Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cavalcade of Capitalists: U.S. CEOs Make 3x More than Euro Counterparts; Generate $19 Billion Less Sales

That old populist rascal Jim Hightower writes an outstanding commentary in the latest TO on the mortgage collapse and the nonclinical, ordinary recession that many Americans have been in for some time.

He also observes:

[’s] latest survey finds that the chieftains of Fortune 500 corporations averaged $10.8 million in pay in 2006—more than 364 times the annual pay of the average U.S. worker. On top of that, CEOs salted away an average $1.3 million in pension gains in 2006 and averaged another $438,000 in freebies like personal travel on corporate jets, country club fees, and even corporate payments of their taxes.

Well, the CEO clique asserts, we run huge corporations and get paid accordingly. But when compared the 20 highest-paid U.S. chief executives with the 20 highest-paid in Europe, they found the European chiefs took only a third as much pay—though they ran companies generating $19 billion more in sales than their U.S. counterparts. The ever-spreading pay gap has become a sundering chasm in our society.

Why is it whenever we have a debate about the low income and lack of stability for the American workers under "free trade," pro-growth types always argue for the need to remain "competitive" and to keep the workforce wages and benefits depressed to match the "global marketplace." It's obvious that American CEO's wages and benefits are not depressed to match the "global marketplace." Why the double standard (other than those with the most money do not have to play by the same rules)?

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