Today, we at CarseatBlog have authorized AIG to issue bonus payments on the order of $1 million dollars to each of our readers.  That’s right!  You deserve it!  Please direct your inquiries on how to obtain your bonus payment to your local US Representative or Senator, at which time they will meet behind close doors and debate if you are important enough to get free $$$$ like all their buddies.

I have to chuckle about the bonus payments.  Financial institutions base compensation for many employees as salary+bonus.  In some cases, the bonus is the major part of their income and maybe even necessary to make a living.  In others, it’s hundreds of thousands or millions on top of an even larger base salary.  Usually, the bonus is arranged well in advance and often based on how profitable the company, employee and/or employee’s division has been.  We’ve been told the AIG bonuses were arranged sometime last year.  You know, last year when AIG was doing so well that it was profitable?  Not.  You know, when the powers that be decided that the executives in the division that took AIG down deserved 218 million bucks for a “job well done”?  LOL. 

Oh wait, we were also told that this was a “retention” bonus, something essential in order to keep the best talent from going elsewhere.  At least in this case, I’m thinking it really wasn’t the kind of talent you wanted to keep, even based on conditions a year ago.  I’m also thinking there aren’t a lot of places for them to go in this era of double digit unemployment and failing banks, especially for AIG financial executives who drove a company into the sewer.  So, I think we have a better case for CarseatBlog reader bonuses, because it’s a fact that we don’t want our readers to go elsewhere and I know every single one of you deserves a bonus more than any AIG executive.

I wonder if those contractual obligations that required these bonuses to be paid would have stood up if the company failed into bankruptcy last year?  Sadly, CarseatBlog isn’t near bankruptcy, so I suspect our shot at million dollar bonuses is a long one.  Though deserving, we never got a bailout, either.  Can you imagine the advocacy we could do with the bonus of even one of the 73 bumbling executives that just got a reward of 1 million dollars or more?  If nothing else, I think Marvin deserves a $218 million dollar pork barrel monument project.  I guarantee that would help a lot more unemployed workers than would bonuses to ultra wealthy, corporate executives.

Anyway, this all reminds me of the shenanigans that happened to our Safe Kids Coalition back in 2001.  Most Safe Kids Coalitions and Chapters are operated by a lead agency, usually a hospital or public [county] health department.  Some lead agencies are police, fire or other non-profits.  I live in DuPage County, a collar county near Chicago.  It’s relatively affluent, especially compared to the hundreds of rural or inner city counties across the country whose health departments are lead agencies for a Safe Kids organization.

Shortly after I first got involved with our Coalition, the county laid off a number of employees, citing budget problems.  This included the half-time coordinator of the Safe Kids coalition.  The health department decided they would no longer be the lead agency at that point and basically dumped the program.  The part I liked best was how the same week, county board members voted for a tidy raise to their compensation package.  Some budgetary problems, eh?  These conservatives have voted themselves various raises, since then, too, as layoffs continued.  Surprisingly or not, multiple democrats were elected to the county board for the first time last November.  Not that I hold much hope that anything will change.

It doesn’t matter if government is run by republicans or democrats, by fiscal conservatives or liberals, by a reformer or a stick in the mud.  Once they get into office, they seem to lose all touch with reality.  Now that the government owns AIG, do we really think it will be run any better than it was by corporate executives?  Regardless, I’d be very happy if the DuPage County Health Department or other local entity would take on Safe Kids as a lead agency, moving our affluent area out of the dark ages when it comes to unintentional injury prevention for children.  I suspect the odds of positive change in finance company management and finding a lead agency for our Safe Kids chapter are about the same.