Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan has had this to say about the supposed 400 million dollar compensation package given to retiring Exxon CEO Lee Raymond:
"There can be no more compelling evidence that the price gouging and market manipulation which has produced record oil prices is out of control, and is working to serve the forces of individual greed and corporate gluttony at the painful expense of millions of American consumers," Dorgan said.
Wow, does this guy sound like a villain from an Ayn Rand novel or what? First off, a big chunk of this "compensation" was in the form of stock options, all of which were issued over five years ago. Exxon wasn't intending to compensate Raymond at this level, it is just that the company (and hence the stock) has done remarkably well during his tenure.
Second, Raymond has spent his life making sure that there was plenty of gas to pump into the tanks of our cars. Athletes like Andre Agassi and media types like Oprah and Tom Cruise make the same type of money as Raymond, and I don't recall that any of them have ever done anything for me (although Agassi was nice to my oldest daughter, once). How come no subpoenas from the Senate about the "gluttony" of some of these folks?
Don't get me wrong, I have no beef with what Oprah and like make; they didn't point a gun to anyone's head to get paid at that level, and I presume they earned every penny. It is just that no one ever talks about the "obscene" amounts made by celebrities. It seems that this kind of talk only happens when some business type gets his.