14% for you and me; 1,167% for CEO’s

“The gap between executive compensation and average worker pay has been growing for decades. Chief executives of big companies now make, on average, 320 times as much as their typical worker, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In 1989, that ratio was 61 to 1. From 1978 to 2019, compensation grew 14 percent for typical workers. It rose 1,167 percent for C.E.O.s.

The featured photo and the above quote are from a 4/24/2021 NYT analysis of last year’s executive compensation, and while what it reveals is not surprising, as my father would have declared: “Damn it, that really rots my socks!”

NO ONE has an intrinsic value of $211,000,000 for one year of work (which is what the appropriately named Chad Richison received from Paycom). Such compensation is the pure, contrived exploitation that unfettered, conscienceless capitalism encourages. Yet again, Gatsby is proven correct: One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer. The rich get richer and the poor get—children.

If Richison’s annual compensation is not enough to raise your hackles at the current, excessive cruelty of our American Economy, consider the following: the bottom 50% of America’s households holds 1.6% of America’s total household wealth. (Wikipedia) That works out to an average (total) household wealth (not compensation) of $27,199 per household in the bottom 50%. The average wealth of a household in the upper 1% (1,228,000 households) is $6,066,775 or an amount 223 times greater than the average of the 61,200,000 households in the bottom 50%.

The NYT article brought to mind the Jean-Jacques Rousseau observation I quoted in a January post:

Quand le peuple n’aura plus rien à manger, il mangera le riche.

When the people shall have no more to eat, they will eat the rich.

I’m going to read the article—C.E.O. Pay Remains Stratospheric, Even at Companies Battered by Pandemic—one more time before I start sharpening the cutlery.

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(No copyright infringement is intended in the use of the NYT image nor is there an intent on the part of the blogger to monetize the use of the image in this post)