Mike Kueber's Blog

May 26, 2012

A banner day for the Express-News

A few days ago I posted in my blog about a banner edition of Parade magazine.  The entry was prompted by exceptional articles on Colin Powell and Kevin Costner.  Today, the San Antonio Express-News published its own banner edition, with four superlative articles:

  1. Politiqueras in the RGV.  This article about abusive voting practices by politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley was the only article of the four authored by a local writer – Lynn Brezosky.  Although Democrats often carp that Republican efforts to curb voter fraud are a solution in search of a problem – i.e., they deny that voter fraud is a problem – I have personally heard much anecdotal evidence that voter fraud is a serious problem, especially in communities with large numbers of poor, uneducated voters.    
  2. Grover Norquist’s “The Pledge.  This article, which the Express-News borrowed from the Washington Post, reports that a significant number of Republican congressional candidates, led by its most serious challengers to Democratic incumbents, have declined to sign Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”  One of the challengers noted his disappointment that only one of the Republican presidential candidates was willing to accept $10 in spending cuts in return for $1 in higher taxes.  Another said that he can make promises to the voters without signing a pledge circulated by a lobbyist.  Amen.  I previously blogged against the pledge, so this is an exceptionally promising development.   
  3. Pay inequity – first article.  The Express-News had two articles on pay inequity, both gleaned from the Associated Press.  The first article was on CEO compensation, and it reported that the “head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011….  That was up more than 6% from the previous year…. is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.”  Tellingly, the article noted that David Simon of Simon Properties earned the most – $137 million – and that an individual earning the national median annual pay of $39,312 would need to work 3,489 years to earn that much.  That is outrageous, and obviously the process for compensating CEOs needs to be reformed.
  4. Pay inequity – second article.  The second article on pay inequity was buried on page 6 of the Business section.   According to the article, the American Idol runner-up will no longer be guaranteed an album and $175,000.  Instead the runner-up guarantee will be only a few singles and $30,000, while the winner will continue to be guaranteed an album and $300,000.  The pay cut was justified, according to an industry expert, because viewership has dropped from 25 million to 20 million and because the previous albums have generally not been successful.  This change is outrageous, and obviously the singers are being exploited so that the producers and the celebrities can keep more of the money for themselves.  Reminds me of professional sports in the olden days before the athletes were unionized.       

Thanks, Express-News.  They say that newspapers are today’s dinosaurs.  I hope not.



  1. i believe that $9M would be the head of a “typical” fortune 200 company. my next door neighbor owns Circle E Candles (maybe 20 employees). when they interviewed me 7 or 8 years ago for plant manager the owner was making about $20M per year after taxes…

    Comment by Q — May 27, 2012 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

    • I, too, thought the phrasing with a bit fuzzy. Is “typical” median? Mean? The article did refer to publicly traded companies. I don’t know how many of those there are.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — May 28, 2012 @ 2:01 am | Reply

  2. all the companies listed on nyse, ase, nasdac, and the small boards…

    Comment by Q — May 28, 2012 @ 5:32 am | Reply

    • q, your response is a classic “begging the question.”

      Comment by Mike Kueber — May 28, 2012 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

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