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View Diary: Do you think UAW workers make $70 an hour? UPDATED (211 comments)

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  •  140 years (2+ / 0-)
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    RonRaunikar, Inky99

    That's how long it would take for the average production line worker making $57k to earn one average year of CEO salary.

    This does sorta piss me off, but not for the reason you might think.  It's not that the difference may be unfair.  It's what the difference leads to - short term thinking.

    Let's say you're a small business owner - flower shop, home computer service.  Let's say you pay yourself $45k a year. [On paper.  If you're doin' it right, you'll actually derive a lot more benefit from deductible business expenses that incidentally serve personal uses.]  Because you depend on the business' continued success for your living, and because you intend to keep living for another three or four decades, you tend to think long term, to try to anticipate what's coming that might affect your business.

    But, let's say you're presented with an opportunity to make $8 million in profit ($4 million for you) for one year in your business with no guarantee that you'll have the same opportunity ever again.  The downside is that your business may not do so well after that. Now let's also say that your business has partners, shareholders who are constantly pressuring you to increase the next quarter's profits.  How long does it take you to decide, "Well, fuck it!  I'm taking the $4 mil NOW and the hell with what happens to the business later!"

    For a long time, corporate CEOs have been itinerant hired guns who are competent NOT at managing companies for long term health, but at increasing successive quarterly earnings for awhile.  They're experts at burning the railroad ties from the tracks ahead to make the train go faster NOW.  And they're paid a metric buttload for doing just that.  They have no incentive to think long term.

    That Corporate America controls so much of the fate of the economy for all of us and that it's run by and has increasingly rewarded such "quick buck" CEOs in a doomed feedback loop - that's the real outrage.

    Some folks prefer a map and finding their own route. Others need someone to tell them where to go.

    by sxwarren on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:09:32 AM PST

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