Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Give What You Can

A recent mailing from the registered charity SERF, the Salary-capped Executives’ Relief Fund:

Edward Scott III has to fly business class. He no longer has access to a corporate jet. Gone are the days when he was picked up at home by a chauffeur-driven limousine. Now he’s forced to drive himself to work in a two-year old Lexus. Lunch is in a two-star restaurant only and not on the company expense account.

Edward is just one of the dozens of victims of President Obama’s $500,000 cap on corporate salaries. Once a noble financial CEO who tirelessly helped to underwrite residential mortgages for those who couldn’t afford them, now Scott himself has to try to cope with less, much less.

Unlike you and me, corporate executives can’t put aside money for a rainy day. They have to keep up appearances. And that means millions spent on everything from suburban mansions to downtown condos to country getaways. Not to mention extra vehicles, wine cellars and made-to-measure suits.

Some unfortunate business leaders have already fallen on hard times. Stories abound of corporate executives being forced to exercise long-held stock options, access offshore bank accounts or even sell one of their summer homes. In a few tragic cases, some sadly had to go so far as to dip into family trust funds.

So please look into your heart and give what you can to help Edward and those like him. Whether it’s a million, a hundred thousand or even just ten thousand dollars, whatever you can afford to give will help.

For example, your donation of only a thousand dollars a week will ensure that Edward’s children can still attend private school. Two thousand a week lets Edward and his family continue to vacation in southern France rather than be forced to rent a cottage on the Maine coast. And for a one-time donation of as little as $25,000, you can help Edward buy a Persian rug or an antique commode for his office.

Time is running out for Edward and his hard-hit colleagues. Seven-figure severance packages and annual, six-figure bonuses only go so far. Having to defer that new car purchase an extra year or switching from Russian caviar to domestic can be hard on any family.

America has a proud tradition to present to the world. A proud tradition of corporate excess that tells everyone that this is the land of opportunity for a select, chosen few. But with the new salary cap, our corporate elite can no longer afford to maintain that prestigious image. They desperately need your help.

So please act now and give generously to SERF, The Salary-capped Executives’ Relief Fund. Remember, the corporate executive you save may be your own.

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