I look around at all those businesses showering their employees with bonuses since, under the new tax laws, their margins will be, well, magnificent in the coming years. Then I think about the employees of George H. Simpson Communications, who have been chained to galley oars lo these many years.
Just because I don't qualify for the new lower corporate tax rate (Thanks for nothing, Donald), that shouldn't stop me from getting into the largess mood that seems to be spreading faster than the flu.
The default seems to be a $1,000 bonus to everyone in the company -- which, if you are the door-greeter or cashier, is real money. If you are the CFO, not so much.
But for the sake of capitulation, let's focus on how we might reward each of my employees with $1,000. Since there is only one, the real task is how to divide up the cash to greatest effect. Or "maximize shareholder value" (as they say in response to nearly any question about company finances.)
If we take the lump sum of $1,000 and spend it all in one place, we could get a pretty cool 80-inch OLED flat screen that will enhance our viewing of the Super Bowl, at least until Brady pulls another two-minute-drill rabbit out of his hat, which you know he will because that is what he does.
However, there's a vocal minority in my house who thinks big screens are ugly and unnecessary. I suppose if I fell asleep every night in front of the 27-inch TV in the kitchen, I might feel the same way about 80 inches.
I could buy one 20th, one 19th, one 18th, one 17th, one 16th, one 15th of a bitcoin, giving me status among the cryptocurrency crowd, who prides themselves on being smarter than the rest of us and destined for unimaginable wealth. Wait until they find out they have to buy a power plant to keep them alive.
Whenever my dear departed mom used to give me money, she would qualify it by saying, "Now don't go out and spend this on stamps or toilet paper, get something fun." So blowing it all on a cartload at Costco seems like a poor idea -- especially since I may not live long enough to get through that much catsup or tinfoil.
It now costs a grand to get a new phone, which, like their less expensive predecessor models, can be left in a cab or drown in the vodka and Kool-Aid that covers the basement floor of every fraternity house in the country. Oddly, these newer models don't give better driving directions or have a superior email and/or text system than your phone of four generations ago, but perhaps having a machine recognize your face is worth the extra spend.
I'm sure there are lots of worthy causes that would welcome your donation. Mine is a cure for CMT, but there are lots of others -- including hundreds devoted in some way to removing that muttonhead from the White House. Hard to imagine money being better spent.
While the economists are breathlessly hoping you will act the part of a consumerist and spend that bonus, I feel, as a dad, that there should be at least some mention of saving it. While putting it in the stock market might seem like trying to close the barn after the horse has left, the same could have been said six months ago -- and look at where we are now. Meanwhile, a CD will return you about $20 over three years. Hello, Ethereum!
Lastly, I could spend that money enrolling in one of the many GHS Com self-improvement courses like "No, You Can't Say That Out Loud Anymore," "How to Communicate with Women and Not End Up in the Headlines," or even, "Getting Over Your White Privilege."
I am leaning toward 100 pounds of pork barbecue flash-frozen in Wilson, NC and overnighted by Fedex.
Pass the vinegar.