East Texas businesses call AIG bonuses "hypocritical"

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The AIG fiasco is also leaving a really bad taste with businesses who are getting through the recession without the government's help.

East Texas business owners say they are upset the heads of AIG and other bailed out companies are not being taking responsibility. It's name has changed, but the way this store sells furniture has stayed strong for 26 years. Ashley Furniture in Tyler, formally known as Southside Furniture is owned by two brothers.

"They are the type of guys, good old guys from Arcadia, Wisconsin that work hard, and expect the same from their employees and expect results," said Caleb Johnson.

He said they prepared for the current recession. So, why should other companies get help for failing?

"It is frustrating, knowing that we run our business the total opposite way to make sure that we have to stay competitive, you know, we have to have the best quality, at the best price in order to stay in business," said Johnson.

It's that competitive nature and true customer service Brian Thedford said has helped Don's TV & Appliance in Tyler survive 30 years. The idea of bonuses for those at the top, Thedford says, is just plain wrong.

"I think a good company, a solid company, it does have a lot to do with the people at the top, but a lot of it actually has to do with the people who are taking care of customers, and they've taken advantage of the system by taking those big bonuses," said Thedford.

Scott Rose, CEO of Kelly Community Federal Credit Union agrees.

"I think it's somewhat hypocritical," said Rose. "I mean if your people are suffering, and if your members, or your customers are suffering. I don't know that you being at the top of the corporate level exempts you from that. I think you should have to suffer a long with everyone else.

Instead, these local business owners and managers say the big companies got greedy and are putting themselves first.