John Thain is in trouble for remodeling his office. Well, that’s not quite right. He’s in trouble for having other people remodel his office. Apparently the job was more than just a new end table, rug or paint job. Whatever he had done cost $1.2 million.
My first thought is that it would never cross my mind to spend that much on having my office remodeled. It’s never crossed my mind to spend that much money on anything. Of course, since I have no where near that much money, that’s probably a good things. But at least we can say that Mr. Thain, unlike me, is helping the economy go. I drive old cars (all our family cars are over 100k miles) – I’ve never bought a new one in my life. I bet Mr. Thain not only remodeled his office, but bought a new car sometime in the past decade. I wouldn’t know what brand he’d go for, but I’m sure he made some car dealer happy. I would suppose that his office job made someone, likely a whole crew, happy also. Because he spent (wasted?) a huge pile of money on an office, some other folks ended up getting a pay check. Maybe they were then able to pay their rent, buy some food, or pay a child’s college bill.
Should the workers have refused the work? “We’re sorry Mr. Thain. We only work for people that really need it, for people who won’t waste their money on office remodeling.” While I don’t think that happens very often, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens at least occasionally.
The accusations against Mr. Thain don’t seem to lie in a conviction that remodeling is evil (I have only heard a few call HGTV evil). Rather, the sense is that with the economy the way it is, and Mr. Thain’s company itself having problems, the money ought to have been spent some other way. Maybe he ought to have loaned the money to other people – so they could have had their offices remodeled.
The oddity to me of all this is that while we look for salvation from our economic hell, we still have no sense that anything we did to get ourselves here was wrong. It’s the fault of Mr. Thain and others like him. We need to get those big bank & brokerage people to loosen up the flow of money so we can be saved, i.e., get back to freely spending more than we have. I’m glad Jesus offers a better salvation than that.