Who is a recent letter writer trying to kid? As if U.S. CEOs actually worked for a living? The newest Fed study shows that the top 10 percent of U.S. households owns 84.5 percent of $225 trillion total U.S. financial assets. The next 15 percent own 11.5 percent, leaving the remaining 75 percent of American households with exactly 4 percent of savings/checking accounts, stocks, bonds, CDs, cash value insurance policies, and the change under the sofa cushions.
And yet the Walt Disney company, notes analyst Eleanor Bloxham in Fortune, could have paid all its employees $10,400 more each last year and still booked profits of over $4 billion. Disney CEO Robert Iger took home $34.3 million in 2013.
If you think that “It would be a sad thing for many people if the company were to lose value or even worse, cease to exist,” Susan Adams writes in Forbes, that across the board, the more CEOs get paid, the worse their companies do over the next three years. This is true whether they’re CEOs at the highest end of the pay spectrum or the lowest.
I believe the answer for everybody but CEOs is, pay CEOs less, no more than they earn in Japan and Germany, where workers earn a living wage for their labor. Here, I believe, CEOs don’t earn money, they grab it.