Monday, October 20, 2008

Rio Ferdinand and other economic variables

Or why we should feel "intensely relaxed" about the minimum wage

Are those stratospheric wages just too much? Nah. Weren't you told to lighten up? You too should feel "intensely relaxed about the filthy rich". Why not cherish the notion that you too could become one of them, holidaying on Flavio Briatore's yacht, spending your days shopping Sex and the City style, shagging a WAG or looking like one, splashing out on your credit card, perhaps even ending up talking about your shopping spree on Heat magazine. Footballers' wives, the Dream Team, Essex Wives, who would not want to be part of that but a few brow-raising tree-hugging losers?

Joan Smith, in yesterday's Independent, nailed it right on the head. Commenting on Rio Ferdinand's recent remarks (in which poor innocent Rio compared pre-Capello England to 'a circus' centred around WAGs and celebrity culture), the columnist reminded us of how the whole past decade has been fuelled by the arrogance and hedonism of a few demi-gods.

We were told that Jonathan Ross's £18m pay deal was justified by "the need for best talents" or that, "sorry but" Ashley Cole earning £90,000 a week was the going "market rate". Now, for the first time in years, a vague notion that absurd salaries should be capped is starting to creep in.

Here's what Joan Smith wrote: "We could start with untalented, overpaid TV presenters, and Premiership footballers whose salaries exceed the health budgets of some African countries", adding -wisely- "I can't see that this aspect of their behaviour is so different from the City culture which has brought one British bank after another to its knees".

Take Ashely Cole's £90,000 (sponsorship deals and perks not included) a week or the £1.29m yearly salary (bonuses not included) for the former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO. Compare them with the minimum wage introduced at £3.60 in 1999 and currently standing at £5-73 an hour. One of the above-mentioned variables, the Tories and the Confederation of British Industry said, would cripple the economy. Which in particular, I'll leave it to the reader to work out.


socialist sam said...

Before the wage boom in football (100% funded by another financial sandcastle -digital) fottball players were rich anyway. But the figures they were earning weren't unreal. The crux of the matter here is that we live in a world where £600,000 per year isn't enough. They earn that? They have to make £1,000,000. It's called greed.

Madam Miaow said...

One way of capping astronomical payouts is to say, OK, you can have your high salaries but you will be taxed at a rate commensurate with living in a fair, modern society we can all enjoy.

A 40 percent top rate of tax with plenty of loopholes to avoid even that is an insult to the rest of us.

The VengaBoy said...

Why the hell should you legislate againsy my right to better my own life? Isn't a 40 per cent top-rate tax enough? Let's just hope this crisis isn't going to herald a return of socialism. It's just a crisis, and it's a cyclical process. At least we're not discovering mass graves and gulags like when your mates experienced their own CRISIS circa 1989.

socialist sam said...

Vengaboy is taking the piss- But if your company or your bank goes bust you don't mind the taxpayer chipping in, do you?

Anonymous said...

We already live under socialism. The Socialism of Bakunin I can live with, the one adopted by Marx I cannot.

Britain and the US have implimented many of the central planks of the Cummunist Manifesto, the people in power just want to make it a Global One World Government. The 'false' Dialectic was created for that.

Emma said...

Anonymous - What on earth are you talking about?

At least make your comment relevant to the article. If you want a platform to spurt your issues, why not make your own blog instead of posting rambling irrelevence here.