There is a stereotype of people in the banking industry as people in country clubs smoking cigars, and getting money for nothing. It’s also rather inaccurate. If the bonuses get cut too much, I put in my resignation and then there won’t be anyone to write the computer programs to babysit the databases.
The division between labor and capital is very different today than in the 19th century, and I think that the new division is between skilled labor and unskilled labor. Since I can program, I have skills and hence bargaining power, and if the bonuses are too low, I leave.
There are parallels with the farmers in Zimbabwe. It bothers me a lot that the gap in wealth between people that have skills and people who don’t is growing. If you can crunch numbers and solve complex mathematical equations, then the world is yours. If you can’t then your career prospects are limited.
The trouble is that the obvious solution which Mugabe tried of “attack the rich” makes that people with skills leave, and then production plummets. OK, you have the revolution, you’ve just cut bonuses, and then rich fat cats that used to run the place are now gone. You are now staring at a blank computer screen. What happens now?