Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Working for Peanuts Is All Very Fine . . ." If You Are a Billionaire Hedgefund Manager Who Hates Unions!

You won't look this good after an eighty hour week.


I took the plunge recently and applied for a full-time job as a sports director at an Illinois radio station.

The operations director at the station called me up, and we had a nice phone interview.  When we got to the end of the conversation, he sprang the salary on me.

"Uh, the job only pays about $26,000 a year, Jim, but you can do radio advertising sales and earn a little extra money," the operations director told me.

$26,000?! for a full-time 12 month a year job?  And if this job is like other radio jobs I've had, I'd be working 60+ hours a week.

Where are the labor unions when we need them?

A radio station owner once told me that he had trouble competing with jobs in the public sector.  "Government jobs pay too much," he said.  "I can't make any money or hold on to good people.  My station is a revolving door because people like you who teach school make way too much money."

This from a guy who owns at least seven radio stations and who owns two houses and acres and acres of farm land.

The media report regularly on the polarization of wealth in American society, and it's no joke.  The good paying jobs are in the public sector.  Look at all the ex-radio and newspaper people who have left the business and now work as "spokespersons" for governmental entities.

Ray Hanania
Every time there is a controversy in Cicero, I hear town spokesperson Ray Hanania, a former newspaper/radio guy on TV or radio.  Hanania makes a lot more money working for Mayor Larry Dominick in Cicero than he ever did pulling a weekend shift at WLS Radio in Chicago or writing for the Sun-Times.

When I left radio to become a teacher in 1981, the Fremd H.S. principal asked me how I could leave a career I had invested 9 1/2 years in for a job that pays less.

"Pays less?"  I said.  "I'm getting a $4,000 a year raise coming to work for you!"  He couldn't believe it.

The situation is even worse today.  Companies hire part-time workers in order to avoid paying benefits.  Wages are low and benefits are few.  A woman who was an award winning news reporter just left her radio station job because the station refused to pay her health insurance.  She left for a job with a non-profit organization.

Hedge fund billionaire and union hater Ken Griffin and his wife Anne.
Meanwhile, hedge fund managers like Ken Griffin rail against public employee unions and write op-ed pieces filled with lies.  In an op-ed piece in the Tribune last November, Griffin screamed that retired teachers get free health insurance.  I sat there wondering where the $12,000 +  I paid to the State of Illinois for my wife's and my health insurance went to.  Maybe into Griffin's pocket!

Griffin just gave $2.5 million to Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, another billionaire who never misses an opportunity to bash public employee unions and teachers.

You have to wonder when Griffin and Rauner will be happy.  When my teacher's pension and Social Security benefits are taken away and I'm working 80 hours a week doing news, sports, sales, and programming for $26,000 a year?

Nah!  These greedy bastards will never be satisfied.  Their greed and the greed of those billionaires in the so called "Civic Federation" know no bounds.

So despite the fact that there are some warts on faces of the unions, a good union is something that helps the middle class maintain its wage structure in the face of all the anti-union negativity.  When the media give Rauner and Griffin a platform to spout their anti-union venom, don't believe a word they say.  They just want more money for themselves.

Chicago Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold allows lies to be printed on his editorial page.
And to you media pawns like Bruce Dold, the editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune who give Rauner and Griffin the platform where they can spout their lies:  There's a nice warm place in hell waiting for you, buddy.  You, Dold, have scared downstate women teachers who are barely scraping by, by printing lies from Griffin and Rauner.

Burn in hell, liar!

1 comment:

  1. Jim...it's the story of supply and demand.

    Why aren't there more hedge fund managers? Because it's not a job which is easy to do well.

    When we were spinning 45's in Galesburg, it was pretty easy. Easier now. The computer selects the music lineup, stacks the spots, and even slots Voice Tracks which get recorded in about 15 minutes for a 4 hour show. Then, it's off to do something else.

    Broadcasting can be an easy, fun job with glamor and fame. So, lots of people want to do it. Supply and demand drives the pay scale lower. You won't work for the $26,000? Ok...thanks for considering us. NEXT? In comes some kid who has delusions of grandeur and WILL work for that. If the owner can't get some kid to take that, he'll program a sports network into that slot for barter.

    You get paid in glitz, not money....like the Florida jobs that pay in sunshine.

    Sadly, the day of having true broadcast professionals competing for jobs is gone. I'm just glad I was "end of career" as it came to an end. I spent 49 years in the business and only the last 8 or so did my employer do anything about a retirement fund. I count myself lucky I had those 8 years.

    As for teaching, I've taken a job as adjunct professor at the local community college, teaching 1 section of Intro to Meteorology and Climate. While it's part time, I'm making about the same as I made full time in radio in 1969. Pathetic. But I'm doing it for the joy of sharing my knowledge, not the income.

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