White Man Quits Lousy Job

June 15th, 2009 by

Back in April we blogged some of the formidable problems facing the obsolete, friction-ridden comp system in New York. Two years ago, Elliot Spitzer appointed Zach Weiss to clean up the mess, just as voters had chosen Spitzer to clean up the mess in Albany. As of last week, both Spitzer and Weiss had resigned their positions, albeit for different reasons.
Weiss announced that he is stepping down in order to become an administrative law judge, which he describes as a “higher paying and more secure job.” Weiss will don robes for the Social Security Administration and issue rulings on disability cases. The onerous comp job paid a relatively paltry $120,800. The initial salary at his new job is $131,000.
Beyond the dollar difference, Weiss’s new job entails making real decisions. What he says as a judge, goes. This will be in stark contrast to the job he just abandoned, where competing interests, deep pockets and decades of bitter rivalries have resulted in chaos and paralysis.
Weiss said of his new position: “It might seem like a step down for me. But it’s really a good job. You have an opportunity to make a very consequential decision in people’s lives.” It pays more. People listen with respect. Your word is law. Gee, Zach, that’s hardly a step down!
Back in April we linked Weiss’s thankless task running New York’s comp system to Barack Obama’s challenges as the new president. The satirical news source The Onion announced Obama’s election with the headline: “Black man given worst job in America.” Well, by those standards Zach Weiss might have had the second worst job in America. Not any more.