I’ve noticed some of the hand-wringing about the Sony email hacking is about the publication of salaries. I think it used to be considered gauche to tell how much people earned. I was in a parish where the pastor was concerned we staff members would get flak from parishioners that we made “too much.” This was the same parish where a parishioner mused point blank to me, “How the $%&# can you live on that?”
The question came up in another parish I served where people were questioning the budget. I didn’t have a problem with my salary being published there, either.
But let’s get to the big picture. What if everyone’s salary were a matter of public record, like the president or professional athletes? I’m not naïve enough to think it would happen outside of a computer breach, but I have no illusions about whom is protected most by secret salaries.
Sony’s SOP will be damaged by these hacks. Women actors will likely be asking, “Really?” on their next job offer. Costs will go up. Ticket prices, likely, too. And consumers will decide whether the extra cost is really worth it for a middling comedy that’s not always going to do well under the banner of patriotism.
I have had an opposite experience; someone newly appointed to the finance committee was shocked to learn that we were paid. He was shocked that we did not volunteer our time. I for one, do not worship at the parish where I work. And when I did near full time “volunteering” (*ministry*) when I was previously unemployed, I did have the freedom to “choose” my hours. Not so at the parish office.
I completely agree with you however, the world would be a bit different. It is kind of the salary version of having the calorie numbers on a menu.