Sunday, July 3, 2011

CEO Pay Skyrockets, Again

Average Americans feel glum about this economy, despite the fact that official government numbers say we’ve been out of the recession for over two years.

Why is that?  If the pie is getting bigger (and it is—United States Gross Domestic Product grew 3.1% in the last quarter of 2010 and 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011) why aren’t people celebrating?

Because the pie is being plundered, with enormous portions going to the gluttons at the top and puny slices to the rest of us.

A New York Times article today revealed that CEO pay for execs at the top 200 corporations increased this year an average of 23%.  For the big boss, that equates to a paycheck totaling over ten million annually.  Of course, that’s way more than the typical worker, who earns just $33,190 per year, will see in his or her lifetime.  In fact, the guy at the top earns 343 times what Joe or Jane average brings home. 

This means with a little overtime—just a little over three centuries worth of extra hours—you could be earning the same as head of Comcast, or Target, or Walmart.

So despite America’s growing economy, ordinary people are getting squeezed, told they must sacrifice Medicare, Social Security and other benefits they bought and paid for because we just can’t afford to raise taxes on billionaires.

Baloney.  America remains the richest country in the world, with a $!4.7 trillion economy, accounting for a quarter of everything the planet produces.  The problem is a surfeit of greed in high places.

The United States of America can afford to provide health care to all its citizens, education and the opportunity for college to families stretched by rising tuition bills, and jobs with decent pay and a secure retirement. 

What we can’t afford is a ruling class of corporate chieftains who aren’t willing to share the pie, but have to gobble it all.

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