Letters to the Editor

Moral compass

August 3, 2011


To the editor:

“Falling Into Poverty” meets “Kansas Athletics — Zenger reviewing 6-figure salaries,” a juxtaposition of tragic irony. Eighty-five percent (36 folks) of KA Inc. are paid $100,000-plus ($48 per hour plus benefits). Roy Coker made $9 per hour (no benefits). Thirty-six KA Inc. staff earn more than $100,000. Twenty-two thousand Douglas County residents are at poverty level. Maybe AD Zenger will review KA Inc.’s moral compass along with those salaries. Zenger said, “You deal with the hand you’ve been dealt.” I get it. The question is what hand will Zenger deal?

KA Inc. is not responsible for the Cokers’ desperate situation but serves as a metaphor for how we, as a society, are complicit by our complacency and participation in materialistic zeal and corrupt greed, the kind the fat cats on Wall Street and D.C. exalt over and encourage, the kind that’s contributed to the Cokers’ circumstances and the rising number of families “Falling Into Poverty.” They’re our neighbors. Many more ride the razor’s edge of poverty.

We’ll hope that KA Inc. chooses to model fiscal restraint, as many of us do. This economic crisis is far from over. KA Inc. plays a visible role in our community; the athletes are role models for our youth and so too the administrators for the athletes.

What’s vital is the Cokers’ stability and the fading “black cloud” of loss. If everyone in Douglas County donated $1, the Cokers would “earn” a KA Inc. salary. Not sure how to make that happen, but my dollar and I are willing.


cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Catherine: The "fat cats" you describe on Wall Street and in D.C. are far outnumbered by the cabal of fat cat liberals in Hollywood and its environs. The entire entertainment industry wallows in the kind of "materalistic zeal and corrupt greed" you castigate. And here's a real shocker for you, Catherine: Many of the most visible "fat cats" on Wall Street and in D.C. are liberal Democrats.

Physician, heal thyself.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

"I didn't see where she brought up any kind of politics at all,..."

Which is further confirmation of your serious lack of any understanding on that subject. Here's a primer: It's called "class warfare," and is practiced daily by liberal Democrats.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Your problem is that all you can do is call a response "incredibly silly," and then deny that class warfare is going on when Obama and his liberal Democrat enablers have done very little else for the last four weeks and this letter to the editor is a spot-on example of it.

In your world, does the sun rise in the west? Just curious.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Both sides aren't daily attempting to split the country apart through constant class warfare hurled at anyone in this country who has enjoyed a modicum of success.

You know that, the letter writer knows that, and the fact that neither of you wishes to put a stop to it is shameful.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

You obviously don't. Keep up the ad hominem barbs. That's obviously all you're capable of.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Again, you have done nothing but spew invective and personal insults since you signed up on July 26. You're either a previously-banned poster or someone who has signed on with only one object in mind.

tomatogrower 6 years, 7 months ago

Some of those in the athletic department might be liberals too. What's your point Cato? The writer was pointing out that there is something wrong in our country. It used to be if you worked hard you could have a decent life. We are paying ridiculous prices for necessities and entertainment, so executives and entertainers can have a lavish lifestyle, not just a good lifestyle, but lavish.

Those who can afford it feed into the problem by continuing to buy tickets to games and concerts, spending money at corporations who have created this inequality, and by thinking that someday they will be living that life too.

What is wrong with companies that no longer share the wealth with their employees? Why hasn't basic pay kept pace with basic living expenses? When did good employees become a burden, instead of an asset to a company? In the late 70's and early 80's, $9.00/hour would have given you a decent living. You would even have had health and life insurance.

But the people at the top got greedy, whether or not they were liberal or conservative. Greed took over. Some companies are considered failures because their profits didn't grow enough. Not that they didn't make a huge profit, and provided a living for many people, but that their profits didn't grow enough. Not that their profits didn't grow, just not enough. These companies' CEO's started short changing their workers to show a profit - no raises, no benefits. CEO shows a big unreal profit, CEO gets big bonus. Not a long term business plan, but a short sighted greedy "I've got mine, and I could care less if you get yours" attitude. Stability is no longer a priority.

Think of the jobs and innovations that could be created if corporations took all the money they put into buying politicians and put it into running the business. Think of all the jobs that could be created if CEO's were paid what they are really worth, not some fake celebrity amount. There are a lot of smart people out there, but companies act like the executives just can't be replaced. That's BS, and anyone with any sense knows it.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

More class warfare, tomato, in lockstep with your left-wing pals in D.C.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

Huh? I don't recall anyone on the Right ever having spewed venom daily against lower-income folks in order to make higher-income earners jealous of others who have lower incomes.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

cato's class warfare is only aimed at those whose politics he dislikes. It is, however, class warfare.

tomatogrower 6 years, 7 months ago

cato, I came up with all this with my own human experiences, not any left or right wing people anywhere. I was in my 20's during the '70 oil crisis, a young person just starting out. If I were to choose the time frame I would like to start out in, it wouldn't be now. I made just above minimum wage and could afford to rent a house, a real house, not an apartment. Try and do that now. Why hasn't the pay kept up with the basic living prices?

SnakeFist 6 years, 7 months ago

Right-wingers certainly do engage in class warfare with their simple-minded us-versus-them populist rhetoric against academics, public employees (especially those who belong to unions), politicians, and the "elites" who bother to base their opinions on facts rather than simple-minded uninformed "common sense" (i.e., caveman intuition).

Tellingly, right-wingers believe "professor", "intellectual", "public service", and "expert" are all derogatory terms.

Brock Masters 6 years, 7 months ago

I just have to ask, how does paying people, like those making 100k less, help those living in poverty? The money not paid to those making 100k will not go to people like the Cokers so what is the point of bringing the wages of everyone down?

ModerateOne 6 years, 7 months ago

Like. Moreover, how is society as a whole benefitted if the Cokers are given $80,000? Perhaps it is the right and moral thing to do for the Cokers, but what about other people even less fortunate than the Cokers? For that matter, what about people who are more fortunate than the Cokers? Do the Cokers deserve to receive $80,000 even though the guy who makes $100,000 at Kansas Athletics works 55 hours a week and actually receives less than $80,000 (because more than $20,000 goes to pay various income, property, and sales taxes)?

And lastly, who should get to decide these questions?

justme2 6 years, 7 months ago

Excellent point Catherine. It's a shame when any community members fall into the situation that the Coker's now find themselves in. The social service agencies in this town are great but they are stretch beyond all limits and are unable to meet the demand, thus everyday people such as the Cokers may find it even harder to find relief.

The disparity in income levels in this country is a disgrace, no matter which side of the political circus you may be on.

Kasha 6 years, 7 months ago

These ridiculous comments sound like an extension of the pathetic Tea Party politics used so disgustingly in extending our national debt limit. Not EVERYTHING is about politics! Show some compassion, and get on the backs of the Athletic Department for their immoral salaries.

Brock Masters 6 years, 7 months ago

Why are the salaries immoral? Have the employees committed some fraud in obtaining the salaries? Or perhaps they don't work hard enough or long enough hours? Or maybe they did invest enough in their education and work hard enough before getting the job to suit your definition of moral?

Please explain why they are immoral and point out that line that defines a moral and immoral salary.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 7 months ago

I, too, would like to know what constitutes a moral salary and what constitutes an immoral salary. Is it a dollar amount? Who is judging? Is a $4,000,000 gross salary moral or immoral?

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

So the LTE is specifically pointing out that certain folks in KU athletics are making 100+. Well, aren't there folks working for the city that make that much, too? Why are they an exception? Are you saying that folks who work at athletics don't deserve their salary? Coaches don't earn their salary with their expertise and experience? Who is to say they aren't generous with their time and money (and I know many are).

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

Is playing up the plight of SRS a bad thing? I guarantee you, they discuss it far less in the paper than they do sports.

Aiko 6 years, 7 months ago

Please look up the meaning of the word "guarantee".

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

A guarantee is a promise or assurance of something. I promise and assure you that the paper discusses sports far more often than they do the plight of the SRS. What is your point?

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