Exterminating the excluded middle

I just happened upon this story in which Mike Rann who served SA as Premier for about a decade has been given a driver, an office and staff in a policy which provides such things to Premiers who have served for longer than four years.

Other than the car – I don’t know what’s wrong with taxis – this seems OK to me. Indeed if the story is to be believed, it’s only for six months after he resigns – to handle correspondence etc (one needs a driver to handle correspondence for obvious reasons).

Anyway, though the reporting was neutral enough there’s a poll on whether this is OK or not. And of course they don’t just want you to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They want you to run your own little story on A Current Affair. With a yawning and very dreary excluded middle, one gets this choice:

Is Mike Rann entitled to the extra perks?

  • Yes, he served the state well
  • No, this is outrageous

And of 2815 votes, 86.47% said it was outrageous. I’m generally down on perks – like outrageously generous superannuation or free business class travel for life, but these seem to me to be some of the least outrageous perks I’ve come across.

2 thoughts on “Exterminating the excluded middle

  1. When an election comes around, you just have an extra box at the bottom where the voters fill in what they think is a reasonable annual pension, should the incumbent get booted out. Take all those numbers, sort them, and select the median. Even if you want to be generous, select the high quartile (probably the lower quartile will be zero). They get the resultant pension, and no other perks. Keep it simple.

    This would encourage a democratic and fair remuneration, and better than that, it would encourage a realistic self-appraisal regarding when is a sensible time to retire gracefully (call it the quit-while-you-are-ahead factor).

  2. Great idea – but only if it applies to the entire managerial class – ie CEOs etc have their pensions/bonuses/perks determined by the shareholders – one vote only for each holder, middle managers by their underlings.

    And surely it must involve the same provisions as apply in union elections – after all, fair’s fair!

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