I’ve spent the past month that I’ve been off from school downtown in the Financial District. I walk past Ground Zero daily, and there are – typically – a gaggle of tourists outside the 9/11 memorial and museum. I can’t say I’ve ever been in, but it looks like a pretty high tech preview of what will be built… eventually, I guess. Seeing as the actual site isn’t even remotely open yet, though, and just this small “museum” exists, you can imagine my surprise to find that “11 staffers at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum each pulled down more than $170,000 in total compensation in 2009, according to the most recent filings. Four execs took home more than $320,000.” Oh, and it gets worse, “[schoolchildren] thought their penny jars and bake-sale proceeds would go toward building a 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero — not the six-figure salaries of nonprofit execs.”
The more I learn about the fiascos and corruption at Ground Zero, the more ill-fitting the name “Freedom Tower” becomes. (“Charitable Exploitation Center” or “Government Hotbed” sound less catchy, though.)
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