Study: CEO pay now 200 times more than a worker
Compensation for chief executives at American companies grew 15 percent in 2011 after a 28 percent rise in 2010, part of a larger trend that has seen CEO pay skyrocket over the last three decades. Workers, on the other hand, have been left behind.
Since 1978, CEO pay at American firms has risen 725 percent, more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the same time period, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute:
From 1978 to 2011, CEO compensation increased more than 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth and the painfully slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation over the same period.
In 1978, CEOs took home 26.5 times more than the average worker. They now make roughly 206 times more than workers, EPI found. The pay isn’t always tied to the performance of their businesses – as ThinkProgress has noted, CEOs at companies like Bank of America often pocket huge pay increases even as the company’s stock price plummets and jobs are cut.
As a result, American income inequality has skyrocketed, growing worse than it is in countries like Pakistan and Ivory Coast. Wealth inequality is worse than it was even in Ancient Rome. And, as pay skyrockets and tax rates fall for the richest Americans, the rising inequality has left the bottom 95 percent of Americans saddled with more debt than ever before. – thinkprogress.org
Workers’ wages aren’t tied to productivity either. Despite substantial gains in productivity since the 1970s, worker pay has remained flat. According to Labor Department data cited by the Huffington Post, inflation-adjusted wages fell 2 percent in 2011. – thinkprogress.org
Working and middle-class Americans have seen their debt balloon since the 1980s. Today, Americans owe some $704 billion in credit card debt, and more than that in both auto loans and student borrowing. CNN
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From the Archives
“Responsibility to Protect” as Imperial Tool
By JEAN BRICMONT | February 20, 2012
The events in Syria, after those in Libya last year, are accompanied by calls for a military intervention, in order to “protect civilians”, claiming that it is our right or our duty to do so. And, just as last year, some of the loudest voices in favor of intervention are heard on the left or among the Greens, who have totally swallowed the concept of “humanitarian intervention”. In fact, the rare voices staunchly opposed to such interventions are often associated with the right, either Ron Paul in the US or the National Front in France. The policy the left should support is non-intervention.
The main target of the humanitarian interventionists is the concept of national sovereignty, on which the current international law is based, and which they stigmatize as allowing dictators to kill their own people at will. The impression is sometimes given that national sovereignty is nothing but a protection for dictators whose only desire is to kill their own people.
But in fact, the primary justification of national sovereignty is precisely to provide at least a partial protection of weak states against strong ones. … continue
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