CEO pay packages reached a record last year. Pay jumped by 12 percent for most CEOs to a median average of $14.7 million.
Investors voted to disapprove of the pay packages of some 20 top executives. Among the disapproved was the decision by the board of JPMorgan Chase to add a $50 million retention bonus to Jamie Dimon’s compensation of $84.4 million.
Shareholder votes on compensation packages are non-binding on the directors who are duty-bound to represent the interests of those shareholders.
President Biden hopes his visit to Asia will win back allies who now do the bulk of their trade with China. The Biden plan will not “launch negotiations” as originally planned but will start consultations as a predicate to negotiations. It “offers a far less sweeping multinational structure [than Obama’s] that has some in the region skeptical about what it will add up to…. A number of countries … have privately expressed concern that it may be an empty exercise.” NYT.
The Biden administration’s … economic strategy … falls short of traditional trade pacts that include aspects such as market access …”. Matthew Goodman, Senior VP, Center for Strategic and International Studies, speaking to The WSJ, which says that by not opening access to our markets the deal dooms U.S. exporters and manufacturers “to a second-fiddle role”. Score one for America’s protectionist trade unions.
The fact that Biden had a special courier fly some 7,000 miles from D.C. so that he might sign a $40 billion aid package for aid to Ukraine, which is not in Asia, might have suggested that Biden’s visit is another Obama-style pivot for Europe to Asia that ended up traveling 360 degrees.
Karine Jean-Pierre, who has replaced the cool Jen Psaki as White House press secretary, adds to the ranks of administration Israel critics, which some see as a cover for antisemitism. Ms. Jean-Pierre has attacked supporters of pro-Israel lobbying groups as the “antithesis” of American values, and applauded Democratic members of congress who boycotted AIPAC conferences.
“The views expressed by Ms. Jean-Pierre are not consistent with the pro-Israel position of President Biden and his administration,” says an AIPAC spokesman. Bernie Sanders says the “progressives’” battle against pro-Israel groups is “a war for the future of the Democratic party.”
The really rich take on the merely rich in East Hampton, Long Island. The really rich celebs and Wall Streeters land their planes and helicopters in the East Hampton airport, which can accommodate large jets, every 90 seconds, creating noise problems for the merely rich locals who want to limit flights. Which they are proposing to do.
One local opponent of the plan explained to the WSJ that on a single day he flew to Washington to push an environmental bill, then from Dulles to White Plains to drop off a friend, and on to his home in East Hampton. “I was exhausted after dinner with the senators. Having the airport in East Hampton made my life easier.” His hard-hearted neighbors are unsympathetic and are proceeding with plans to limit flights.
Some want to convert the airport’s 600 acres to affordable housing. That plan would surely unite the merely rich and the very rich.
The education wars are not confined to what is being taught in America’s classroom, or what should and should not be taught. The administration, long in thrall to the teachers’ unions, has declared war on some 7,000 charter schools with a set of rules that makes it almost impossible for them to operate, and left-leaning local governments are attempting to eliminate high schools with competitive admission standards.
Most studies show that the performance of inner-city minority students in public charter schools, selected for their kids by their parents, far exceeds those in the public schools dominated by the teachers’ union, who have riled parents by insisting that schools remain shut down during the covid crisis, while shops etc., were allowed to open.
An initial report of the Department of Education shows that public school enrollment dropped by 3.8 percent, or 2,000,000 students in the 2020-2021 school year compared with a year earlier. Catholic school enrollment rose, as did enrollment in non-religious private schools. This exercise of parental choice has several districts worrying that their budgets will be adversely affected. Public schools are headed for “a financial cliff” warns the NYT.
The federal government sent $190 billion to schools during the pandemic, with districts with high-need students getting more per student than others. A survey of 21 large school districts found nearly all behind on their plans to spend the windfall. If they don’t by 2024, they will have to return it. Paying existing staff more in return for summer work has not proved sufficiently attractive to command much spending. Whether school boards will make a note of that in time for the next teachers’ strike is not known.
At least 40 states have lowered the bar at which shoplifting becomes a felony. In California thieves can heist up to $950 worth of stuff and still be charged only with a misdemeanor. Some stores report thieves who make several visits a day, each time remaining below the limit. Thefts in some two-thirds of the states in which the bar has been lowered have risen reports The WSJ. Nationwide, small businesses report a 54 percent increase in shoplifting last year. CVS reports a 300 percent increase since the pandemic began, and has closed several stores.