My day started late this morning. Woke up to some pretty good thunderstorms and had to unplug my computer until the sound and fury subsided. Not that I minded all that much. Here in Texas we are desperate for rain, but unfortunately, this morning’s storm had less precipitation and lots more lightening and thunder. If we got even a quarter of an inch, that is a generous estimate.
As a result of the prolonged drought, almost the entire state is under a burn ban in an attempt to forestall any more wildfires. The Possum Kingdom Complex in North Texas and the Trans-Pecos Complex in West Texas are among several wildfires burning throughout the state. Since Jan. 1, wildfires have scorched more than 1.4 million acres and led to the deaths of two firefighters. So if it starts to storm again and I have to turn off my computer, I will do so gladly.
On another note, I read in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News that the managers of the Texas teachers’ retirement fund received over $8.2 million in bonuses this year. According to the story this is more than double what top employees in every other state agency combined have received since 2007. And while the managers have raked in large bonuses, thousands of retired teachers have not had a pension increase in ten years.
The rational for giving the huge payouts is that the bonuses attract the top talent in the investment business. That is the same rational given for the bonuses the top executives at Border’s Books are receiving, while hundreds of stores close and thousands of employees are laid off.
One would think that a company that is in bankruptcy would be restricted by law from allowing some executives to plunder the business that way, but there is no such law.
Why does it always have to be this way? We decry those who loot during riots, so why don’t we decry those who loot and plunder at the highest levels? All those bankers and mortgage experts who got us into the financial mess of 2008 are still in their expansive offices, raking in the dough.