How is it that so many failed CEOs somehow land on their feet, while average folks who lose their jobs are not so fortunate?
As Rick Newman, writing for U.S. News & World Report (via Yahoo! News, link here), observes:
Yet a number of disgraced CEOs and other grounded high-flyers have fared surprisingly well, either landing plum jobs with new employers or securing golden parachutes that guarantee a luxurious retirement–or both.
By contrast, regular folks who face a layoff or termination often must scramble to make ends meet and find comparable positions. We’ve seen the figures about the growing length of time it takes to find a new job in this recessionary economy, and we’re well aware of the special challenges that confront older, mid-career workers trying to rebound from a layoff.
Most people are one job loss away from a potential free fall with only a thin safety net below. The laid-off retail store worker, assembly line worker, or even mid-level manager is not going to be handed that golden parachute on the way out the door.
Perhaps if those in power faced the same dire fears and uncertainties in the midst of a cruel economy — or at least could summon some empathy for those who do — we’d see a different attitude coming from Wall Street and Washington D.C. when it comes to unemployment benefits, Social Security, medical care, student financial aid, and the like. But on this July 4th weekend, I’m afraid that plutocracy remains a term for our times.