Friday, February 13, 2009

First it was the bankers' women, now the bankers themselves are whining

Welcome to yet (hey, two in a day) edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. Today we have bankers crying and whining because they may get their salaries capped at 500K if the new U.S. President gets his way in the bailout legislation. As if their women did not have enough to worry about, The New York Times tells us the sad tale of the poor millionaire bankers who may have to learn to live within their means. Imagine that. Their banks are not making as much money, and they may have to downsize and/or draw on their savings like the rest of us. The horror. Let's look at some of the numbers the article offers to illustrate this catastrophe:

"PRIVATE school: $32,000 a year per student. Mortgage: $96,000 a year. Co-op maintenance fee: $96,000 a year. Nanny: $45,000 a year."

Hmm, let me see. Send your kids to public school, find a cheaper place to live, and a cheaper day care arrangement (or how about maybe taking care of the kids yourself for a change). Most people would probably think as I am thinking now. But not these people who live in overpriced and hyped New York City. Heaven forbid they learn to commute and use public transportation, which by the way is a hell of a lot better than the rest of the country (and that is not saying much).

I can understand the basic math. I mean, the government is quite a pirate when it comes to taking your taxes no matter who you are. If you hold a job, the saying of taxes as one of the two sure things holds:

"Like those taxes. If a person is married with two children, the weekly deductions on a $500,000 salary are: federal taxes, $2,645; Medicare, $139; state taxes, $682; and city, $372. With an annual Social Security tab of $6,621, the take-home pay is about $293,000 annually, said Martin Cohen, a Manhattan accountant."

Having said that, adding this to the equation is not going to get you a lot of sympathy, especially if you were one of those play loose bankers who helped cause this mess in the first place:

"Barbara Corcoran, a real estate executive, said that most well-to-do families take at least two vacations a year, a winter trip to the sun and a spring trip to the ski slopes. Total minimum cost: $16,000."

Maybe Barb and her ilk need to learn to live within means. I would love to take two vacations a year, but I know I can't afford it. Not at $16K a pop. Get over it and teach your kids some frugality. Also, you may want to learn about the idea of a staycation for a change, and NYC does have plenty to do, unlike Tyler, TX where I live. And even when I go out of town for a small vacation with the itinerant family, I still don't spend $16K. Next:

"A personal trainer at $80 an hour three times a week comes to about $12,000 a year."

Time to do your own personal training. Get an exercise video. Go for a walk. Get a book and learn to do your routines yourself. Works for the average peons; you can learn it too. Besides, you are not making the money to pay for the $80 sessions. When you were making it, it was all fine to spend it. You are not making that kind of money anymore, stop whining and adjust your lifestyle. Everyone else learns to adjust in tight times. Consider yourselves lucky. Congress is bailing your banks out. Many regular people who are really suffering will get squat from Congress.

So, to my two readers, go ahead and read the rest of the article. I don't think you will hear much of the maudlin violins the NYT is trying to play for its readers.

A hat tip to Boing Boing.

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