Why is it that executives find it perfectly fine to pay themselves a Christmas bonus during lean times (i.e. during this type of economy), yet leave their employees in the dust? Perhaps it’s greed and avarice, or it’s a way to maintain the social order: we have the power, you don’t, so we will pay ourselves bonuses, and you just have to accept it. Executives make a high salary already, so why not spread the wealth by taking a smaller bonus and share with the workers who help make the company function?
Veblen wrote that the machine process is more intimate with the inner workings of a company, while the busines principles has no knowledge of the production process; its primary role is to make money even at the expense of sabotaging the machine process. I hate to use a television show to make my case, but watch Undercover Boss if you don’t believe me–I still maintain that that show is for PR more than anything. Not surprisingly, most of the bosses know nothing about the production process of their own companies as they struggle to do most of the day-to-day functions that are important to keeping the company running.
Marx would argue that the capitalists’ labor is unproductive. I would have to argue that most executives’ labor is unproductive too. What exactly is it that they do all day other than socializing with other execs, sending emails and having meetings?
Christmas is a time for giving–at least that’s how the old cliche goes. Company executives have done exactly that. They have given to a minority; themselves. The majority, well, they have been told they should be thankful they have jobs at all. Merry Christmas!