Good news keeps rolling in if you are an avid fan of Fox News. Up in Michigan they passed a law designed to neuter unions. Now another bit of good news! Hard-working Americans are doing better than ever.
Take Jim Skinner. According to Bloomberg, Skinner made $8.75 million last year, including overtime.
Skinner made that giant pile of cash because he works so incredibly hard as CEO of McDonald’s. You are probably asking yourself, “How does he do it?” How does he rise out of bed every morning and trudge off to work? Does he say to himself, “Well, suck it up Jim, you’re going to have to bust ass to earn (he’s going to need a calculator here) your $35,000 today.”
Well, Skinner can feel better now, knowing it’s less likely his work force will ever unionize. He puts on one of his $3,000 suits and off to work he goes.
Not too many miles away, in another part of Chicago, Tyree Johnson, 44, is also preparing for the workday ahead. Johnson holds down two part-time positions at two different McDonalds, and earns $8.25 per hour. Minimum wage in Illinois.
When Skinner reaches his office he knows he has several tough meetings ahead but understands he’s going to have to grind it out to get ahead. His secretary brings him the Wall Street Journal and a latte and he takes a minute to read about the union-busting in Michigan. He notes with satisfaction that the Koch brothers were behind the push to break the unions. Skinner remembers seeing their names on the Forbes 400.
Suddenly, he realizes he had better focus on work. You can’t expect to become a billionaire unless you’re willing to sweat.
Several miles away, a city bus has dropped Johnson off at work and he has started his shift. He’s trying to figure out how many hours he’s going to need to work to pay off a $900 doctor bill he just received. He doesn’t have health insurance, because he never gets the 40 hours needed, and he’s a part-time worker. About three weeks of pay. That ought to do it.
(Skinner has just taken a bathroom break and earned that much seated on the crapper.)
Mr. Skinner returns to his office and calls in his secretary to tell her to make out a check for $50,000 as a donation to the Republican National Committee. (He knows the fight against high taxes and unions isn’t over.) He grimaces a moment when he remembers that Obama wants to raise his taxes by 3%. “Damn it,” he mutters,” how am I supposed to live on what’s left when that happens?”
His secretary disappears and Skinner picks up the paper. Wal-Mart is fighting worker efforts to unionize too. Well, the new Michigan law should make it easier. That Forbes article still sticks in his head. He still has time before the meeting. So he clicks on his computer and searches for the original story.
Yes. He was right. Those Koch brothers and Walton siblings are hard workers. On the list of the 400 richest Americans they stand:
4. Charles Koch $31 billion
5. David Koch $31 billion
6. Christy Walton $27.9 b
7. Jim Walton $26.8 b
8. Alice Walton $26.3 b
9. S. Robson Walton $26.1 b
Is there really any wonder, in Michigan and elsewhere, that GOP lawmakers fear unions with their ridiculous wage demands? What next, Wal-Mart clerks expecting $13.50 an hour and not $12?
Skinner is proud to be an American when he looks at the list. There’s Sheldon Adelson in 12th place. “Isn’t he the guy who gave $100 million to GOP candidates in 2012,” the McDonalds CEO wonders. Well, he’s not greedy. He’s only got $20.5 billion.
Ron Perelman? Another hard-working American, not some unionized fire fighter or hard-hat bum in construction. Skinner nods approvingly, knowing Perelman made his fortune in leveraged buyouts—the very essence of job creation. Now he’s worth $11 billion.
There are all kinds of Wall Street names on the list. And there’s Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, at # 36. “Thank God for Murdoch”, Skinner thinks, “the only man willing to spread the truth about unions and their rapacious demands. Worth every penny of the $9.4 billion he has so far earned.”
Another name, far down the list, catches Skinner’s eye: Ann Walton Kroenke (#79), with a mere $4.5 billion.
“Well, every family has one loser.”
Mr. Skinner checks his watch and realizes the meeting he has scheduled for 9:30 is moments away.
In the last twenty minutes, seated at his desk, doing nothing more strenuous than bending a paperclip, the CEO has earned $1,458.33.
Down the street, Mr. Johnson is rushing to fill an order—sausage and egg biscuit, large coffee—for a policeman just off the night shift. In the same twenty minutes Tyree Johnson has made $2.75.
The policeman takes a seat in a booth near a television. He’s had a hard night, had to break up a fight involving gang members. Now he listens with half an ear, to Fox and Friends in the Morning.
Gretchen Carlson is all fired up, and calls the union-busting law up in Michigan “a victory for capitalism.”