Progressivism is quickly evolving into a pretty standard religious system. They have am unholy sacrament as the pinnacle of their religious experience in the form of offering babies on the altar of choice. They have a priesthood made up of "woke" members of the media, entertainment world, academia and liberal traditional religions. They have sacred faith-affirming stories like Jussie Smollett and Trayvon Martin. They have their own eschatology with a duality of outcomes. In one ending the forces of "good" win and we reach an earthly utopia where white people are eliminated (except for a few good whites and homosexuals) and no one suffers from want. In the other apocalyptic possible outcome, greed and white supremacy reign supreme and we all die from climate change (or net neutrality or repealing Obamacare, whatever, it is going to be bad)
Of course the progressive religion has heretics. People who don't unquestioningly accept "climate change" are derisively labeled "climate deniers". Anyone who suggests that maybe it isn't healthy for society to have men marrying men and transvestite men being allowed into girl's locker rooms and competing against actual women in women's sports are "homophobic" or the newer anathema "transphobic". Much to the chagrin of today's progressive jihadi, you are not allowed to actually burn heretics at the stake or behead them or any of the other lovely historic ways of killing heretics. But you can unperson them via social media, doxxing, trying to make them unemployable and even keep them from using basic services like banking.
You can't even say something mildly nice about heretics. Joe Biden made an off hand comment about Vice-President Mike Pence being a "decent guy". That Pence is a decent guy is so self-evident as to not even need saying. If anything he is often mocked for his policy, which now seems incredibly prescient in an era of bogus #MeToo accusations, of not being out alone with women other than his wife. But one time, many years ago, Pence was insufficiently outspoken against therapy to assist people who wanted to rid themselves of deviant sexual urges and has forevermore been branded a ThoughtCrimal and heretic. So Biden, like the spineless coward that he is, backtracked on his comments and ripped Pence for being "anti-LGBTQ rights", whatever the hell that even means anymore. Only in 2019 would a group, homosexuals and transvestites, that are as protected as any group has been in modern history, still endlessly clamor for more "rights".
Progressives even have a set of attributes that should be apparent to anyone observing a good progressive disciple. While Christians have what the apostle Paul called the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, things like "love, joy, peace, patience"), the fruit of progressivism is a laundry list of attributes we traditionally were taught to avoid. This rotten fruit includes such ugly human expressions as: Resentment. Envy. Coveting. For the fundamentalist progressive, anyone that is at all successful (assuming they are white and male), is a sinner. They clearly did something immoral to be successful because there are people that are less successful and that just isn't fair. It can never be the case that someone is successful through natural talent and intelligence and via hard work. Any success must be attributed to cheating somehow, which is where we get the notion of "white privilege" which declares that any achievement by a white person, especially a white man, is illegitimate because they somehow cheated to get there.
A few days ago the Detroit Free Press ran an article about the CEO of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Daniel Loepp, and his compensation of a little over $19 million. That is a whole lotta money. Of course sham-socialist Bernie Sanders used that report as the impetus to rail against executive compensation.
Bernie manages to string together a couple of unrelated facts and comes to an absurd conclusion. Loepp makes $19 million. This is a significant increase since 2017. OK, all true. But then he talks about 790,000 Michigan residents that don't have health care. Even assuming that is true, what does that have to do with Daniel Loepp's compensation? If you take his compensation of $19 million and divide it by the alleged 790,000 uninsured in Michigan, that works out to $24 per uninsured person. Are we supposed to believe that if Loepp were paid less, more people in Michigan would be insured? For $24 per year? These are two totally unrelated issues. Whether Daniel Loepp is paid $100,000 per year or $100,000,000 per year is irrelevant to the uninsured in Michigan. So why bring it up? Bernie is lazy and kind of dumb but he knows that it doesn't matter what Daniel Loepp makes because it makes people mad and softens them up. Then he leaps from that to a single-payer health system. What he has created is a link in his limited cognitive ability readers.
- Because Daniel Loepp makes a lot of money, people in Michigan don't have health care
- The solution to people in Michigan not having health care is a single-payer system
- This will mean that Daniel Loepp will be punished for making too much money
- Your life as a poor schlep will be magically improved because someone else has a worse life
That is all nonsense of course. People like Daniel Loepp are not going to shrug their shoulders and start cleaning toilets for a living, he will move into another position at a more politically acceptable non-profit or some NGO or a government agency and still make a lot more money than the average doped up Starbucks barista Bernie Sanders acolyte but it will seem like they are getting some measure of vengeance. It doesn't have to make any sense at all to work. People just have to think they are getting some sort of holy vengeance against a sinner and Daniel Loepp is a sinner by virtue of making too much money.
But does he? According to the Freep article, Loepp's compensation base is $1.5 million, unchanged for the last five years. Still a lot of money but a less politically useful figure as it doesn't sound like that much since a mediocre NBA player makes that much. So where does the rest of his $19 million come from? Well we have an answer to that as well:
Loepp's $1.5 million base salary has been the same for the past five years. His $16.2 million bonus was the result of him hitting performance marks for annual and long-term goals approved by the board, the company said.
Blue Cross declined to share the precise compensation formula, calling it proprietary information.
The health insurer's full board votes on the compensation formula and the CEO's performance goals, said Hetzel, the Blue Cross spokesman.
So, Mr. Loepp is hired by BCBS of Michigan to be their CEO (he has worked in various executive positions there for 19 years). As part of his employment agreement he makes $1.5 million in base salary and is tasked with hitting certain performance goals which BCBS achieved under his leadership. Unlike most people who are mostly paid a base level, Loepp is paid over 90% based on his performance. Clearly the board of directors thinks he is doing a good job and achieving his goals. Who is on this board? A bunch of fatcat corporate titans wearing waistcoats and smoking cigars? Again, he have an answer to that question:
The Free Press also attempted to reach all eight labor representatives on the board, including those with the UAW, Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan Education Association and Michigan Building Trades Council. Only the Michigan Teamsters official offered any response.
“Dan Loepp’s compensation as CEO of Blue Cross is the result of his success over time in guiding a nearly $30 billion, national, multi-company business through a very complex and turbulent time of change," Black said in his statement.
Hmmm. The UAW, AFL-CIO, MEA (the teacher's union) and the building trades council (another union) are represented. So the 8 representatives of labor unions in part set his compensation and again are pleased with his performance. Based on the Freep article these people make a lot of money just for being on the board, one person identified as being the chairman of the board makes over $250,000.
Performing well at your job is how you make more money. Last summer Lebron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for four years at a compensation of $153 million, or approximately $38.25 million per year. Outfielder Bryce Harper was recently signed by the Philadelphia Phillies for 13 years at a whopping $330 million or around $25 million per year even though at 26 that means Harper would be almost 40 at the end of his contract and long contracts like that almost always are a huge and costly mistake. They commanded those sorts of salaries because they are good at what they do but Bernie Sanders doesn't complain about that as far as I know because people don't care. Most people understand that they don't have the skills to be Lebron James or Bryce Harper. Besides we like sports and understand them even if we don't play at that level. Most of us have played a little basketball and know we don't have the skills to play in the NBA.
But people get all incensed about CEO pay because they have no idea what it takes to be a CEO. Just a hint, you don't pick random people off the street to be the CEO of Anthem BCBS of Michigan, just as you don't grab a random guy from a playground to play for the Lakers. BCBS of Michigan has revenue of around $30 billion dollars. That is $82 million per day or $3 million an hour or $57,000 a minute. BCBS of MI has over 8000 employees. Very few people in this country can even comprehend how complex that business is. The most I ever managed was a dozen and a half people in a place with a few million in annual revenue and that was stressful. Being honest, most people in America (including Bernie Sanders) are not capable of managing a business unit even that small. A tiny fraction of a handful of the quarter billion adults in this country possess the natural intelligence, skills and experience to manage an organization like Anthem BCBS of Michigan. That is why he gets compensated like he does. The people that hire him think he is worth it and they compensate him accordingly, just like the ownership and front office of the Phillies thinks Bryce Harper is worth what they are paying him.
I don't know Daniel Loepp and most likely never will. Maybe he is a great guy, maybe he is a jerk. Maybe he is a great CEO, maybe he isn't, but I don't give a crap how much he gets paid because:
A) It is none of my business. I don't live in Michigan and don't have my insurance through Anthem BCBS of Michigan.
B) Is irrelevant to my life. What one person makes doesn't have any impact on what I make.
That is also true for virtually every other person in this country. However pointing out that someone with the rare combination of intelligence, skills, experience, drive and work ethic to run an organization with 8000 employees and $30 billion in revenue makes a bunch of money is useful to Bernie Sanders to rile up his followers and get them to vote for him. Bernie is like cruel zealot Septa Unella in Game of Thrones smacking people while telling them to confess their sin of success and chanting shame at them.
Bernie Sander is an absolute shameless grifter and none of his legion of rabid fans seems to notice or care that the guy harping about the evil rich top 1% is himself in the top 1% and unlike many of the other people in that category he did very little in terms of earning it. Perhaps that is why they like him, he is rich without being so vulgar as to have become rich via hard work. People like college professors, professional athletes and entertainers that are filthy rich are fine because they do very little to earn their money. The people that worked their way up a corporate ladder or took the risk of starting a business or spent many years in college to get an education that paid off? Well those people are bad because they disrupt the narrative. You aren't supposed to believe that anyone that is willing to work hard can make lots of money. Only people that don't deserve it make lots of money and conversely people that are dirt poor are that way because someone else is keeping them down, not because of poor choices. (Note: there is a partial exception to this for filthy rich executive-types that virtue signal enough, like Jeff Bezos.). Bernie is like a sleazy televangelist that is banging his secretary but the little old ladies watching him on TV don't care because he says the right religious stuff when the cameras are rolling.
Many people have a religious conviction that rich people are rich because they screwed someone to get there. That is the case oftentimes but it is also not the case most of the time. There are also lots of people in crappy jobs that screw over their co-workers and bosses whenever they get the chance because people are selfish. In my life in corporate America I met some absolute dolts, empty suits running out the clock until they could retire. I met some awful people that would chew workers up and spit them out. I also met a ton of really smart, driven, hard-working people that became executives by virtue of their efforts. Shysters like Bernie can't admit that because it screws up their preaching about the evils of success and their fanning the flames of resentment. It is hard to be resentful of a CEO that gets up early everyday, works late into the evening, travels around the country and world and still tries to be a decent parent. That is why we get the caricatures and misrepresentations from people like Bernie, someone who has rarely done an honest days work in his life and has done nothing to create jobs and wealth. He is just a human leech that enriches himself by making other people angry, envious and resentful. Sadly that makes him a perfect evangelist for the progressive religion.