CEOs are getting huge bonuses for figuring out ways to cut the paychecks to workers, and by doing so improving their company's bottom line. An amazing fact is that these superhumans (who else deserves hundreds of millions for screwing the company's employees) at the same time managed to contribute to the decline in company's performance. So a company hires the latest and greatest superhuman CEO and signs a contract that in case the CEO screws up he (or she) will get a golden parachute filled with millions of dollars taken from company employees.
Isn't it great? These executives know that no matter what they will get their millions. And I have been wondering: if a McDonald's employee will screw up - let's say forget to flip the hamburger and gets fired. What kind of parachute will he (she) get? Not even a hamburger, probably. "Pay gap between top CEO and average Joe continues to widen." http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/top-ceo-average-joe-pay-gap-continues-to-widen-683621/#ixzz2T0QdyjzU
It says that "...CEOs of the largest U.S. companies were paid an average of $12.3 million last year -- 354 times more than the average U.S. worker who made $34,645, according to a study released Monday by the AFL-CIO.
That works out to a weekly paycheck of $236,538 for the average top executive compared with $666 for the average worker. Put another way, it took the average CEO roughly six hours to make what the average worker made working all year. That was by far the widest pay gap in the world, the Washington, D.C.-based labor group said."
J.C. Penny Ronald Johnson* General Merchandise Stores got $1.9 million after he was fired plus $53.3 M in 2011. Average employee compensation at J.C. Penny is $29,688. "Johnson received a compensation package worth $53.3 million for 2011, $52.7 million of which came in a special stock award. He earned $1.9 million in 2012, receiving only 44% of his target cash compensation in view of the company's poor results, and did not get a stock award."
Poor guy. Please feel sorry for him and all these people who get millions regardless of their performance. He has been punished. Severely! He received just 1.9 million in 2012 and did not get a stock award! Wow. And he got to feed his family!
Ron. why don't you go and complain to J.C. Penny and complain to your former employees about this injustice!
I am sure they will understand.
If we want to make a difference in this society and if we really care, then we shouldn't speak up only when we have nothing better to do. Don’t wait until you “ find the time for it.” If you really care, you will find the time to fight for what you know is right and not just if a policy directly affects you.
There is such human trait as compassion. Kindness. Desire to help. When you look at a kid who is hungry - for you it is your child. Not somebody's poor kid. You don't think “my kids are fine” and go about your “important” things to do.
If you really care, if you feel strongly about any issue like guns or student loans or hunger or poverty you speak up. You don't look for an excuse as why you are not doing it. No. You do it, you let your voice to be heard because you feel that you have to. You want to scream. You want to fight. Because you have to. You fight against greed and hatred and stupidity. You fight because indifference, violence bigotry goes against the very fabric of your being. You raise your voice because that is who you are. It is like water and air. You feel poisoned seeing all the injustice in our country, in the world.
People who act because they cannot be quiet do not need “motivation”. People who speak up against injustice,
against stupidity and racism feel hurt when somebody else is hurting. They don't do it for rewards or recognition.
So silent majority please be honest with yourselves and admit that you don't really care. As long as it does not affect you directly. Don't look for “good” excuse to quiet your conscience. Just look at yourself in the mirror while nobody is watching and admit to your image that you don't really care enough. And by doing so you, at last, will be honest.
When I was 3 or 4 I would wake up at night crying and mom would pick me up
And the bad dream would go away
I was 4 and my sister was 16 when my father was arrested and mom was left with two of us.
On just mom's salary, we struggled to survive
Our vegetable garden helped give us fresh food.
Mom made clothes for us.
Many of our relatives were afraid to stay near the family of the “Enemy of the people”
We were basically alone.
My sister went to college far away because mom feared for her safety as the daughter of the “Enemy of the people”
I remember crying when mom left to visit father in Siberia.
Not sure why I was crying so hard.
It must have broken her heart.
Mom was 40 or 41.
She traveled for a week in a freight train carrying criminals to jail
My grandmother took care of me when mom was away.
Grandma could hardly walk so I was doing whatever I wanted to do, spending most of the time on the street.
Only when I grew up did I understand how hard it had been for mom to raise two kids alone.
It did not help that I was not well-behaved.
But I knew mom would take care of me when I came home dirty and bleeding. She always did.
Father was rehabilitated after Stalin died and came home when I was 8.
I remember bottles covering the floor for weeks.
All of a sudden we had a lot of friends.
I was not used to having a father. Life changed.
Mom was happy. It lasted 3 years
One evening my father was in a bed. He called out to me and asked for mom.
He had a heart attack.
Bypass surgery was not an option in those years. Father was at home.
I slept in the same room.
Every night I listened to his breathing, afraid to fall asleep.
He passed away on the fourth night.
I was 11, mom was 45.
She never remarried out of concern for us, her kids.
Mom worked in a kindergarten, then in a boarding school.
Money was tight but mom made sure that her kids are OK.
I remember working in our vegetable garden.
Grandma could hardly walk so she was sitting on the ground weeding the garden.
We all knew our survival depended on our garden.
I left for the technical school in Minsk after 8th grade.
Only now I realize how hard it must have been for mom to send me away.
We did not have a phone in the dorm and I was pretty bad at writing letters on time
So I would get a telegram from mom saying, “Are you all right? Please call”
Then I would go to the post office and call. I still feel guilty about it.
Shortly after I was drafted into the Army, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia.
Reservists were called and our unit was next to go to Czechoslovakia.
All communication with our families stopped. Later mom told me how scared she was for me.
There is so much that we kids do not understand. So much that we do not appreciate about what our mothers are going through, worrying for us. Many of us start to understand when we become parents.
But sometimes it is too late.
I cannot go back in time.
Mom was so happy when I got married, finally.
And she was devastated when we told her about our plans to emigrate.
Especially because our daughter, Inna, was born.
Mom was sure she will never see us again.
Mom used to write to relatives in Chicago but she burned all the letters and addresses after father was arrested. But she gave us the only connection that was left – my aunt in Israel
That is how we found our relatives in Chicago.
And Esther Ecker was like a mom to us.
After 10 years in America, I went back to visit.
When mom saw me she could not stop crying.
I think that is when she decided to visit us. Mom was 78.
Soon after, mom and my sister with her family came to America.
We were all together again.
I think these were the happiest years in mom's life.
Our American family loved her.
By that time I got better and called her every day.
Mom was 89 when she went to the hospital complaining about pain in her back.
I think all the tests and tubes and more tests really affected her.
After two days, mom came home feeling very weak.
I visited her that evening.
When I was leaving and said goodbye, she looked at me.
I remember her eyes.
Later, I realized that she knew.
She passed away that night.
What I realized that through all these hard times she was never angry or bitter.
Her smile was special and her life an inspiration.
Sophe Maschebet Greenwald. Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of 6 children, (I found this out when I was 50 years old, she had a still birth child and always remembered the baby that died). My mother was quiet, beautiful (she had been asked to go to Hollywood as a teenager, but her father said 'no way"), expert Jeopardy player while sitting at home watching TV, and good cook: roast Chicken with French dressing was her specialty. I never saw my Mom get angry. But she had trouble making up her mind, to my benefit as I will tell. My mom was easy fertile, easy to get pregnant, she had been pregnant 20 times, and had abortions now and then. Yes. One day in 1943, while lying on the doctor's table, she couldn't decide if she wanted an abortion or another child. Minutes went by, she said maybe she already had enough kids, maybe she didn't. I remember when we would all go out to dinner, she would change her mind, yes, no, yes, no, maybe, no....can you wait a few minutes while I put on my make-up. We waited and then she made her entrance, always beautiful. Back to 1943, Sophie decided she wanted another, she climbed off the doctor's table in Miami Beach, got dressed and went home. That was the true beginning of my life, in 1944 I was born. Thanks Mom, for life, for roast Chicken, for being decisive at an indecisive time. Without you, I would have never known Susie, Jerome, Alisa, Beth, Darius, Bella or Anni. What a great decision!
To my mother, Maria Stamm, because she is helpful, cheerful, optimistic, adventurous, brave, concerned for others, treasured by her coworkers and friends.
By Lina Kotlyar
My mother was born in the city of Nikolaev in Ukraine on July 12, 1932. Her parents Lubov and Danil Varshavsky had three children. She had an older and a younger brother.
The first nine years of her life she spend in Nikolaev. As a little girl she wanted to become a ballerina.
June 22nd of 1941 changed her life forever. The German Army invaded the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War started.
My grandfather was drafted to the Army. My grandmother made a decision to evacuate to the city of Tashkent in Central Asia that was 2000 miles away.
On the way to Tashkent their train was bombed, but they survived and continued the journey. At one of the stops, my grandmother went to get some hot water. When she came back, the train with her three children was gone. The youngest child was two and a half years old. My mother was 9 and her older brother was 11.
In the chaos of evacuation, my grandmother was frantically looking for her children. After two months of search, she found one child in a hospital and two others in two different orphanages. They were all sick from malnutrition.
After three months of traveling they arrived to Tashkent without any personal items, money, or food. Luckily, my grandmother’s sister lived in Tashkent. The family shared their small house for one year. Later, my grandmother rebuilt a small hut nearby, and the family lived there for 18 more years until the earthquake destroyed it in 1966.
From 1947 till 1954 the family shared these accommodations with a cow. The left wing was occupied by a cow, and the right wing by the family. Although, after I was born my mother had to go back to work after 3 months of maternity leave and the cow was sold because my grandmother had to take care of me.
My mother started to work when she was 13-years old in a factory that was sewing women’s underwear. She worked during the day, but attended evening classes in school. Since that time she never stopped working. Even now, at 80 she still works part time.
In our family, my mother was always a breadwinner. Wherever she worked, her peers and management always respected her. Eventually, she was able to build a relatively comfortable life in Tashkent. After the earthquake, she received a state apartment and bought modern furniture. Later, she even bought a car, which was very unusual in the Soviet Union during those days.
At the age of 47, my mother abandoned her comfortable, by Soviet standards, life and came to USA to start over. I think that it was very brave and adventurous for her to do that, but she believed for better life for her children and grandchildren.
She studied English, worked in a hotel as a housekeeper, and in an alteration shop as a tailor. Two years after arrival, she was able to start her own cleaning and alteration business.
She is very optimistic. She believes she could do anything. At the age of 45 she decided to learn driving. In the Soviet society, very few women dared to drive.
The word “Yes” has always been her favorite word. She would not hurt anyone’s feeling with a negative reply. She gladly agrees to do anything people ask. Moreover, she would say “Yes” even if she did not understand the question.
It seems to me that the main focus of her life is to help people. She has been actively participating in upbringing her 6 grandchildren. She helped distant and close relatives, friends, acquaintances, and numerous strangers. In the early 90s, the emigration from the Soviet Union increased. She helped her numerous relatives and other newcomers with food, clothes, transportation, and encouragements.
My daughter, Lisa wrote a tribute to her grandmother on her 70th b-day celebration. Lisa listed the top 10 reasons for being a Grandchild of Maria Stamm. Here are few of them.
- You have the best rate in town to get your clothes mended or altered.
- You know who to ask if you need any empty bottles or jars to store food in.
- Within 5 minutes of her visiting your home, she starts cleaning or cooking something.
- She is always eager to give you fashion and hair advice.
- She can teach you how to parallel park because of her expertise from her city lifestyle.
- You can always recognize her car from afar because of the unusually large amount of pillows and other unidentifiable objects in it.
- She is the only person (I know at least) who can mistakenly drive to the wrong city, hundreds of miles away from her destination, when going on vacation, and still somehow unite with the cruise ship, already charting its course.
- Her response to any request is always “yes”, even if she does not know what the request is. “No” is not a part of her vocabulary.
My mother is an inspiration to me because she is compassionate, tireless, and optimistic.
When I introduced Nathan to my parents, my mom's first question was if Nathan would be open to the idea of leaving the Soviet Union. Only after receiving a positive answer from him did she give her blessing for us to marry. In 1977, the borders opened up and Jews were allowed to leave the Soviet Union. Although my parents could not leave, my mother insisted on Nathan and I applying to leave with our newborn, Inna; she didn’t want us to miss this opportunity. What struck me was the courage my mother had to push her only child and only grandchild (and of course her only son-in-law) out of the country. She did not know if and when there would be another chance and if they would be able to join us later. But the dream of a better life for her children prevailed over any argument as to why now might be a wrong time to leave.
I do not remember lots of hugs and kisses from my mother. I do not remember conversations praising me on my achievements. I do not remember my mom saying, "I love you." But I do remember the sacrifices she made to feed my sick dad and I at a time when food was scarce and their paychecks were not enough. I do remember the efforts my mother made to get us out of the country despite every obstacle. I do remember her enormous help around the house despite her dislike of housekeeping when she and my father came to this country. I do remember her learning English at the age of 56. She was in a new country with a new language and she wanted to be able to talk to her grandchildren. She did not want to depend on her children if she needed to make a phone call, fill out an application, etc.
She still does not like to trouble us if she needs something. The only thing she asks is for us to call once a day. I love my mom because she does not wait for my call - she calls us every day.
(I would have said “she calls once a day” but this is a massive understatement according to Nathan)
I am writing about my mother-in-law, Evelyn “El” Rosenblum. Sadly, I knew El for only 8 years before she died. But she earned my love and respect immediately. One could argue that she was so overjoyed/grateful/relieved that a “nice Jewish” girl (or any girl for that matter) was dating her youngest son, that she was extra nice in order to lure me in. But, even once I was “hooked”, she continued to be warm and loving and welcoming.
My first memory of El was when she (along with Carolyn/Larry and Terry/Bernie) “joined” Howard and me on our second date. (They all wanted to come on our first date, but Howard put his foot down on that one.) Howard had told his family that we were going to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert, and they decided that they’d like to see that show too. They sat about 6 rows in front of us in tiered seating and spent 50% of the time watching the show and 50% of the time craning their necks to watch us.
I remember, too, the time she called Howard early one morning to see how his date went the night before. “How’d it go last night?” I heard her ask. Howard shot up in bed, bumbling and fumbling. “Oh, is she there now?” El asked hopefully? “
So later, when she confided in me that Benita was the only one of her children who had ever lied to her, I knew she was wrong. When I told Bernie, Howard and Carolyn what El had said, Bernie and Howard smiled with the knowledge that they had, in fact, pulled it off for all those years. Carolyn just sat there innocently.
Oh yes, and I remember another early date that we all went on to hear a speaker. Ruth Dansky nudged her way over to El, and “whispered”, Who is she?, “furtively” glancing back at me. El whispered back, “Her name is Cathy and he likes her”.
When Tali came along, El was the best grandma – even though she’d already been a grandma for nearly 30 years! And when baby Noah was born, she looked at him lovingly and sadly, knowing that she wouldn’t be around to watch him grow up. And 2 years later, she was gone.
In the short span of years we had together, El got the satisfaction of knowing her little Howard was a happily married doctor with 2 beautiful children. And, she became an inspiration and model to me - of a loving mother and wife, a devoted sister, an adoring and involved grandmother and great-grandmother, and a woman for whom family was the most important thing. Her heart would be warmed to know how close her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins have remained – thanks to the seeds of love she planted long ago.
Happy Mother’s Day, El. We all miss you very much.
This was written in 2007 and read at my mom's funeral. It comes from my heart and brings tears to my eyes 6 years later.
Friday was a difficult day for this family. My sister Abbey, whom, my wife Marilee and I thank so much for shouldering much of Mom’s care these last these hard years and I lost our only mom. My brother-in-law Max and Marilee lost their second mom, Uncle Marty his only sister, Alisa, Helaine, Hope, Barrie, Wendy and Dara lost their last grandma, and 14 children lost a special, special great-grandma.
Only in this crazy family could three sisters and a brother name their first born the same name, Rozy. To differentiate them, they were called Big Rozy, Little Rozy, Moe’s Rozy, and just plain Rozy. Ours was just plain Rozy, but there was nothing plain about her. To my knowledge, she only earned two prizes in her lifetime: one, a beauty contest when she was a little girl and the other bronzed booties for warming our hearts and feet when she was 90. But she was a world-class mommy, grandma, and great-grandma
My friend John Ungashick related to me that when George Washington died, The Federalist Party said it had lost its tent pole. He held up his political party, the Federalists. Indeed, a few years after his death, the Federalists disappeared. Our family won’t disappear without our Rozy, but it won’t be the same.
In many ways, my Mom was our tent pole. She was tough; she was brash; she was loud, she could embarrass; she was fiercely loyal to and defensive of those she loved; she was so real; she was so warm. She not only held us up; she held us.
I can still remember at about the age of seven while waiting in line to see the Christmas Show at the Radio City Music Hall being squished between her warm body and her Persian lamb’s wool coat as only she could squish. No one could warm you like my mom. I touched her after she died and that warmth was still there. It seemed that even death could not take it away
Mom was lucky… she lived a long life; she got to see 13 great grandchildren in person, and she saw Xena’s picture which I showed to her just hours before she died. I know she saw it. I know it made her happy. I watched her open her eyes and felt her squeeze my hand as each of my daughters said goodbye to her. Between her pained breathing she mumbled something each time. It was so hard to understand, but one time I could make it out, and it was “I love you." That’s what mom was so good at -- loving you.
For her great grandchildren: I give you a little history lesson
When she at your age Xena, the Titanic was being built
When she was as old as you Sita and August, WWI started
When she was as old as you Harry and Ruben, the 1916 Model T Ford was first produced for $250
Sophie, the Russian Revolution broke out when she was your age.
Orlando, when she as a old as you she survived the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic
Jack, when she was ten, women first got the right to vote
Amy at your age in 1927, Charles Lindberg was the first to fly solo the Atlantic
Casey and Brooke, she was 18 when 1929 Great Depression occurred
Robert, at 21 she voted for her first President, FDR
David, 22 it was a good year. Prohibition came to an end
At Jeff’s age, things became terrible for this world as Hitler invaded Poland and World War II began.
Grandma survived WWII, the death of Kennedy, the landing on the moon, 911 and almost made to the end of “Bush-that bastard's” (her term) term of office.
She was with us a long time, but not long enough. I always say at occasions like this "There are so few people who love you. It is such a loss to lose one." This is one helluva loss.
Mom, you knew how to love. Oh how we will we all miss those hugs. Mommy, I love you so much.