Its not the cutting jobs by themselves that I have an issue with. Its the cutting jobs on one hand to control costs, then turning around and giving raises/bonuses to those at the top that bothers me. If my boss was to tell us that there are going to 5% paycuts across the board, himself included, to try and turn the company around, I get that. But if he tells us we are getting 5% paycuts, then pays himself a bonus because he reduced payroll, that is what I see as "the rich profiting off the poor".
You're conflating two things though. There's a difference between cutting jobs and cutting pay. I agree with you in the second case (more or less), but not in the first.
I think the first thing you have to understand is that labor is supposed to produce more revenue for the employer than it costs to employ. This should be one of those "duh" things, but it's surprising how often people make arguments which rely on an assumption that this isn't true. No one would much less should knowingly
employ someone who costs them more to employ than they gain from employing that person.
If we divide labor into two categories, effective labor (that which produces more revenue for the employer than it costs), and ineffective labor (that which costs more than it produces), it should follow that effective labor doesn't cost the employer anything. Effective labor is a net positive. There is no cost cutting gained if you lay off those employees. Ineffective labor, on the other hand, may be cut without hurting the bottom line of the company, and will in fact increase that bottom line.
The trick is that it's not always clear which employees fall into which category. So, if your job is to figure this out and to lay off people who are costing the company more than their labor is worth, and you do this well, you absolutely *should* get a bonus, right? If you lay off effective labor, your company will lose money. If you lay off ineffective labor, your company will gain money. Everything else staying the same, a round of layoffs will only benefit a companies bottom line if on whole those laid off were in the ineffective labor group.
Paycuts is a different issue, but it's pretty rare for a company to force paycuts across the board and then use the savings to hand extra bonuses out to just the top executives. And sometimes the issue is muddled because we're not given the context of those bonuses. You have to look at how many people total received them *and* how those bonuses compared to previous year bonuses. If a company handed out $100M in bonuses last year, and this year they cut pay by 5% across the board and only gave out $50M in bonuses, but you didn't compare that number to last year, it might be easy to say "OMG! They cut everyone's pay and then handed out $50M in bonuses!!!". That would be a false impression of what really happened. Pay was cut by 5% across the board and bonuses were cut by 50%. Tells a whole different story when you include the context, doesn't it?
Honestly, it seems like a lot of these sorts of outrage are based on half information and hype. When you look more closely and get the facts, it's often much ado about nothing at all.