Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Why Contentment is Better than Entitlement

Be thankful for what you’ve got

Is there something wrong with me that I wouldn't feel comfortable accepting an annual income of one million pounds or more, or even anything approaching that?  Do I just not have enough self-esteem to think I am worth it?

Or could it be that we should view people who accept such inflated salaries as having the problem?  How can anyone reasonably justify being paid so much when  others are paid so little?

Stephen Hester was being interviewed on the Today Programme this morning and did not show any sign of believing that neither he nor anyone else is worth a million pounds in payment a year, never mind several millions more in bonuses.  Rather he seemed more interested in emphasising how important banking is for the economy.

Sadly Stephen Hester is not alone in believing he is worth millions of pounds a year. Why can this man not see the inequity of his situation?  Perhaps he gives a great deal of money to charity to help those less well off than himself, but we haven't heard that he does.

What do people like this spend their money on?  Why can they not be content with a comfortable home and the trappings of a comfortable life, which can be obtained for substantially less than one million pounds a year?  What drives them to require more than they really need?  Isn't this a form of greed, a form of unsatisfied hunger perhaps because they are so insecure they can never have enough put by for a rainy day, or because they are the ones with low self-esteem, so low that however high they rise up the ladder and however much they are paid they never feel it is enough?

Are not people who appear to have an insatiable craving for high position, power and wealth as much in need of psychiatric help as those who despair of ever finding a job and have learnt to survive on the scraps society throws them in the form of benefits? Or is their moral compass so disturbed that they are unable to see the enormous inequity of their situation?  Should we feel sorry for them and send them for counselling or are they criminals who should be sent to gaol?  What is the generous attitude to such a lack of generosity?

This cartoon seemed apposite

Surely the 21st century is the time to stop reinforcing immoral Victorian values such as the large gap between the poor and the wealthy and making our country much more equal at last. Victorian values were generally not that great and should be outmoded by now.

Let us not be ruled by the modern barons of banking and big business with their threats that undermining their power will damage our economy.  Let us stand our ground and see just what will happen if the businesses with high turnovers are forced to pay a fair level of tax and big bosses of all kinds are only paid up to 10 times more the hourly rate their cleaners and other low paid employees are paid. Some may leave, but not all and perhaps not most. Our economy needs to find its proper level.

We need to address the pay of the lowest paid who do not earn a living wage.  In some cases this enables you and me to buy cheaper goods but they are not really so cheap as we must also pay these people housing benefit etc out of our taxes. Taxpayers should not be subsidising stingy employers or tight-fisted customers and besides if someone works full time and to the best of their ability they should be afforded the dignity of no longer needing state handouts.


  1. We hear about these bonuses in corporations every year & I think their lives must be lacking in some way to make them feel they deserve them.

    The fact that the government owns a huge stake of RBS makes it wrong on so many levels.

    Perhaps education is where we should start in encouraging young people to be more responsible & considerate towards others.

  2. Kay, I agree that teaching our children and young people better values such as responsibility and consideration towards others would be a very good start.


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