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CEO-to-worker compensation ratio, with options
 granted and options realized, 1965–2011
"Options granted" compensation includes salary, bonus, restricted stock grants, options granted and long-term incentive payouts for CEOs at the top 350 firms ranked by sales. "Options exercised" compensation includes salary, bonus, restricted stock grants, options exercised, and long-term incentive payouts for CEOs at the top 350 firms ranked by sales. (Economic Policy Institute)
The chart speaks for itself. In 1965, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay was 20.1-to-1. Now the gap is more than 10 times that. When you combine that with the low-wage economy, you get a very unpleasant snapshot that goes to the heart of income inequality. Remind me once again who is engaging in class warfare.

Laura Clawson looked Wednesday at just how much bigger a slice of the economic pie (shrunken for the past four years) the top 1 percent have cut for themselves.

The top CEO compensation adds to this picture. Lawrence Mishel and Natalie Sabadish at the Economic Policy Institute show us in detail what's happened:

Though lower than in other years in the last decade, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio in 2011 of more than 200-to-1 is far above the ratios prevailing in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and mid-1990s. This illustrates that CEOs have fared far better than the typical worker, the stock market, or the U.S. economy over the last several decades. That begs the question: is there any gauge against which to measure CEO pay that hasn’t been surpassed?

The question is: Can something be done about this? Or, if something can be done about this, what is it? Or if the stagnation in workers' wages can be reversed and Americans in the bottom four quintiles of the population given a more livable income, will it matter what the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is?

Whatever the case, a little bit of populist rhetoric every election cycle won't do anything to address this imbalance. Serious policy change is needed. Who will give it to us?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Near beer? More like dish water. (13+ / 0-)

    Real wages have been flat for 30 years. At least near beer has some fizz in it. :P

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:49:43 PM PDT

  •  It is telling (12+ / 0-)

    that worker productivity has risen in line with Executive pay, yet the workers pay has flat-lined.

    When will the Middle Classes throw off the yoke?

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:05:30 PM PDT

    •  When there is no middle class (0+ / 0-)

      I think that's what it's going to take. The modern day equivalent of a serf uprising and I don't see it being peaceful.

      All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:20:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, Lily O Lady

        nightmare scenario.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:44:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, but look around, U6 is 20% or more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg

          And we're still struggling to get people to vote for their economic interests instead of worrying about "teh gayz" or abortion. The middle class is divided (and many deluded into thinking they could be the upper class) As long as those divisions and delusions exist the "bread and circuses" will keep them happy. Though Hannity now calls the bread "beans and rice".

          All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

          by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:48:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A system that produces the most massive... (14+ / 0-)

    ...inequality between the boss and the workers anywhere in the world is a sick system.  I am all for capitalism but what we have is a capitalism on crack and steroids.

    CEO pay

    Interesting article;

    How did Herbalife's CEO become the nation's top-paid executive?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:07:24 PM PDT

  •  You class warfare pusher! (6+ / 0-)

    Remember when the CEO screws the workers and gets a bonus for it that's capitalism = good.

    When you point it out that's class warfare = BAD :(

    Ask top al Qaeda leaders about Obama's foreign policy. Wait, you can't. They're dead. -Paul Begala

    by Fickle on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:08:11 PM PDT

  •  Look, we all know that these are special people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farmerchuck, BigAlinWashSt

    who come from genetically superior stock.

    It used to be a divine right, but now that we have modern science, it is a superior gene pool that produces the feudal lords.

    We lowly ones should just accept our fates.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:27:32 PM PDT

  •  Can something be done about this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Yes.  Unions improve wages for workers (and not just those in unions) while historically limiting CEO pay and reducing corporate economic power.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

    by David Kaib on Thu May 03, 2012 at 04:48:14 PM PDT

    •  The problem is... (0+ / 0-)

      CEO salaries and benefit packages are set by their boards, which are made up largely of - you guessed it - other CEOs and top executives.  It's an old boys club (literally), and they all have a vested interest in approving these outrageous compensation packages for one another.  It's not just the workers who get screwed...  The shareholders lose out, too.

      •  It's true (0+ / 0-)

        that these are the rules. But rules alone don't determine outcomes.The idea that the rest of us have no business involving ourselves in CEO compensation prevents us from even contesting it, as does the lack of institutional means to organize such opposition. Unions once provided that, and would again if they were stronger.

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

        by David Kaib on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're gonna need a bigger boat... (0+ / 0-)

          I believe that unions once held that kind of power... they still have the power to make large corporations open their books.  (I worked in HR at a Fortune 500 Co., and I got a peek at our upper management golden parachutes during labor negotiations...)

          But, the 1% have used their power and influence to weaken unions.  So, it's going to take more.  People mock the Occupy movement, but really, isn't this what they are protesting?  I think we all have to start realizing that we are in the same boat.  And, even if you don't want to go live in a park, maybe it's time we all get involved...

          •  The key is contestation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gertie Green

            Unions and Occupy are two ways of ensuring that CEO pay (among other things ) become contested, and that matters more than most of us realize.  As I see it, done right the union movement and Occupy complement and reinforce each other.  

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

            by David Kaib on Sun May 06, 2012 at 07:56:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Higher marginal tax rates have a positive effect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howd

    I do think that higher marginal tax rates on high earners do have a moderating effect. We don't have any data on high tax rates in the post TRA86 era, and rates before 1986 aren't useful for analysis purposes. However, a top federal marginal rate on income over $5 million of 50% would likely help. These CEOs and senior executives are all earning income that is taxed at the highest rate on their salaries, cash bonuses, and all equity compensation including options and qualified stock grants. None of this income is subject to long term capital gains treatment so higher marginal rates do have a bite.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu May 03, 2012 at 07:15:05 PM PDT

    •  Had 90-70% Marginal Tax on Excessive Income (0+ / 0-)

      ... during the 40s-60s and CEO:Worker income ratio was 20-30x.  Reagan began cutting the marginal tax rate and now it sits at 35% and CEO are taking 200x of what they pay their workers.  If you don't let the CEOs keep all that excess income, they really won't have much incentive for taking it all for themselves and  end up hiring more workers and paying them more.  Simple really.  But it will be near impossible to get that genie back in the bottle, especially with Citizen United.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:22:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  howd - but you can't compare pre 86 tax rates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep

        and post the Tax Reform Act of 1986 tax rates, they are apples and oranges. You make a valid point but when you refer to pre'86 rates any student of tax policy will dismiss your argument as too simplistic.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:25:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  howd - just as an example (0+ / 0-)

        My suggestion that rates be raised on very high incomes to 50% would result in a higher effective rate (what people actually pay) than the 90% rate in the 50s. This is due to the fundamental change in the personal tax code that resulted when TRA86 was passed.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:32:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Corporate Globalism (0+ / 0-)

    ..ate the goose that laid America's golden egg. And then stole the egg.

    Mortgaged it to the hilt a few times, skipped out on the bill and then left it to us to pay.

    And we didn't even get the effing egg back.

    The social safety net has essentially been replaced by the prison system, with the U.S. “getting rid of the superfluous population through incarceration -- Noam Chomsky

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:32:15 AM PDT

  •  1) Strong unions; 2) Corp. boards regain control. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gertie Green, foresterbob, Chi

    This abomination won't begin to reverse until a number of things happen. First, unions come back from the dead and reassert their role in collective bargaining. This will require a drastic reversal of decades of brutal anti-union government policy and an end to corporate union busting, not to mention intense organizing efforts and a sea-change in working class opinion. For decades now a large majority of middle class folks have bought into the zombie lie that unions are bad; that has to change.

    It will also require purging corporate boards of the log-rolling interlocking parasites- millionaires who serve on each others' boards and rubber-stamp ever more obscenely bloated 'compensation packages' for their fellow plutocrats with their pals returning the favor.

    Lastly it will require the return of the 'greater societal good' notion to corporate governance. As long as the only criteria for corporate decision making are share price, ROI and profit, there will be no relief from corporate evil. Currently anything that turns a higher profit is fair game, unless it leads to executives in orange jumpsuits. Rape and pillage of resources, unsustainable practices, massive pollution, abetting catastrophic climate change, virtual worker slavery- it's all good if the share price target is made. Until the goals of corporate governance are widened a bit, and government reimposes some sensible constraints on corporate power, we're screwed.

  •  Shareholder Rebellion (4+ / 0-)

    It's a gathering force.  The shareholders are the ones actually owning these companies and it's their money that is being paid out.

    I personally have no problem with executives who do a good job of making companies succeed getting well paid, but it does seem to get out of hand.  Quarterback pay is getting pretty absurd too, how about taking some of that money and building your own stadium instead of hitting up the tax payers to subsidize the game.

    The biggest problem I see is the high pay an bonuses for people who are running their company into the ground.  I mean I'm sure you can find a lot of people who could do that job for under a million a year!

    •  Amen to your suggestion on stadiums (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob

      Many of these team owners are billionaires who can well afford to pay for the stadiums themselves.  I guess they're billionaires because they know how to scam the taxpayers.  Furthermore, the teams are regional monopolies.  Whatever happened to free enterprise?

      They monopolies receiving corporate welfare.  Nice deal.

  •  I think there should be a law (3+ / 0-)

    somewhat like in Germany, requiring that 50% of all companies' boards of directors (or whoever decides on executive compensation) be union representatives.  

  •  Politics of jealousy not a winner, and (0+ / 0-)

    that's what you play when you focus on things like CEO to worker pay.

    I don't know how much impact that has in an era where you can get $10 million a year to shoot a basketball.

    I don't know that many people care how much a CEO makes if they're doing well themselves.

    And that's the rub.

    Simple restatement of the story (and you tend to include that information) makes clear that the haves are sticking it to the rest of us.

    It's not that the CEO is raking it in, it's that we're not, even though we are more productive and working harder than ever.

    Something has perverted the bargain.
    I don't blame CEOs for taking all they can get.  I do, however, have to wonder about corporate governance that can allow that to happen.  When it is rational for people to loot the cookie jar, we have to ensure that the cookie jar is watched like a hawk.  Corporations are creations of the state -- they are created by law and it is appropriate for the law to require that they be governed properly.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:47:44 AM PDT

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, squarewheel

      They are raking it in.  The ratios are only partly the result of stagnating wages.

      I think CEO compensation has risen faster than other economic indicators, even factoring in inflation.  Many of them receive platinum parachutes, even when they have trashed the company.  Milking assets, rewarding oneself and then dumping the company is also common. They are oftentimes getting rewarded for manipulation, undue influence on regulators, etc. not anything related to productivity.

      •  Did you misread the intent of this sentence? (0+ / 0-)
        It's not that the CEO is raking it in, it's that we're not, even though we are more productive and working harder than ever.
        If you read the entire post, I do not dispute that CEOs are raking it in.    

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's what you said (0+ / 0-)
          It's not that the CEO is raking it in
          My point is that they are raking it in even more than ever, while at the same time other compensation is stagnant.  That covers both parts of the ratio.
          •  Context, context, context. It's everything. (0+ / 0-)
            I don't blame CEOs for taking all they can get. I do, however, have to wonder about corporate governance that can allow that to happen.  When it is rational for people to loot the cookie jar...
            Let's see....

            taking all they can get,
            looting the cookie jar

            How does that say that CEOs are not raking it in?

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:46:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Good post. (0+ / 0-)

    As for your final question, I'd like to think working people will take it one day (no one will give it to us), but I don't see anything on the horizon.  It will better under Obama than it would be under Romney, and I'm glad he does populist talk because pursuasion is important, but I don't see the kinds of things necessary to really reduce the great inequality.  

    Obama and the Dems have done a few things that are a start, but it appears that the Great Class Stratification is here for the immediate future, and maybe a long timne with Citizens Union and the billionaire ownership of the R Party.  

    Ending teh Bush tax cuts for the rich, at least, and raising the cap gains tax would be a start.  Growing unions, like with EFCA, could have amde a difference, but Blanche Lincoln and Nelson and other Vichy Dems killed that.

    Growing unions, changing tax policies.  But just a start.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:56:05 AM PDT

  •  That chart says it all. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, squarewheel

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:56:10 AM PDT

  •  The 1% will discard the 1965 to 2000 data (0+ / 0-)

    and tell us:

    The job creators are suffering.  Look at the hit they've taken.  Give us tax cuts!  Do away with regulation!  Stop the greedy unions before it's too late!

  •  What policy change do you want? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you want the federal government setting CEO salary?

  •  A change in the way corporations are controlled,,, (0+ / 0-)

    is what's needed. CEOs able to pack the Boards of directors with their cronies, peers and sychophants can only lead to more of the same.

    ",,, the Political whorehouse that is Fox News." Keith Olbermann

    by irate on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:03:08 AM PDT

  •  This seems appropriate somehow (0+ / 0-)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:03:33 AM PDT

  •  I might be alone on this, but... (0+ / 0-)

    it doesn't really bother me that the CEO of XYZ Corp. makes a bazillion dollars a year.

    Fine. Whatever.

    But what does bother me is if someone working an honest job is unable to live with dignity and grab his/her slice of the American Dream.

    I don't want a private jet or a fleet of Cadillacs or a car elevator, even if I had the money.

    But I do want to know that if I'm a hard-working, law-abiding citizen, I'll be able to send my kid to college and have a roof over my head without being in debt up to my ears.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:04:49 AM PDT

  •  Interesting peak in 2000, The Clinton years (0+ / 0-)

    The massive increase took place in the Clinton years.  Someone might blame Clinton policies for this, but I suspect there is a different reason.

    The start of the rapid increase actually started in the Reagan years, when our economy was transitioning from a productive base economy, to a FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) based economy.  But then the giant tech/dotcom boom happened in the Clinton years.  Remember all the overnight gazillionaires the tech bubble created.  Then that bubble burst in 2000 followed by the housing bubble in 2006, which happens to match the graph quite nicely.  So now we have the Finance sector as the largest contributor to the wage discrepancy.  Can the finance sector last, or will it's bubble burst also? There's no way in hell that the finance sector can continue without a violent revolution, so it's time is limited.

    Next up, the commodity producer bubble.  As we rapidly enter Peak Global Resources, commodity producers will make out like bandits and their CEO's will pillage those sectors.

  •  We need a Maximum Wage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel, Chi

    Excellent article on the subject:

    Max Wage

    There is a strange cognitive disconnect on the center-left. Liberals and progressives talk about inequality, post the stats, understand the immorality of it all, but far too many refuse to actually take the next logical step.

    "Oh, noooo. We can't do that!! We just need to continue to endlessly complain about it all, while continuing to support the system that creates it!"

    capitalism.

    The ideas in that article also keep capitalism basically intact. But they take the next logical step and set the stage for the next stage. Once people see how greater equality actually improves quality of life across the board, while making the economy itself healthier, they'll be primed for another evolutionary leap into true morality and maturity as a species:

    Ending our monstrous economic system once and for all.

    •  taxes function to create the maximum wage (0+ / 0-)

      the problem is that the tax code is being written by the 1%, which is the reason it's so complicated.

      people underestimate the importance of a simpler tax code.

      it makes it harder to hide the giveaways.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Sat May 05, 2012 at 10:39:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you seen slides that compare Earth to the Sun (0+ / 0-)

    and other stars?

    Star Size Comparison

    I would like to see a net worth chart that takes pictures of average workers and then compares them to Forbes list of richest people.  It should show faces and be in actual scale!

  •  One of the most egregious examples (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neither Nor

    of this type of inequality is in "non-profit" corporations. For example, even though Sutter Health in CA is a non-profit, 9 of its executives made more than $1 million each last year. Sutter Health also amassed a pretty huge cash surplus too, all while laying off senior staff and pushing down wages. Among other things, the change I would like to see is that non-profit organizations not be allowed to pay the highest paid employee more than 10-fold that of the lowest paid. In fact, maybe that should be the case for all Coroprationsbut let's at least start with the 501c's.

    Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

    by Anne Elk on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:35:39 AM PDT

  •  Burner VS. DelBene-Ruderman in 1st - MORE thieving (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    if either of those 2 phake 'moderates' win.

    disgustingly, 'my' union, the Washington Education Association, endorsed DelBene yesterday.

    WHY have things gotten significantly worse for the bottom 80% for the last 30 years? 2 sets of reasons:

    1. the fascist thieves excel at lying cuz if they didn't excel at lying, they couldn't steal.

    2. the 'moderate' Dems who've enabled the Liebermans and the Geithners and AIG-Care and the AHIP-Care CAUSED the dukakis - health 'care' fiascoes ('93 & '09) - Gore - Kerry - Scott Brown Walker Scott ... crap of the last 30 years by incessantly accepting right definitions on problems and 'compromising' with lying thieves who were and who are ripping us off.

    DelBene - Ruderman & Cantwell & Inslee are going to get us into Cheney-ville a few years after the prodigies of Cheney will get us there - YAWN.

    As I've believed since I was a 21 year old 4 buck an hour cook in 1981 - there IS something more than fucking lies for the bottom 80% of us.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sat May 05, 2012 at 11:15:11 AM PDT

  •  It's just another symptom of our.... (0+ / 0-)

    System of "Entitlements" here in the US.  The CEO thinks he/she is entitled to obscene pay, just like us regular people think we're entitled to cheap gas, cheap air, and cheap....well, basically everything else.  And we're entitled to buy the local McMansion no money down, while working McMinimum.

    Aka., GREED and STUPIDITY.   Something that we as an entire nation developed over the last couple of decades.  And now the bill is due....

    Want a vacation?  SAVE FOR IT!  Want a house?   SAVE FOR A LARGE DOWNPAYMENT!   Problem with gas prices?  DITCH THE SUV!  Duh!

    If you can't afford it, DON'T BUY IT!  Gees!

    It's why I call this entire era "a crisis of entitlements".   Oh well, the sun is going to rise tommorow whether you go to Dominica or not.

  •  We'd be making $.25 an hour & table scraps if they (0+ / 0-)

    had their way.  Raise the minimum wage and elevate unions.

    Romney: Wrong on GM. Wrong on bin Laden. Wrong on fiscal austerity and wrong for America. I voted for change. Where is my vote?

    by SGWM on Sat May 05, 2012 at 11:46:40 AM PDT

  •  (IMO) CEO Pay is spotlighted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    when the 99% feel they have lost all semblance of financial security. In the 90s it became a hot topic during a long job recovery when "re-engineering" was the corporate whistle for mass lay-offs and outsourcing. Clinton tried to deal the problem with no tax deductions over 1 Million, which is pretty lame in hindsight.

     People with no money worry about bills. People with Money worry about money because they never want to get to where they are worrying about bills. If we have no money we can't be worried about money we worry instead about bills.

    By the time the market made it's parabolic move in 1999, there was little talk of it. If people weren't benefiting from the market directly they were benefiting by the demands from new companies and their wealthy new employees for goods and services.

    The only way to deal with CEO pay is for the rest of us to have a way to what we perceive as financial security. I'm as poor as I've ever been now and by anyone's standards too. I also am experiencing up close and personal how the walls close in with no apparent escape at an age when it should have been different.

    Not that I am a perfect example, but I would resent like hell working for a company where temps were exploited, workers were threatened and the CEO and his or her lieutenants were making off with unbelievable amounts of of money. Worker resentment should make CEOs and their Board members ( other CEOs)  think twice but for some reason they deem themselves as irreplaceable while the people who actually make their promises become reality are treated as discardable parts.

    Carly Fiorina experienced the blow back from that type of thinking in a pretty dramatic way but apparently not dramatic enough.

    Financial Insecurity , which seems to be the new way of life for most, even people with what's perceived by most that have a low and non liquid net worth if they have a material net worth at all,  is creating a huge wall between the have's and have nots.

    If the perception is that there is no way out of a nasty financial predicament that arose  from external circumstances beyond one's control, then the fear rises along with the resentment of people who have gotten plenty of blood on the bumper car of life to get to a place that only a tiny fraction of us will ever experience. Not only do they have complete financial security, they have control over 1000s of others financial (in)security.

    When I was much younger and in a better place, I rubbed shoulders with some of the younger people who were wealthy in business and  saw the most egregious behavior that I can recall. One example:  Throwing a bunch of half dollars on the floor for a Christmas bonus to a bunch of workers and laughing at them as they scrambled for the money.

    Being rich has plenty of different definitions until one gets up to the 0.01%. Then it becomes more of a game and/or a race for more power. That's when Hedge fund Managers love to make Headlines by tearing down a 35,000 sq foot house because each window facing the ocean didn't give a great view. The house was immaculate. They replace it with a 45,000 square foot house. They get a real kick out of doing ostentatious shit like this within their circle of "friends" who wouldn't give each other the time of day if one lost his fortune. That's past when people allow material wealth to define themselves, it now becomes a numbers game.

    Anecdote: I spoke via Email briefly with a former College freind who made it to the .01% from a lower middle-class background,  and found there was too much distance between us. He couldn't see me or hear me or understand me. Same problem vice-versa. The communication  was very formal, polite and short.

    In a sense, that is the problem. They make sure they are well insulated from the rest of society and their interactions with those who serve them. As long as they are allowed to own us, it will get much much worse. Globalization, contrary to Clinton's Economic Adviser ,Laura  Tyson, took what little leverage American workers had away.

  •  Uh, that's not near beer. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sat May 05, 2012 at 02:34:22 PM PDT

  •  Can something be done about this? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, I think this could be easily done.  Simply link CEO pay to worker pay through legislation, say no more than 25 to 1.  Then sit back and watch worker pay go up.

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