CEO pay soars while worker pay stalls

That clever headline comes from USA Today, and the underlying data is as bad as you think it is (my emphasis):

At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, saw their compensation grow just 2.1% in the 12 months ended December 2010, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Two years of scaling back amid tough economic times proved temporary as three-quarters of CEOs got raises in 2010 — and, in many cases, the increases were substantial.

I’ve said before (along with many others) that stockholders no longer own companies — that’s a myth held over from your daddy’s generation.

The CEO class runs companies for their own financial benefit. The fact that something of value is created is just a by-product, a means to an end. The real goal is just the skim. Proof? From the same article:

The sizable pay hikes came even though the economy’s recovery remains frail, unemployment is high and corporate profits last year were roughly flat, up 1.5%, from where they were in 2007 when the stock market peaked.

CEOs, VPs and the like exist to rake corporate cash into their pockets. Corporations exist to provide that cash, and as the above quote shows, every aspect of corporate control — including the supposed requirement to generate profits — is twisted to that purpose.

Blue Texan calls them our “Galtian overlords“. Me, I think “Your Highness” will do just fine.

This, by the way, is why God created the 90% top marginal tax rate. The phrase “your highness” is offensive in a democracy.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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