Goldman Sachs' Gain, Poor New Yorkers' Loss
December 14th, 2006

Here is an editorial in the Daily News, entitled, “How To End Poverty”:

“The merry moneymakers at Goldman Sachs will end the year with $9.5 billion in profits, and they’ll divide $16 billion in bonuses – about $622,000 for each employee. We do not begrudge these conquerors of capitalism, but we note two points.

“First: Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg lavished Goldman with subsidies so it would build a headquarters near Ground Zero. The giveaway grows more obscene as Goldman rakes in ever more money.

“Second: Goldman’s numbers offer a vivid example of the growing gap between the rich and everyone else in America. In the city, 1.5 million people live below the poverty line of $16,000 a year for a single parent with two kids. Goldman’s bonus pool could raise each of their incomes by more than $10,000. Something is wrong when one firm’s bonus pool is big enough to end poverty in America’s largest city.”

By on December 14, 2006, 10:28 am
In category: Gotham City,Land Use,Public Finance | 17 Comments »

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17 Responses to “Goldman Sachs' Gain, Poor New Yorkers' Loss”

  1. Billy Says:
    December 14th, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    How much income tax will be received by the City and State from this? A good amount I would think, that would seem to make the tax breaks given to Goldman a good investment in the city.
    As for the Rich get Richer problem – that’s just a fundamental problem with a capitalist society like ours. But the more money given to more people has the likely hood that some will trickle down to social services and help future citizens get a better education and better jobs.

  2. Geri Says:
    December 14th, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    Oh please, do you actually expect people to work for other people’s livelihoods? You get paid for what you do and the skills and education you’ve acquired. Some people under-invested in their future and others invested more in their future.

    Hey, I’m just envious as you are but I’m not a hypocrite – if I get a bonus like that, I will give money to my non-profit, start my own business and buy my first apartment that has a backyard. In the Upper West Side. With hardwood flooring. A kitchen that has an island. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, …

  3. Anjalie Says:
    December 15th, 2006 at 10:37 am

    I think that capitalism may have its flows, but it does reward the individual. Society may suffer because the those that do not invest in themselves will not have government programs to rescue them from total missery. This is the big problem in Canada. The government is giving away money to people and therefore there are more people on welfare. No wonder they say that Canada is a great place to immigrate!!

  4. mb Says:
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    boo hoo boo hoo. please, a group of hard working well educated people are making tons of money. If you are a person in the 1.5 million below the poverty line, or anyone else who is envious, instead of complaining, go to the library, study up, get into any number of colleges and universities, there are literally thousands of ways to finance it, do really well, go on to graduate school, study hard, and then try to get a job in any industry you have prepared for, and you too can make lots of money. its not as hard as you think. it just takes lots of time and WORK. Now if you are still unhappy with this I suggest you use the freedom that living in the USA provides, and up and leave this really unfair situation and defect to china, cuba or any other socialist system wher all people work and wealth is redistributed equally. Here in the USA we have that option. Others in the world unfortuneately die trying to get here for the aforementioned opportunities.

  5. kireleason Says:
    December 15th, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t think the editorial board of the Daily News was literally suggesting that Goldman Sachs hand over its bonus pool to allieviate poverty. Everyone knows that Goldman Sachs is in the business of making money for the benefit of its clients and its employees, not lifting families out of poverty.

    However, what this does say is that there are resources in this world to end poverty, what’s lacking is the will. I’m not taling about the willingness to give up profit (we all know that the profit motive is a motive that works), but the willingness to call something unequal distribution when it is unequal distribution and to recognize that (despite what others here are suggesting) it takes more than just hard work to move from one social class to another. To a large extent, the class you’re born into is the class you’ll stay in, regardless of how hard you work.

  6. I am not Star Jones Says:
    December 17th, 2006 at 11:48 am

    Another wonderful incentive for maintaining poverty in America is that without access to resources, quality housing & education and jobs with livable wages, most poor/lower middle class have only two options:

    Wal-Mart or the military

    Yeah, the poor and lower middle class get to put their lives on the line for an educated class who wouldn’t dare risk their lives for the American they love so much.

    God, what a great country.

  7. Liz Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 11:11 am

    With bonuses like that, I want to know where I should send my resume? My current firm did remarkably well this year and I worked a lot of hours…I was given a $400 bonus. My (fill in adjective of choice) boss could’ve thrown in another zero but chose not to do so.

  8. js Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 11:13 am

    No More New Housing In New York City Unless It Is “Affordable Housing”

  9. Nopower Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I wonder if people really knew how Sachs
    made those profits would they be so praising? Don’t those billions come from overcharging for goods and services and underpaying the people who keep New York running like the Mexicans in our restaurants and produce stores who work from 8 am to 8pm every day of the week?

  10. mg Says:
    December 27th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    It is amazing to me that so many people can still be oblivious to the apparent poverty of so many New Yorkers, the majority of which are children. It is apparent by Billy and MB’s comments that they have never worked with those who are in need. Yeah, go ahead with your boo hoos, but I bet if you were the daughter of a single mom, you’d probably repeat the cycle and have kids living in poverty too. Or, in another easy scenario to get out of, how about working but barely making it and then getting hit with hospital bills because you don’t have insurance? How about just not having a roof over your head, top that off with no food in your belly, and see how quickly you get an education to pull yourself out of the hole you are in. Believe it or not Ripley, the majority of poor people are children, American Children. (and guess what? I’m not a single mom, I just know them.)

  11. Wendy Says:
    January 3rd, 2007 at 9:03 am

    The notion that the hardest working get the most money is something we tell ourselves so that we can feel good about not providing a reasonable safety net and social supports.

    Access to investing in ourselves often depends on having the resources to invest, and people willing to open the door. The majority of people getting those bonuses aren’t people who had to pull themselves up by their own boot straps, most will have inherited their place on the ladder, and the door is opened without their needing to knock on it.

  12. HansBlix Says:
    January 3rd, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    “It is amazing to me that so many people can still be oblivious to the apparent poverty of so many New Yorkers, the majority of which are children. It is apparent by Billy and MBs comments that they have never worked with those who are in need.”

    I’ve worked with plenty of people in need. Overwhelmingly they made poor choices in life. Granted, a significant number didn’t have good role models or two-parent stable families, but turn around and blame everything on that and you self-fulfill your “victimhood”. You want communism, go to China.

  13. New York » Robin in da ‘hood? Says:
    January 7th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    […] Wat ook niet echt helpt is dat Goldman Sachs diverse belastingvoordelen heeft gekregen in ruil voor de huur van toekomstige kantoorruimte op de plek van ground zero. Lees hier het discussieforum van de Gotham Gazette. Een van de reacties geeft de keuzemogelijkheden van een armere Amerikaan weer: Wal-Mart or the military. […] God, what a great country. […]

  14. Evocatus Says:
    January 8th, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Hi mb, got some reading stuff for-ya: Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. After that dream on about the American Dream!

    Also @HansBlix: It amazes me always how crude the thinking of some Americans is. In discussions like this almost always there crop up remarks about socialist/communist countries and going there if you do not like it in the USA. Can’t you guys only do black-and-white thinking? Aren’t you guys capable of finding some middle ground.

    This is rich: ‘Ive worked with plenty of people in need. Overwhelmingly they made poor choices in life. Granted, a significant number didnt have good role models or two-parent stable families, but turn around and blame everything on that and you self-fulfill your victimhood. You want communism, go to China.”
    For Pete’s sake what is the connection between the last sentence and the previous ones???

    By the way1 the USA is almost owned by the Bank of China. Communism in China? That is hardnosed capitalist dictatorship overthere. Together with the USA onwards to global corporate fascism.

    By the way2 I worked with kids at risk in slum parts of Amsterdam. My milage varies considerably from yours.

    Av from Amsterdam (Yeah, I know, you probably consider it the cesspool of Europe. But I forgive you)

  15. jmw Says:
    January 9th, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Yes something is definitely wrong on your side of the ocean, poor thing is that we can see it coming this way……….

  16. kireleason Says:
    January 10th, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Is it possible to acknowledge that both poor personal choices and bad public policy share the blame when it comes to poverty, and then try to find solutions that address both of these things? Why does this debate always have to force people to take sides, to choose between two positions that are not polar opposites, but rather, when taken together, cause the problem we’re looking at here?

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