Sam Polk for the New York Times:
Only a wealth addict would feel justified in receiving $14 million in compensation — including an $8.5 million bonus — as the McDonald’s C.E.O., Don Thompson, did in 2012, while his company then published a brochure for its work force on how to survive on their low wages. Only a wealth addict would earn hundreds of millions as a hedge-fund manager, and then lobby to maintain a tax loophole that gave him a lower tax rate than his secretary.
My human resources teacher recently discussed the definition of "disabilities" in the workplace. By the law in Manitoba, employers must accommodate alcohol, gambling, drug and sex addictions in the workplace. My jaw dropped.
And ironically enough, I stumbled upon this article in the New York Times the same day. Does "wealth addiction" classify as a workplace disability? How does one classify a wealth addiction in the workplace?
Sam's age upon entry into the wealth addiction plays no small part in the resulting consequences. Anybody in their early 20s is at a point of vulnerability in their learning and experience. Consider new tech startups: million dollar — potentially billion dollar — valuations for a group of early 20-somethings must alter respect and value of money. Sam relates to this feeling by outlining a new experience:
At the end of my first year I was thrilled to receive a $40,000 bonus. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have to check my balance before I withdrew money.
I could not fathom the feeling.
The inordinate sums of money thrown around in this article remove it from the "general population" category. But I'm sure wealth addiction can be found in any community anywhere in the world. Which is scary, considering we may be living in the midst of wealth addicts and never know the terrible disparity.