Random questions for the last Friday in April

Why do retiring CEOs get access to public company resources after they’re gone?   For example:  if AT&T’s outgoing fearless leader is getting one of the largest bazillion-dollar pension packages ever, why doesn’t he just buy his own plane and cars?  And if AT&T can afford this package, why can’t it make sure my cellphone gets coverage everywhere from here to the Milky Way?  I’m serious.  I want to understand the thought process.  I mean, why did GE’s renowned chieftain need a dry cleaning perk in his package?  Someone help me here:  are these benefits built into retirement packages so that CEOs can compare who is the biggest George of the jungle without taking measurements in the locker room?  And don’t give me the line about how the CEO’s job is to increase shareholder value.  My measuring stick on value includes sustainability and legacy — both of which are measured only by historians who cannot re-capture any over-compensation — and whether my cellphone works when I visit my mother in far southwestern Virginia.  For more background into these deals, if you’re a subscriber to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE, go here.

If MIT — and the entire academic community, for that matter — is the collective brain trust we’re supposed to think it is, how did not one of the brains catch up with the faked resume of the dean of admissions?  Again, from WSJ:  " ‘It’s amazing that she only spent that much time in college.  She’s really smart,’ said Michael Behnke, the admissions dean at the University of Chicago and Ms. Jones’s predecessor at MIT.’ "  Mr [or is it Dr?] Behnke, there are some folks without extra degrees cleaning up in the retirement package department.  [ See previous question.]  And if pedigree is so all-fired important, why didn’t someone just pick up the phone and check references?   Is that beneath someone with multiple degrees?  Finally, sir, one of my clients [an uber-successful, single-degree professional] asks how you, as her boss for more than a decade, missed the signs that you had a single-degree interloper in your midst.  [One more example of the brilliant positioning/brainwashing by academics that parents are buying.   I’ve concluded that the higher education crowd is the new Mafia — requiring you to take a blood oath, in the form of tuition and lifelong donations, to be able to say you and your child belong to the club.]

Why do exhibitors at conferences still use under-dressed women to hawk their wares — and why won’t conference promoters just put an end to it?  Two conferences in two weeks, and this is still going on.  Granted, it’s happening a lot less, but one booth with them is one too many.  And ladies, is this the only way to make a living?  Don’t tell me about the news anchor who had to put herself through law school as a lingerie model.  Don’t buy that logic stream, either.  If you really like modeling, just say so.  That’s one thing.  It’s another when someone tries to tell me it’s the only way to pay tuition.   [See previous question.]

Signed:  A free-market capitalist who believes in graduate education and enjoys being a girl.

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