Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, October 13, via COF Professional Advisor Listserv:
After more than 15 years as president of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Michael Joyce ended his tenure with a bang. Joyce retired on July 5, 2001, and collected $300,000 in salary for just over six months of work, as well as $737,923 in deferred compensation owed for his past years of service. On top of that, the board of trustees he sat on awardedJoyce a $1.86 million lump sum retirement payment. In all, Joyce collected a total of $2.9 million, the foundation's annual tax filing shows. That was almost three times larger than the biggest grant awarded by the foundation that year, and could have paid for about 53 more charitable gifts by the organization - the average grant in 2001 being roughly $55,000. It also would have paid the average salary of 27 foundation directors, according to national data...Even compared to the pay at profit-making companies, Joyce did very well, getting more in total compensation than 97 of the top 111 executives in Wisconsin earned in 2001. But Joyce was executive of a charitable organization, which is exempt from federal, state and local taxes.
Given the success of Bradley in moving America's public policy agenda to the right, I would say his funders got their money's worth. Cash on cash there is no better way for the rich, and their corporations, to line their own pockets than deregulation and tax cuts. While campaign finance may be restricted, why not make unlimited tax deductible "charitable" contributions to foundations that drive policy? The workman is worthy of his hire. Surely the scandal (if scandal there be) is not the pay per se. Michael Joyce delivered results, cheap at the price.
Charity is about a better life in a better world. At least we can all agree on that much. I guess I am just sore that Michael Joyce was so successful in making his views of the good life stick. Would like to see an equally effective response from more progressive sources, though the funding might not be so easy to come by, and the salaries less competitive. Perhaps, who knows? Politicians and thinkers might do it for free, the right thing. Or for paltry sums, out of civic pride. Or for the good of humankind. Or in the disinterested pursuit of justice. (Ah, foolish thoughts. The truth comes cheaper than what Joyce was paid, but it ain't free. If our country is sold, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Dollar by dollar we can raise the money to buy it back, unless like an auction, we just bid the price higher.)