A banker said millionaire CEOs 'literally weep' due to stress, and Twitter users pounced.

A former bank boss tried to justify inflated CEO salaries because the job is stressful. The people of Twitter were not having it.

There's no doubt that running a company is a tough job. Holding the fate of hundreds or thousands of employees and the weight of success or failure of a business on your shoulders is definitely a big source of stress.

But how much more valuable is one person's stress than another?


That's the question Dr. David Morgan, former CEO of Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation, inadvertently addressed in an interview for a new biography. According to The Age, Morgan told the book's author, Oliver Brown, that the reality of CEO life is "seldom openly discussed."

"Most people don't talk about it honestly," Morgan said. "Yes, CEO life is very glamorous. You're recognized, you're given the best seats in restaurants, and you're ridiculously overpaid. But you need stamina. As the leader, you rarely play the grand final, but more an endless succession of semi-finals."

"You can hardly ever relax, and that creates intense strain," he added. "Behind closed doors, some CEOs literally weep."

And that was the straw that broke Twitter's back.

People who have 'literally wept' over stress at jobs where they made under $40K a year showed up by the thousands.

Dr. Morgan was the CEO of Westpac from 1999 to 2008. In 2007, his annual pay topped $10 million. That's $833,000 a month, $192,000+ a week, or assuming a 7-day work week, $27,000+ per day. If he worked 16-hour days every single day (which is surely not the norm, but let's go with it for the sake of the stressful argument), that's $1,700+ per hour.

But sometimes they weep in private, right?

At least Morgan admitted that CEOs can be "ridiculously overpaid." But trying to justify that with multimillionaire tears totally falls flat for the multimillions of people who work in stressful, underpaid jobs every day.

Twitter user Frankie Zelnick illustrated this point with a simple tweet in response to The Age's article share.

"Raise your hand if you've 'literally wept' from stress at a job that paid you less than 40 grand a year," she wrote.

The responses rolled in like thunder.

There is zero evidence that the more stress you have in a job, the more you get paid. In fact, as several people pointed out, the less they got paid at a job, the more they cried.

An entire thread could have been dedicated to the pay/tears ratio of teachers.

Unless you have tried to educate a classroom full of kids, it's hard to understand the amount of stress that goes along with the job. I started out as a teacher and while it's a rewarding career in many ways, it's also the hardest job I've ever had—and one of the worst paid per actual working hour. Every teacher I know has "literally wept" over their jobs, many while working other jobs to make ends meet.

What stressed out millionaires don't recognize is how much stress is caused by not having financial security.

Some users shared stories of how they couldn't afford to take time off work, even for medical reasons.

Others pointed out the ocean of difference between crying over a stressful job when you have more than enough money and crying over a stressful job when you're poor. There's just no comparison.

When your work includes business meetings over rounds of golf and tables at 5-star restaurants, followed up by going home to a luxurious house that you can afford to pay someone to clean, and a retirement account worth more than most of us will make in our whole lifetimes, it's hard to feel sorry for you, no matter how hard your job is.

Running a company is stressful, but so are millions of other people's jobs that pay a tiny fraction of what most CEOs make—and without the perks. Dr. Morgan easily could have retired in comfort after his 9-year stint as Westpac's CEO. Most of us have to work our butts off for our entire adult life to be able to stop working and still have food on the table.

So yeah. We know CEOs have tough jobs, but the teachers, social workers, non-profit employees, retail associates, and other underpaid, overstressed workers aren't going to lose any sleep over anyone's $1,000+/hr tears.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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