Letters of Liberty
                             Main Street vs. Wall Street  

                As I mentioned earlier, I have been observing our senators over the last 15 years.  One battle cry that seems to crop up from time to time is Main Street vs. Wall Street.  Since the downturn in 2008, this slogan has been growing exponentially especially prior to elections.  What does Main Street vs. Wall Street actually mean?  It is an attempt to depict the difference between the average working person compared to people either in Wall Street or CEOs of companies.  I am a front line supervisor and engineer and consider myself as an average individual thus fall into the Main Street category.  My co workers are also in the same category.  So why do CEOs get paid so much more money than we do?

                When I first entered the work force I was an entry level engineer meaning I had no past experience in my new job, hence the pay was low.  I continued learning my profession and finally got a small raise after one year.  Then I got engaged and my future wife and I were considering our future financial situation; we came to the conclusion we both needed to work.  Discussing the available options, we decided that if I perused my desire to be a supervisor, the extra money would help as we were also planning to have children.  As time went on, my success as a supervisor was rewarded with promotions.  In my case, when I got a promotion there are two things that happened:  I got a raise and I also had more responsibilities.  These responsibilities included managing more workers, longer hours, and working more days of week per month.  As I continued to advance in my career, the money and the responsibilities increased but the extra time at work eroded my family life.

                Some people focus on the money which comes at a great sacrifice to their family life. I met a CEO of a company at one point in my career.  During our brief conversation he revealed to me the huge responsibilities he was saddle with.  Without going into detail, he worked 14 to 16 hours per day and was on call around the clock.  His family life suffered because of his career.  You may work longer hours to earn a bigger salary, but find yourself with little time to enjoy your earnings with family and friends.

                After we talked, I left with a far greater appreciation of how much he contributed to the company and I felt sorry for the tough life he endured, not seeing his family that he loved so much.  Yet people continue to call him and others “fat cats” and others people in similar roles and positions for making much more money than they do.

                I choose to climb back down the corporate ladder because of the personal damage I had done to my children.  Moving back to a front line supervisor, I have regained more time to spend with my family, friends I lost touch with, and my wife.  If I had continued to climb up the corporate ladder, perhaps I would be rich and lonely.  I believe I have made the prudent choice as I have restored my relationship with the ones I love which is priceless.  But, what if we did not have individuals to make the commitment to work hard, take chances, and make the tough decisions?  Who is willing to share in the burden as well as the wealth?

                I have heard talk about spreading the wealth around.  The concept seems simple enough; just give the federal government all your money and let them decide how much each of us receives in an equal amount.  But, who is to bear all the responsibilities in running a business?  Who will determine how much they will receive as compared to the rest of us?  Let us look at the pros and cons of capitalism vs. socialism