Anyone who needs a lesson in stupid short-term thinking has only to read the news about Circuit City's layoff of approximately 3,400 of its better-paid salespeople. With salaries ranging from $7.50 to $15 per hour (the average is about $10 to $11 per hour, according to a report on, they're making too much money, and the company—facing larger competitors and declining sales, according to Associated Press reports—thinks it can do better by replacing them with lower-paid people. The company claims these jobs were paid “well above” market value for those types of positions. Let's examine the concept of “market value.” Circuit City's chief executive officer, Philip Schoonover, earned $8.52 million in salary and stock in fiscal 2006, according to Brad Anderson, the CEO of rival Best Buy earned $3.85 million. Circuit City's market share is a distant s

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