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Beyond that though, it was also a reminder of the importance of transparency when it comes to our collective financial reality. Just like we're all interested in seeing the inside of someone's five million dollar home, we also all want to know what kind of money other people are bringing into their home, whether it's a five million dollar spread or a room that's rented for $500/month. Is there an element of voyeurism involved when we look to find out people's salaries? Sure. But it's voyeurism that serves a purpose. In an age when every last bit of private information is aggregated on our computers which are in turn accessed by everyone from Google to, I'm speculating here, Bo Obama, it's essential to have an open dialogue about things that affect us all. Things like gross income disparity and the fact that there's no such thing as a level playing field when it comes to the economic and social spheres of our society. I mean, it's a scary world when the advertisers on Facebook know more about the private workings of your life than your close friends do. It also doesn't do people any favors to think that they are making a competitive salary in their field when, in fact, they're getting screwed. This is the kind of hidden knowledge that only benefits those who are already in positions of privilege and economic power.
So, in light of that, I have looked up some data about the salaries of various New Yorkers who work for the city government so that we can all get a better idea of what our neighbors are bringing home each day. And, I mean, who knew Marty Markowitz pulled home that kinda bank? Well, I would have guessed something approximating that, but some of these salaries were pretty surprising. Obviously, this is just a small sample of government workers' salaries, but I still find it to be both interesting and important information, and relevant to how every New Yorker lives his or her life.