I’ve decided that I will email my state reps on every furlough day that I don’t have classes. I’d like to encourage all fellow students to do the same! Maybe if we can make enough noise, we can actually reverse this ridiculous trend of mortgaging our future…
In general, furloughs are on the rise as Robert Reich points out: “At the same time, furloughs — requiring workers to take unpaid vacations — are on the rise: recent surveys show 17% of companies imposing them.”
Yet, the highest paid CEOs in 2008 forked in the money: Goldman Sachs ($42,946,801), American Express ($42,940,941) and Citigroup ($38,237,437). They alone could’ve closed the CSU budget gap with a pay cut. Well, okay, maybe not quite, the funding cut enacted by the California legislature and the governator was $584 million… Certainly they could’ve also used that money to prevent layoffs at their own companies. For example, the number of employees laid off by Citigroup in 2008 was 75,000. (See the most excellent report from the Institute for Policy Studies on “America’s Bailout Barons” for more information).
There is something seriously wrong with a society where CEOs make 319 times what the average worker makes; where education budgets are slashed forcing students and teachers to scramble to avoid the almost inevitable decrease in the quality of education. Instead of No Child Left Behind testing, education should be adequately funded – from kindergarten through grad school. If we’d curb the executive excesses, we would be able to prevent financial bubbles (and meltdowns) and adequately fund the future of our children. All of our children, not just the kids of the rich executives.