Monday, December 26, 2011

Things Are Tough All Over

It's been a tough year for middle America. Once again, everything that was already too expensive got a little more so. We avoided a double-dip recession, and The Second Great Depression was something that we talked about but never occurred. Unemployment rates continue to decline, but we are told that we can't tax the job creators because then we'll never find work. The logical alternative would seem to become a professional job creator.
One person who lives in that rarefied air is the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings. The guy who keeps all those envelope stuffers and button pushers employed just got some bad news: His company is giving him a pay cut next year. It may have to do with the way his company handled their price hike back in July. Or the way they decided to change their name to Qwikster for those who were content to do without all those envelopes, and choices. It was a pretty solid corporate train wreck that required a certain amount of damage control. Stock prices fell, members left in droves, but the company survived. That's why the powers that be at Netflix decided to keep Mister Hastings' salary the same, but to cut his stock compensation in half. He'll still pull in half a million dollars this year, but his stock options will be reduced from three million dollars to just one and a half million. Ouch.
That "ouch" assumes that you can feel it when someone skims one and a half million dollars off the top of the two million dollars you are making in a year. "Looks like that family trip on Virgin Galactic will have to wait until next summer, kids."
Happily, Congress just voted in the tax break extension, so he won't lose all that FICA money over the next couple of months while he struggles to make ends meet. Maybe he should consider cancelling his subscription to that DVD rental outfit - what's their name again?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The dollar value of his stock allocation will be reduced 50%, but the price of Netflix stock has dropped more than 50% in the past year. So he's actually getting a larger number of shares next year.