Those Lousy, Greedy CEO Types, Part II

It’s time for me to talk about my boss again.

The president of my college, Johnson County Community College, earns just more than .1 MRE, a monetary measurement I explained yesterday in part one of this post. If you’re not clued in on how all the cool people are talking, then that’s $325,000. Without oversharing, I will state that this is considerably more than they pay me.

But the question really is not whether Dr. Sopcich should earn more than me. I think it’s pretty reasonable that the person at the top of the org chart has the biggest paycheck. The question is whether he earns too much or too little. If I were to argue that this guy, or my direct supervisor or anyone else, makes too much or too little, then it would seem reasonable that I should be able to come up with the Goldilocks number–the one that’s “just right” for this job.

So how much should the president of the largest community college in Kansas earn? How much should someone be given to keep the place solvent and growing and relevant? How much should he receive for putting up with students and taxpayers and trustees and faculty and a host of other sometimes overlapping constituencies? Can you put a number on it?

If you can’t set a number, then how can you say that $325,000 is the wrong number? If you don’t know how the directors at Disney decided that $65.7 million (2.19 MREs) was the right compensation for Robert Iger, if you haven’t a clue how much profit Disney made last year, if you haven’t pored over the latest annual report, then I think you’re forming an opinion based much more on feeling.

Yesterday, I suggested that I would remedy the non-Tune-My-Heart-ish nature of this discussion, so I had better get after it. You see, I don’t really care very much how athletes and singers and actors and CEOs are paid. I do care about the attitudes that people have toward God.

Just like people claim that Mike Trout or Robert Iger are grossly overpaid despite those who opine having very little knowledge to back that up, people like to make judgments about God. You know the type.

  • If God is real, why would He allow so much evil in the world.
  • God must really disapprove of (insert name of country or region) because of the (insert recent disaster).
  • God will have a few choice words for Robert Iger for taking that ridiculous salary!

That’s the sort of self-satisfied conclusion-forming that Job’s friends brought to the table. God’s response is priceless:

Who is this who obscures my counsel
with ignorant words?
Get ready to answer me like a man;
when I question you, you will inform me.
Where were you when I established the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.–Job 38:2-4

Where were you when God established the earth? Do you really have enough knowledge to draw any meaningful conclusion, to reach anything like certainty? If you can’t even tell me how much a Kansas community-college president should earn, how can you pretend to know what the God who created the universe should do?

Tell me, if you have understanding.

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