Americans Shy Away from Posting Salary and Sex Details

This just in from Obviousland:

Although many American workers have embraced social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, they are uncomfortable about sharing information about their sex lives or salaries, according to a new survey….

Only two percent said they were comfortable sharing information about their sex life or their salary details. Employees were also more inclined to share relationship status than employment status….

I’m on Facebook.  And technically also on Twitter, but I don’t use it – I don’t really get it, quite frankly.  Probably because I’m old.

But back to Facebook.  On my “friends” list, I have past co-workers, past roommates, my immediate family (except my mom who is afraid of computers because you never know when you might be attacked by rogue porn), a few members of my spouse’s family other than my antisocial spouse, a bunch of real live friends, some people from high school,  some friends I only know from the interwebernetz, and so forth.  You get the picture. I suspect that this is a fairly representative mix and is pretty similar to what most folks have on their contacts list also.

As for salaries, there are several reasons people might not want to go blabbing how much they are getting in compensation.  First off, there are a lot of people struggling financially right now and most of us know people who are unemployed or underemployed.  It’s a little heartless to be bragging about how much you rake in or even whining about how little you make because there’s a good chance there are people out there who would love to be making anything.  Secondly, many employers strictly forbid (under penalty of death!) disclosure of salary to other employees – c0-employees which you may have on your LinkedIn or Facebook pages.  And thirdly – for many people, it’s just not a good move professionally – it can cause co-worker jealousy and potential networking/jobhunting issues among others.  Bottom line – this is no surprise at all.

And about revealing the naughty stuff…..other than the fact that I have kids who were obviously not hatched out of eggs, as far as I’m concerned, none of the folks I have on Facebook need to know anything about what’s going on in The Runaway Bedroom.  And to be honest, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to know.  And I think I’m pretty normal in that regard, so it’s hardly surprising that people aren’t sharing the most intimate details of their sex lives on Facebook or any other social media.

Actually, the one thing I found curious about the survey was this:  “People living in the northeast of the United States were the least forthcoming in sharing information.”   What’s with that, Northeasterners?  Wait – let me guess.  You aren’t going to share, are you?

Enron’s Rex Shelby Sentenced

The last of the seven Enron prosecutions,

Shelby was one of seven former executives first indicted in 2003, all accused of scheming to exaggerate the capabilities of Enron’s broadband network in order to impress analysts and inflate company stock….

Enron, once the nation’s seventh-largest company, filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2001 after years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions in debt or make failing ventures appear profitable….

The collapse wiped out thousands of jobs, more than $60 billion in market value and more than $2 billion in pension plans….

Shelby is also forfeiting $2.6 million and is responsible for completing 230 hours of community service.  Does that make up the loss of retirement savings for suddenly jobless employees who worked for years, even decades, to end up with pennies on their retirement fund dollar?

Enron’s shareholders lost $74 billion in the four years before the company’s bankruptcy ($40 to $45 billion was attributed to fraud).

More than 20,000 of Enron’s former employees in May 2004 won a suit of $85 million for compensation of $2 billion that was lost from their pensions. From the settlement, the employees each received about $3,100.

Not even close.  How far does $3k go these days, anyway?

Of the six others who were also indicted in the case, three received prison sentences ranging from 16 months to 27 months, one was given one year’s probation as well as home confinement, one was acquitted at trial and one had charges dismissed.

Change the scenario.  It’s not corporate fraud anymore.  It’s straight up theft from the retirement fund and of money owed to creditors.  Exact same outcome.  And just for kicks, lets make the perpetrator black.

Do you think he would have gotten probation?  Me neither.

But Mr. Shelby isn’t responsible for the entire downfall of Enron.  And whatever the term, sending him to prison won’t fix anything that was broken by any of his actions or inaction.  On the other hand, that could be said of an awful lot of crimes, no?

I like the idea of a huge amount of community service, actually – and with the cuts to libraries, parks, schools and, well, everything, maybe community service could be used to pick up some of the slack.  No, I don’t want criminals at schools – I’m thinking more along the lines of fixing the playground or working on the landscaping on the weekends.  I know that people doing  community service are currently used to shelve books at the county libraries, which is fantastic.  Everyone benefits.

Plus, anything creative and effective we can do to keep nonviolent criminals out of prison is fine by me – and it saves a lot of money because housing people in prisons and jails is a spendy proposition.  It’s not just food and space, but medical care, building upkeep and overhead, and staffing that need to be taken into consideration.  And that way, offenders who have jobs wouldn’t be forced out of them by their incarceration as is so often the case.  Criminals with no jobs have less of a chance of abiding by the law that criminals with jobs.  That’s not scientific, it’s just common sense.

That said, some crimes, even nonviolent property crimes are so offensive to society and so damaging, that probation just isn’t enough.  Like Bernie Madoff, for example. I don’t know enough about Shelby to know how key he was to the fabricated build-up and violent implosion of Enron to know if he was more or less culpable that the others who went on trial, but I do know that what those executives did was morally shameful and affected tens of thousands of people who could not afford the losses forced on them by the downfall of Enron.  And for that, those responsible do deserve at least a token, symbolic, amount of incarceration.

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