Watchdog Blog

Morton Mintz: The Astounding, Ridiculous Pay Gap

Posted at 3:05 pm, January 4th, 2010
Morton Mintz Mug

“Over the last 50 years, the ratio of top pay to average pay at public companies has multiplied roughly 11 times (24:1 to 275:1),” Steven Brill wrote in the Jan. 3 New York Times Magazine. “That’s more pay in one workday for the chief executive than his average employee makes in a year.”

Moreover, as Warren Buffet wrote in 2006, “Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance.”

Brill came up with a promising remedy: Regulators could “require that all public companies publish a chart each year showing the total annual income of its highest-paid executive and of a worker earning the median income, as well as the ratio between the two amounts.”

This transparency “would not only help shareholders control their boards but would also unleash some of what [Rep. Barney] Frank calls ‘the power of embarrassment’,” Brill wrote. “Perhaps boards might get some gumption once the press starts publishing tables comparing pay-gap ratios at hundreds of well-known companies.”

4 Responses to “The Astounding, Ridiculous Pay Gap”

  1. Darlene says:

    I wish there was a remedy for greed. I doubt if embarrassment would stop some of the top CEO’s, who worship at the altar of the almighty dollar, from collecting their lavish bonuses.

  2. Frank Krasnicki says:

    No one deseerves the amount of money some of these CEO’s are being paid. Wall Street firms claim that obscene executive compensation is necessary to “attract and retain top talent.”
    This “top talent” has been offshoring America’s jobs, laying off the “real” talent in their firms (worker bees)and overall decimating America’s industry.
    I work in Aerospace. I often can’t buy American parts for aircraft that will be used in this country’s defense, because the industries that produced those parts no longer exist.
    I’m sick and tired of hearing the term “globalization” to remain competitive. I believe it’s just a ploy to enable big CEO bonuses by cutting American worker’s payrolls.

    We are also enabling foreign industry by exporting our technology.

    When the next global conflict comes about (and it will!), where will America’s “friends” stand in the confict?
    Will we be able to get aircraft parts from China? How about strategic materials from Russia?

    We are inexorably slipping into the status of a second-rate power. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “hawk”. I’m just concerned that we’re sacrificing this country to needs of a greedy Wall Street.

  3. kit says:

    Do you and this Brill fellow know what median means? Do you think it means average? It doesn’t, but is that what you think it means?

  4. mizner park apartment says:

    Wasn’t that money suppose to “recapitalize” the bank…good job bernanke? Funny how 70% went in bankers pockets. How about pass a law stripping them of all their bonuses for 3 years!

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