“In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.” Sam Polk, a former Wall Street trade investor. The New York Times article: For The Love of Money
This 2014 NYT article choked a lot of people who think that a bonus of $3 million dollars is a lottery winning ticket and yet for Sam that was not enough because he compared himself with his co-workers and some were making even more.
Sam described in this NYT article how he was basically “addicted to money” and at the age of 30, with not children he was making over $3 million dollars a year but not happy.
Sam actually said in the article: “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”.
Sam left Wall Street and opened up a nonprofit organization to help low-income families. He stated that he had helped others from his stock trading world to move out if they thought that they had enough but did not know how to leave.
Definitely an interesting topic. From one side, you see that people have the right to achieve higher goals in their lives, including financial freedom. From the other side, you see a huge gap in society where just a few people are able to be making millions based on a system that perhaps does not favour more than a few.
Despite this gap, the problem is not in the freedom of entrepreneurship that allows people to succeed in live. The problem perhaps is where organizations like McDonald’s, can pay $14 million for a CEO, but vast majority of the company’s employees are living on minimum wage.