collar retirees’ health care without putting their sacrifice (small as it may be) into its proper context? Surely, it’s time someone asked the question: why is Wagoner still getting paid?

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  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Nov 10, 2008

    Executive compensation doesn't seem to bother many people. In fact I bet there has been many more comments by people railing against the Detroit worker compensation structures than against the executive pay in Detroit (and elsewhere). And many people continuously accuse the unions that they have ruined Detroit. Product ruined and continues to ruin Detroit, union contracts just add to the costs and now losses but their resposnsibility is minimal since they have no say or power over the product other than how it's put together. Sure it would help a bit of they screwed the cars better but if the car is poorly designed no amount "screwing" it will make a piss-poor product a winner. The problem with executive compensation now is that it's starting to bring down the whole system. When executive failure is rewarded in broad spectrums of the economy from manufacturing to banking it turns the system on its head for a short while until it comes crashing down. Beyond that, ancient historians already noted that nothing is more corrosive to a country's social fabric than enormous differences in wealth and now increasingly undeserved wealth.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Nov 10, 2008

    It's always easier to blame the unions. After all, when was the last time you saw a CEO go on strike?

  • Cleek Cleek on Nov 10, 2008

    This seems to be a general GM comp problem. How does the ridiculous compensation of Richy Rick compare to the wage/benefits multiple that UAW workers enjoy over the larger labor pool of similar skills? Hmmm. This one may be difficult to determine since one must establish a peer group for RR. Dancing Circus Bears seem the likely choice, but the sample size may be too small to be statistically significant?

  • Usta Bee Usta Bee on Nov 10, 2008