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by Peter Moskos

October 5, 2013

Union Effin' Power!

Do Carnegie Hall stage hands really make $400,000 a year? I first thought this was some urban right-wing anti-labor myth (I was all ready to file this under "right-wing lies").

But actually, well, they do. (Or at least close to it.) Holy sh*t!

Susan Adams of Forbes wrote this great piece explaining the why.

In short, why do they make so much money? For the same reason dogs lick their... boo-yah: Because they can!

Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director pulled in $1,113,571. Why not complain about that?

These aren't government employees. You don't pay their salary (unless you're a patron of Carnegie Hall). So just what makes you so upset? These are skilled private workers. And, unlike some manual labor, actually, no, you cannot do their job.

Think of it this way: why is it OK for baseball players and executives to make as much as they can... but as soon as people who actually work and sweat for a living make as much as they can, people start bitching.

John Hammergren. Ever heard of him? Me neither. But he was paid $131 million last year. His net income was more than $1 billion! What the f*ck?! Michael Fascitelli? Doesn't ring a bell. And he lost his shareholders money last year while being "compensated" $64 million (his net income? $830 million). George Paz? Maybe him I should know him. Because he's the CEO of Express Scripts. That's the annoying company that makes me mail-order my asthma medicine and charges me too much for the inconvenience. This is the kind of medicine, like most medicine, that is cheaper when I buy it without "insurance" while traveling in foreign countries. Mr. Paz also lost money for his shareholders last year. Meanwhile his "compensation" was $51.5 million (with a net income of $1.29 billion). About $1,000 of that is mine, motherf*cker!

So more power to the Local One for making buko dough! Don't be a hater just because you're jealous. Just tax the high-earning SOBs! And if you want to make more money for your work (and who doesn't?), perhaps you should start supporting rather than breaking your local unions.

And, just for the record, the stage hands were not striking over money. They were striking to defend the strength of the union that has given them so much power. And, in my humble opinion, the settlement seems fair.

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