The dark blue captain’s hat, with its golden oak-leaf clusters, sits atop a bookcase in Bryan Lawlor’s home, out of reach of the children. The uniform their father wears still displays the four stripes of a commercial airline captain, but the hat stays home. The rules forbid that extra display of authority, now that Mr. Lawlor has been downgraded to first officer.
He is now in the co-pilot’s seat in the 50-seat commuter jets he flies, not for any failure in skill. He wears his captain’s stripes, he explains, to make that point. But with air travel down, his employer cut costs by downgrading 130 captains, those with the lowest seniority, to first officers, automatically cutting the wage of each by roughly 50 percent — to $34,000 in Mr. Lawlor’s case.
The demotion, the loss of command, the cut in pay to less than his wife, Tracy, makes as a fourth-grade teacher, have diminished Mr. Lawlor, 34, in his own eyes. He still thinks he will return to being the family’s principal breadwinner, although as the months pass he worries more. “I don’t want to be a 50-year-old pilot earning $40,000 a year,” he said, adding that his wife does not want to be married to a pilot with so little earning power.
Why doesn’t everyone just quit doing what they do and go to work on Wall Street? You clearly don’t have to be competent or know anything, because these clowns trashed the economy and then ran around for months yelling hoocoodanode all while taking bailout money. Then, they turn around and take those taxpayer loans at low interest and the taxpayer guarantees, loan them back to the taxpayer at a higher interest rate, collect their vig, call it a profit, and then give themselves billions in bonuses because they are in the black again and happy days are here again. And half the public is so beaten down and broken they will look at all this and say “Hey, but isn’t it a good thing that Wall Street is profitable again?”
Why would anyone want to fly a plane for 34k a year when you can get rich being a thief, and one and a half of the two major political parties are going to have your back? Time to break out the foam fingers again, folks! USA! USA! USA!
You know what we really need? A capital gains tax cut. Hells yeah, baby!