If only those greedy CEOs didn’t make so much, the employees could make a better wage. Not really

Every so often someone will make some noise about how the greedy CEOs make too much and the workers don’t make enough.  If people would only do the math themselves, they might not repeat this vacant charge.

To begin with, the median CEO salary in the US is only $750,000.  Usually when people think of a CEO’s salary, they picture the head of a major Fortune 500 company and not the small corporations whose CEO makes exponentially less in annual compensation.  But what if we take the top salaried CEOs and divided their salaries among their employees, surely that would make a difference, wouldn’t it?  No.  Not when you do the math.  The CEOs with the highest compensation also run the companies with the largest numbers of employees.  Counting the salaries and bonuses only (since that is what the company pays out through payroll and stock options and other monies would go to stock holders) the extra pay employees would see if the CEO’s pay were divided equally among them on the presumption of a 40 hour week, the increase is negligible.

Breakdown of hourly increase in salary if the CEO’s salary and bonuses were equally divided among all company employees.

  1. John H Hammergren, McKesson — Salary + Bonuses only : $6.31M, 37,700 employees = $0.08/hr
  2. Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren — Salary + Bonuses only: $20.75M, 25,000 employees = $0.50/hr
  3. Michael D Fascitelli, Vornado Realty — Salary + Bonuses only: $1.01M, 4,428 employees = $0.11/hr
  4. Richard D Kinder, Kinder Morgan — Salary + Bonuses only $1, 10,685 employees = $0/hr
  5. David M Cote, Honeywell — Salary + Bonuses only: $25.1M, 132,000 employees = $0.09/hr
  6. George Paz, Express Scripts — Salary + Bonuses only: $3.09M, 30,215 employees = $0.05/hr
  7. Jeffery H Boyd, Priceline — Salary + Bonuses only: $4.55M, 7,000 employees = $0.31/hr
  8. Stephen J Hemsley, United Health Group — Salary + Bonuses only: $4.7M, 133,000 employees = $0.02/hr
  9. Clarence P Cazalot Jr, Marathon Oil — Salary + Bonuses only: $4.4M, 3,367 employees = $0.63/hr
  10. John C Martin, Gilead Sciences — Salary and Bonuses only: $4.21M, 5,000 employees = $0.63

For the life of me I can’t understand why people believe they should be entitled to someone else’s money just because they make so much more.  Why shouldn’t CEOs make the money they do?  A better question: why do you think you should have a piece of it?  An even better question: why don’t these people demand athletes’ salaries be divided up among the fans?  Sure people express amazement at how someone playing a kid’s game makes so much, but they don’t demand their salaries be confiscated and distributed — and the average professional athlete makes more than the average CEO!

  • NBA player avg. salary: $5.15M
  • MLB player avg. salary: $3.2M
  • NHL player avg. salary: $2.4M
  • NFL player avg. salary: $1.9M

** All figures culled and were accurate as of time of writing, all sites accessed at time of writing.

Comments

  1. John! Even CEOs need to earn a living wage. Don’t distribute it all to the workers! Let’s leave them $50,000 a year, ok? They won’t put up with all the rigors of a CEO position for nothing, right?

  2. Ok, John. $75,000.00. You interested now?

  3. How about 3.5 million???

    Would you do it for THAT??

    • depends on the kind of company, and my liability if I don’t succeed. If theres a chance I could be held liable then I still dont think I’d want it. But if I can screw up and walk away, I’d be more likely to consider it.

      However, CEOs can be fired. I’d be out of a job and I dont think I could get another one at my current salary and security. That’s the biggest issue. Right now I have my job and wont lose it for the foreseeable future.

  4. How many hours are those CEOs working? That’s the whole point. If I’m working 500 a year and getting a $1 million, that’s a good deal to me. Since you are only averaging that using the typical 40 hours a week, you’re misleading people. I’ll bet few CEOs work that much, and what they do work is labor minimum and ya know it.

    And you act like being a CEO is so difficult. That would depend on the company. How much you wanna bet most CEOs have Vices to handle the majority of their job? That’s another thing you fail to include. Totally misleading post. There are way too many variables for this to be even semi-legitimate.

    • CEOs carry a lot of responsibility. They are responsible for making sure the company is profitable, directing the company to change with the times and market. They’re responsible to shareholders.

      The number of hours worked isn’t as important as what they are responsible for, even though the average CEO is over 50 years old and has put in more 16 hour days in their line of work than I ever will. CEO is the culmination of decades of working thousands of hours per year. I think it’s safe to say the average CEO is in the office for at least 40 a week. But think about flight attendants and airline pilots probably work similar hours but pilots make at least 3 times the attendant. Its the KSAs (knowledge, skill, and abilities) that warrant the higher pay. Even if the CEO delegates his entire job, which I dont think they do, he must have incredible judgement. Delegating to the wrong people and you ruin the company.

      I think we have a tendency to forget the road the CEO traveled before making it to the top.

      I also agree that they don’t do real work (what I consider work — physical labor). So I do more work than a CEO but my job isn’t worth what a CEO’s is.

  5. I don’t know why my links don’t work. Let me try again:

    Here ya go

    And another

  6. Brain work is indeed real work. I worked for 30 years as an Air Traffic Controller, and that takes brain work – not manual labor. But after a day of busy traffic you are indeed tired. And, we not only got paid for the KSA, but also the immense responsibility of keeping everything safe even when the pilots screw up! And when pilots screw up, often there is a CYA maneuver with the pilot’s attorney to get the controller blamed. I attended a trial as a witness for an event where it was 100% the pilot’s fault, but the FAA capitulated and paid out millions of dollars for the crash and the death of the pilot, and the controller had to bear the stigma of causing a crash. It was psychologically difficult for him, even though he kept his job (the FAA KNEW he wasn’t to blame, but didn’t want to fight it).

    As John pointed out, the pilots make more than the flight attendants, but it isn’t just because of their KSAs, it is also because they sole responsible party if something goes wrong.

    I don’t have an problem with CEOs, etc making big money, but I do have a problem with the liberals complaining about it all the while ignoring the BIGGER money made by those in the entertainment and sports industries.

  7. John,

    You’re telling me the number of hours worked isn’t important, yet your post made it seem as though CEOs are working 40 hours a week for slave wages. I’m sorry but that’s dishonest.

    Furthermore, you ignore the reality that many CEOs have underlings that handle much of the intellectual grunt work. You ignore it, that is, except to suggest delegating responsibility is worth millions in stock options.

    Regardless, the average CEO salary thirty-years ago was about 30 times the average worker’s pay. Now days, it’s 273 times the average workers pay – and the job, if anything, has gotten easier with the advent of new technology.

    I don’t care if CEOs are inflating their own pay or not. It doesn’t matter. I’m all for the right to conduct one’s business as they see fit. But I still think corporations should exercise a little class. Employment numbers are in the tank, corporate profits are high, and CEO pay continues to rise. This is not morally acceptable conduct, in my view.

    But just because something is immoral doesn’t mean it should be illegal. I’m not suggesting government stick its nose in their business, but neither am I suggesting we make excuses for their inflated pay – like you’re doing.

    • I’m not saying CEOs are making slave wages. I’m not even really saying anything about their wages except that even though they are high, if they were divided up among the workers, the workers aren’t going to make that much more.

  8. John,

    Include the benefit packages as well as the wages and benefits of their immediate underlings and you’ll see enough money. Costco is a good example of a morally sound corporation.

    • When you add up VPs and what not, you’ll see at most a dollar more an hour. I suppose if you added up every dime the make in a year you’d get maybe another dollar or so. But not all that money would be ‘extra’ it would go to share holders.

      I have never understood why people get so disgusted with CEOs compensation even if the ‘gap’ between they and the other employees has grown. That’s an agreement between the CEO and the corporation, and an agreement between the workers and the corporation.

  9. John,

    You don’t know that. Unless you know the exact amount each immediate underling makes, including their benefit packages, you cannot determine the impact that would have on the average worker salary.

    So any agreement between two parties is morally sound?

    • You can find out. It’ll be in their annual reports. If making 131 million in total compensation (#1 on the list) and divide it up it comes to like 1.29 more an hour. So throwing another 100 million just to be safe total for the next 5 guys for the mix, you’ll get maybe another .80 an hour.

  10. Terrance, CEOs are worth every penny they get paid, because that’s what they’re being paid. The market has worked.

    If it was only about hours worked, or just what their labor immediately produced, then they might as well put anyone in and pay them $75,000 a year.

    Is an ounce of caviar really worth so much more than an ounce of bread? Not if you judge it on very narrow standards. That’s what you’re doing when you compare the hours worked by a CEO to the hours worked by the 17 year old kid flipping burgers who barely speaks English.

    Caviar IS more valuable than bread. It’s rare, like men with the skills, experience, CONTACTS, and temperament to be a CEO.

    It serves nothing to complain about the high pay of anyone who makes merely more than other people. Nothing.

  11. Go ask your boss to triple your pay. Tell him that you know that you work three times as long as the CEO. Tell him that you have produced INFINITELY more widgets than him, since he has produced precisely zero. How do you think that would go?

    “Dude, if I wanted to pay three times your salary, I’d hire two more guys”, is what I bet he’d tell you.

    OR… He’d tell you, “While we’re readjusting wages… You’ve produced 100 widgets this week. Joe, the warehouse guy, shipped 5,000 widgets. Perhaps you deserve 2% of what he makes!”.

  12. Tell you what. Let’s commission a study. We’ll get deep into the nitty gritty of what job is actually worth what pay so that we may fairly distribute pay. We’ll have to consider each company’s products or services, what they’re worth to the market. We’ll need to consider how much experience and what skills need to be acquired to fulfill the duties of each job at every level of business. We’ll need to consider (somehow) the willingness of each person in every position at every level of business to do each job. We’ll need to consider the availability of people who have the necessary skills to perform every job at every level of business. We’d need to come up with a way to determine, not only all of this, but to measure each person’s level of contentment with the numbers we come to.

    Or, we could let each company offer what they think is prudent and feasible, and let each individual decide if each offer is acceptable. You know, like we’ve been doing forever!

  13. Conservative2Cents,

    I have no doubt that SOME CEOs are worth every penny they’re paid. Steve Jobs, for example, was paid well and deserved it. He was an innovator.

    But every CEO? I seriously doubt it.

    And I’m not comparing CEOs with 17-year-old burger flippers. I’m just not sure that the CEO is worth 273 times more than that 17-year-old kid.

    I wasn’t complaining; I was responding to a post.

    My boss could afford to pay me three-times more, but my job doesn’t deserve that much money where I live. And who is suggesting a 3x wage increase for anyone? You’re the first to mention it. All I said was that CEOs are paid 273 times more than average workers, whereas 30 years ago they were only paid 30x more – and the job, with the advent of technology, has gotten easier.

    I believe companies and businesses have a moral responsibility to pay their employees as best they can – and that’s clearly not happening in many places. Letting the “market decide” is stupid on its face. If that were the case, how much would minimum wage be? What, 1940s level? No doubt, since every time its raised business owners bitch about it. And it hasn’t kept up with the price of inflation since the 1960s.

  14. You guys may be comfortable with corporations running roughshod over the American people, but I am not. Employments numbers are low, corporations are making record profits, and CEOs are raking in the dough.

    • I just don’t see it as morally suspect as some do. I also don’t like the idea of minimum wages. I think they contribute to inflation rates. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t see things like this in terms should.

  15. John,

    It doensn’t cause inflation.

    The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study between 1990 and 2006 and found “no adverse employment effects from higher minimum wages.”

    Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger, “The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry,” Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University, February 1992.

    David Card, “Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, October 1992.

    Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt, Economic Policy Institute, Making Work Pay: The Impact of the 1996-97 Minimum Wage Increase, 1998.

    Jerold Waltman, Allan McBride and Nicole Camhout, “Minimum Wage Increases and the Business Failure Rate,” Journal of Economic Issues, March 1998.

    A Report by the National Economic Council, The Minimum Wage: Increasing the Reward for Work, March 2000.

    Holly Sklar, Laryssa Mykyta and Susan Wefald, Raise The Floor: Wages and Policies That Work For All Of Us (Boston: South End Press, 2001/2002), Ch. 4 and pp. 102-08.

    Marilyn P. Watkins, Economic Opportunity Institute, “Still Working Well: Washington’s Minimum Wage and the Beginnings of Economic Recovery,” January 21, 2004.

    Amy Chasanov, Economic Policy Institute, No Longer Getting By: An Increase in the Minimum Wage is Long Overdue, May 2004.

    Fiscal Policy Institute, States with Minimum Wages above the Federal Level Have Had Faster Small Business and Retail Job Growth, March 2006 (update of 2004 report).

    John Burton and Amy Hanauer, Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio, Good for Business: Small Business Growth and State Minimum Wages, May 2006.

    Paul K. Sonn, Citywide Minimum Wage Laws: A New Policy Tool for Local Governments, (originally published by Brennan Center for Justice) National Employment Law Project, May 2006, includes a good summary of impact research.

    Liana Fox, Economic Policy Institute, Minimum Wage Trends: Understanding past and contemporary research, November 8, 2006.

    Arindrajit Dube, Suresh Naidu and Michael Reich, “The Economic Effects of a Citywide Minimum Wage,” Industrial & Labor Relations Review, July 2007.

    Jerold L. Waltman, Minimum Wage Policy in Great Britain and the United States (New York: Algora, 2008), pp. 17-19, 132-136, 151-162, 178-180.

    Arindrajit Dube, T. William Lester and Michael Reich, Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Univ. of CA, Berkeley, August 2008.

  16. Terrance, my examples are things I’m bringing up to prove points. Here’s another one.

    If we split all wages amongst workers, every worker would make about $90,000 per year. Good, right? Flipping burgers is now a GREAT paying job!

    But really good plumbers, radiologists, doctors, real estate agents would all take a pay cut.

    I know you didn’t suggest this solution, but that’s the direction you’re heading in. So I’m just going the extra mile.

    In a world like this, who would be a good plumber, but the true believer in the plumbers’ creed: “To protect the health of the nation” (yes. That’s real)? Would you be a plumber and make just as much as a receptionist?? I wouldn’t!

    In the real world, I don’t flip burgers for a living. Why not? Because I like my nice house in my nice neighborhood. I like my pool!

    I’ve never flipped burgers. My first job was one that payed more than minimum wage. No experience. No real skills. How in the HELL did I earn more than minimum wage? Because the job was less desirable than making food or mopping floors. I took a job that not many people were willing to take or able to handle.

    Plumber’s helper! $9.00/hr. In the early 1990s. As an 18yr old kid, I thought I had hit the jackpot! None of my friends made that. But then, none of them got covered in sewerage while digging hard dirt in the south Texas summer sun.

    That’s how the job market works. The more you know, the more you are willing to put up with, the more you get crapped on (figuratively and literally), the more YOU’RE WORTH.

    You really have no idea what it takes to be a CEO. Neither do I. But I know this absolutely. Whatever it is, it’s above my pay grade.

  17. John,

    Semantics. There isn’t a noticeable difference, as those studies show.

    Conservatve2Cents,

    And your point is…what? Every CEO is worth millions? Yeah, I caught that. But I disagree.

    So your argument is that since we can’t reasonably pay burger-flippers $90,000 a year, it’s morally okay to pay CEOs millions and millions? Um, okay!

    No, it’s not the direction I’m heading in. I’m saying that companies have a moral obligation to pay their employees good wages. I didn’t say they should be forced to pay good wages. Similarly, I don’t think people should be forced to help women who are being raped on the sidewalk, but I think people have a moral responsibility to help the woman.

    Knowing nothing about my background, you can’t say I don’t know what it takes. I certainly do. I’ve never done the job myself, but I worked for the CEO of an ambulance company that operates all over Michigan. He’s my half-brother’s father. He owned an Apple Orchard in addition to being CEO of the ambulance company. We used to talk all the time and I’d ask him all sorts of questions about his job because it sounded interesting to me, a teenager. He ran the company for more than 15 years as CEO.

    Second, since YOU don’t know what it takes to be a CEO – by your own admission – how can you state definitively that CEOs are worth the millions and millions they’re paid? If you don’t know what it takes then you’re offering mere opinion, conjecture.

    • I don’t know what it’s like to be a CEO, but all a CEO is, is an upper management person. I DO know what it’s like to be in management, since I spent 10 years as a front-line (first-line) supervisor where I worked my butt off a whole lot more than those I supervised, and I had triple the responsibilities, had to deal with idiotic union crap, liaised with the public, investigated incidents/accidents, etc. I deserved twice the pay of those I supervised, and yet I got only about 15% more.

  18. Ok. Let’s just say that you, me, and anyone reading this thread has the smarts to be a CEO. How many of us have had the chance to do so? And not just an ambulance company. I’m talking about a huge corporation. The kind that has hundreds of millions to spend on a CEO.

    Not that your acquaintance wasn’t paid that much. I just don’t know.

    I happen to have been the owner and president of a very short lived company. I crashed that puppy. I wouldn’t dare compare myself to any president of a mega successful company.

    My point is that these mega successful companies are successful not because there’s a guy turning screws, but because there’s ONE guy at the helm. Can that guy be replaced? Of course! But not by the average screw turner!

    There are a very few guys who are capable, available, and offered CEO positions. As a board member, you pay a certain amount to get that guy: whatever he’ll take!

    Shame on him? Shame on the board? I don’t know! But the point of John’s post remains. What difference does it make to the worker?? A few pennies per hour! Big deal!

    So, you want to pay people more? Where is that money supposed to come from?

  19. Great math — and I am far from being a redistributionist. But thoughts:
    (1) If you took the top earners from the company (coming from company profits): CEO, COO, board of directors, top managers and more, and considered all their salary inflations and cut those to some degree, would that make a difference. Of course, like the fine work you did, that is an empirical question and any thing short of an empirical answer would be meaningless. So I don’t expect you to have those sorts of stats at your finger tips, but that may be a may be a more valuable question that a real distributions would want to know.
    (2) I agree on pointing out Sports and Celebrity income. I never watch sports and feel it is a weird part of Civil Religion of sorts.

  20. CEOs are worth their pay because someone is willing to pay them that much. That’s how it works. If someone like Terrance believes otherwise, it doesn’t matter until someone like Terrance starts his own company or becomes a major shareholder and votes a lower salary for the CEO.

  21. Conservatve2Cents,

    You can’t so easily dismiss the story I told you. It’s not “just an ambulance company,” but a international, private corporation with thousands of employees and thousands of patients under their care. The responsibility is incredible. Their U.S. based operation is solely in Michigan, but they operate internationally as well. I believe Indonesia or something.

    You’ve explained why CEOs are worth money, but you haven’t explained why they’re worth 273 times that of an average worker – and I don’t think you can. It’s merely an example of CEOs inflating their own pay.

    Marshal,

    So I have to start my own company to have an opinion? Okay. I own my own business. Don’t believe me? Ask John.

  22. @ Marshal-art,
    Markets aren’t free when people aren’t free. I am very, very fond of free markets.
    But I have no answers:
    — Better rule of law to increase freedom and stop coerced markets — but what to do til then.
    — Redistribution? But to whom, how much? This creates its own problems.
    — No action can cause violent revolt.
    I only have questions.

  23. Terrance,

    “So I have to start my own company to have an opinion?”

    I’ve re-read my comment several times and for the life of me cannot understand what led to your question. My comment more than indicates that your opinion doesn’t matter to how much CEOs are paid until you are in a position to dictate what a given CEO makes. You are more than free to have an opinion upon the income of others, though I don’t see where its any of your business, and I don’t know that those whose business it is decides on criteria you’d likely submit for consideration.

    How CEO salaries are decided.

  24. Sabio,

    Huh?

  25. Marshal,

    You said,

    If someone like Terrance believes otherwise, it doesn’t matter until someone like Terrance starts his own company or becomes a major shareholder and votes a lower salary for the CEO.

    To me, that means I have one of two options: (1) start my own company; or (2) become a major shareholder and vote on the salary of a CEO.

    If so, I’ve met one of those qualifications already. And the salary of CEOs is only my concern because I was tacitly obliged to make it so by John’s post. I didn’t solicit companies to consider my opinion, you realize.

  26. Ah yes, a quick reminded of why I don’t comment here of “Shifting Reality” — unsubscribing — no need to reply to any of my comments now — I won’t be listening.

  27. Terrance,

    What makes making more than someone else immoral? Whatever ratio it happens to be? 300:1, 30:1… Why is more wrong?

  28. Or… Why is more more wrong? And who decides?

  29. Terrance,

    “And the salary of CEOs is only my concern because I was tacitly obliged to make it so by John’s post.”

    I don’t believe your concerns stay within the scope of the questions John asked. You seem inordinately concerned about the gap between CEO pay and employee pay. But as you own your own business, you can make sure that you never allow such a gap to exist between your income and that of your employees. You are well within your rights to do so. In the meantime, you must consider that CEOs are sought by boards of directors and these boards know that if they do not offer more than their competitors, the CEOs they seek will not work for them. There are something akin to bidding wars for quality corporate leaders. Employee wages are not determined in anything close to a similar manner. They are set within a range the industry has determined is a proper level of pay for a given job, jobs many people can do. The more people that can do a given job, the less likely a company will need to pay huge amounts. The fewer people skilled enough to do a given job, like running a corporation, the more value the person has.

  30. Marshall,

    My concern is directly related to the post, my friend. John asked, Why shouldn’t CEOs make the money they do? I answered that corporations, in my view, have a moral responsibility to pay their employees well, and if they limited the amount of money their CEOs are paid then they would have the funds necessary to raise the pay of average workers. John’s post is refuting this idea.

    Currently, CEOs are 273 times more valuable, based on pay, than the average worker. This is the “big money” John talks about. Are CEOs more valuable than an average worker? Absolutely. But are they 273 times more valuable? I don’t think so. In fact, I think many of them are overpaid – and CEO pay is, after all, the topic at hand.

    But like I said, I have no real problem with CEOs making the big bucks. I don’t care. I’m not paying them, I’m not voting on the board, and I’m likely not a shareholder (or even stakeholder) in most of these companies – so why do I care? I don’t, really. I’m just responding to the post, playing devil’s advocate, stimulating debate. I certainly believe the words I’m writing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not overly concerned. I wouldn’t advocate any sort of cap on CEO pay. I think government should stay the hell out of it.

  31. The question is “Are CEOs 273 times more valuable than the average worker?”. The answer is yes. To the market.

    I do more meaningful work than those who make millions playing basketball. But the work isn’t the only consideration when deciding what to pay them or me.

  32. There is, however, that point about paying employees well. I don’t believe you’ll find any company of any size that believes they aren’t doing this. At least no one who would admit to purposely paying poorly. You see an ad claiming, “competitive pay”, but not with whom they are looking to remain competitive in the area of compensation. Most corps would insist they are meeting whatever moral demands they feel are appropriate. Most employees would disagree, but not because it is true, but simply because they want more. I believe that looking at the difference between CEO pay and employee pay is covetous and unworthy of honorable men.

  33. It’s evident that “the market” is based on something altogether different What I want to know is if the average CEO is worth 273 times more TO THEIR RESPECTIVE COMPANY than the average worker? And I don’t believe that is true.

  34. I’m not sure you can.

    • So if there is nonarbitrary way doesn’t that mean that the pay is where it should be? If say it should be lower, but lowered by an arbitrary number and standard, it stands to reason the pay is not wrong.

  35. John,

    Sure – if common sense is left at the door. But you don’t need a metric to know that the average CEO is certainly not worth 273 times that of the average worker.

  36. John,

    I see. So your solution is to do nothing because there is no metric to prove the existence of a problem. The CEO of Wal-Mart, for example, makes $20 million a year. The majority of employees make wages below the poverty line. This isn’t a problem? This is acceptable?

    • I don’t really offer a solution because I don’t see a problem other than an awed reaction at a big number. The average Walmart job is not a career, it’s a low experience/special skill job. For example, my cousin has worked there coming up on 2 years as a warehouse guy. He didn’t graduate high school but what he does is take boxes off a truck and move them to the stock room. Then there’s cashiers who need only need to know how to scan bar codes and operate a cash register. Then there’s the shelf stockers who take items out of boxes and put them neatly on shelves. I’m not belittling the people, but the tasks for which they are responsible are not difficult or specialized to warrant more than 9 or 10 an hour. The salary that a job pays says more about the task than it does the worker. Me for example? My job pays way more than I think it’s worth. For what I do, my salary should be at least 10 – 15k less per year. For me this is both good and bad. It’s good because it pays alright for my region of the country which has a high cost of living but in most of the USA it’s a really well paying job. However, this means I’m stuck in this job I hate. I don’t have the education or experience to get a comparably paying job if I want to leave. My education and experience could get me a 35k or so job.

  37. John,

    Then I would suggest you open your eyes. 1% of the country owns 40% of its wealth but that’s okay because some misunderstood notion of the “free market” says so? Absurd.

    So companies have no obligation to pay well unless it’s a “career” position? Nonsensical.

    The point isn’t whether the jobs are difficult; the point is that without those employees, the CEO wouldn’t have the money to pay himself $20 million a year. That’s what you people don’t realize. Without those uneducated employees, the company wouldn’t make any money!

    It’s a good thing they are uneducated and unskilled, huh? They fill a need!

  38. It’s a good thing there positions available where the uneducated and unskilled can earn any income at all. Do you think they’d be able to develop a stream of income otherwise? And you keep saying the CEOs pay themselves. They don’t in most cases.

  39. Marshall,

    I see. And your premise being that those highly skilled and educated CEOs are benevolent for allowing “uneducated” and “unskilled” workers to stock the shelves and run the registers. For, if the highly skilled CEO wasn’t such a nice guy, well, he’d just run all those stores himself simultaneously, being the highly skilled, amazing super hero he is…

    Businesses don’t operate themselves and it’s not feasible to hire educated, skilled employers for every single job under the sun. The cost of business would be prohibitive.

  40. Terrance,

    It’s not a matter of benevolence. Yet, you are demanding benevolence of everyone who runs a major corporation. Where does it say that a corporation even needs to hire anyone? What need there is is dictated by what it takes to produce the products on a large scale. Employees are the way the owner, or CEO, multiplies his efforts.

    But my point was that the jobs exist because of the CEO or business owner. It is not because anyone forced them to start a biz and hire people. What would the employees do without the jobs that were offered by owners and CEOs? Whence comes this notion that an employer MUST pay some arbitrary level of wage, especially when the pay level comes with the job offer and no one is forced to take the job? Sure, one’s circumstances might force one to take a low paying job just to secure some kind of income. But how does that lead to the notion that the employer is somehow obliged to do more than he offered at the point of hire?

    I have no issue with the concept of lobbying for wage increases. I believe, however, that it is incumbent upon the employee to demonstrate value that justifies the increase, not whine about how bad his life is. Corporations don’t exist as charities. They exist to provide returns on the investors’ money. They exist to make a profit for the owners. They do this by providing products and/or services to the consumer that is of higher quality and better value than what competitors offer. They do NOT exist to employ people, even where employing people is necessary to develop the greatest income for the company. Do some employers take advantage? Sure. I’ve no doubt such people exist. I just don’t think the income of the CEO is proof of this. How and why CEOs make their scratch and how and why the employees do is apples and oranges.

    What is of more concern to me is why those not in those positions feel they are justified in casting aspersions on CEOs, passing judgement on their level of income and deigning to declare what their obligations must be. Sounds extremely covetous to me.

  41. Ridiculous. Of course if one persons salary is divided amongst 30000 people it’s going to be nothing. But it’s not. They don’t. Deserve what they make. They are corrupt. They do little work. Stupid logic.

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