Tags: bailout | detroit

Stop Whining About Losing Your Job

Friday, 12 Dec 2008 08:14 AM

The inconvenience to ordinary folks thrown out of work is nothing, compared with real sacrifices fired football coaches have to suffer. So, suck it up.

Take just this one example of the veteran coach who was canned two games from the end of a losing season at a state university, which shall remain nameless to protect the unfortunate.

For a while, his athletic program was sort of the General Motors of college football. After a number of successful years as its CEO, he began producing a product fewer and fewer consumers were cheerful about buying. They stopped holding up index fingers, chanting, “We’re No. 1!” and switched digits.

Much like Detroit dinosaurs, the failed coach negotiated a handsome bailout. To usher him off the field, the tax-supported university will pay him $6 million. Sounds like a lot? Not really. Not when you look at it from his perspective.

First, there are taxes to be paid. That eats up around half the nut. Sure, he’s lucky he got fired before the new president of the United States takes office. His remainder could be a lot less. Even so, $3 million dwindles fast, when you divide it by the 48 months over which his bailout is to be doled out to him.

That comes to only $62,500 a month. When you look really closely at it, that’s a tad more than $2,000 a day – or just $83.33 for each hour.

If you’re accustomed to the high-tension life of a (losing) coach, it takes a lot more dough than it does to live on an average football fan’s family income. At a measly $2,000-plus, each day can dawn as a nightmare of making ends meet.

Now it gets so much worse. This poor fellow’s golden parachute totally collapses at the end of four years. His income comes to a screeching halt. Zip. Zilch. Nada. How would you like that?

The devil in those details is even more devilish. For these next four years, the ex-coach is provided, no cost to him, a “dealer-provided” automobile. That means after 48 months he’s without wheels. And what if the Detroit Trio go out of business? Does that mean the Japanese, South Koreans, or Germans are going to step up and allow the loser-coach the use of a dealer’s car?

He’s grown to be a rather ample chap, and might not fit too comfortably into a diminutive Yugo.

Then, there’s the personal humiliation that goes with the coach’s dismissal. As part of his bailout, he’s allowed to occupy eight luxury seats in the VIP skybox atop the university’s gargantuan stadium. How’s he going to feel, perched way up there, watching his former team win games under a new coach’s tutelage?

Besides, from that altitude it’s difficult to tell what’s going on down there on the field, not to mention the nose-bleed and oxygen-deprivation. Numbers on jerseys are barely discernable. Locating the football’s whereabouts requires a GPS gadget. The fired coach will have to do what players on the gridiron do: Watch the preceding play on the whopper screen at one end of the field. From the skybox, it shrinks to about the size of a cell-phone monitor.

After four years, even those goodies will vanish. And they think they’ve got it bad in Detroit.

But enough of this whimpering and whining about loss of jobs. Before you know it, the new president will have all those increased taxes rolling in and Washington will be making decisions on how what used to be your money is spent. Everything will be paid for by government, free of charge (after taxes).

Meanwhile, cease dwelling on your petty problems. Think how tough it will be for that jobless coach at the big state university your taxes are keeping afloat.

As the next vice president noted so eloquently during the recent election campaign, paying taxes is patriotic: “It's time to be patriotic, time to jump in, time to be part of the deal.”

Or, as the fired football coach used to admonish his hapless players who didn’t seem to relish grinding out agonizing yardage against hostile defensive linemen: “Pound the rock. Pound the rock.”

John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com. Read John Perry's columns here.

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