Skip to main content

 photo barack_obama_zps1e8c579b.jpg

During his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama suggested a federal minimum wage.  I'm suggesting a federal maximum wage.

New rule. The United States government must stop subsidizing corporations that pay absurdly high salaries to their CEOs. At this point, if I were Bill Maher, I would tell a priceless joke, cause you all to laugh-out-loud, and then apprise you of discriminate facts on the matter. Since I’m not a comedian, and I am unemployed, broke, and in need of medical care that I can’t access, not to mention righteously indignant because this country has no place for a well-educated, highly-skilled and experienced citizen like me, I’m going to skip straight to the facts.

The President has suggested raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. Working a 40-hour-week, 52 weeks a year would amount to an $18,720 income for a minimum wage worker. A frugal person can live on that. I’m proposing a maximum wage of ten times the minimum for employees who rely on government funding to support their businesses. That would amount to a top salary of $187,200 for the CEO of any company that accepts government funding. That seems more than fair compared to the minimum.

This is what I’m proposing. The United States government should stop granting our tax money to corporations that pay employees absurdly high salaries. If corporations want to pay such high salaries to their executives, they must forego government funding. No one accepting government funding should make as much as the President, and few should make as much as our other top government officials.

Hear me out.

Incomes of movie stars, professional athletes, and hedge fund managers have caused some employees in the private sector to have exaggerated views of how much they are worth. The United States government would do well not to endorse that perception. There is a finite amount of money in this world, and some people are taking more than their fair share. That leaves some of us penniless.

To make a comparison of government versus corporate salaries, I’m first going to identify some nonprofit corporations that specialize in the business of education because I have some expertise in that area. For-profit corporations could be considered, too, and I’m fairly certain this strategy can be applied across other occupations and professions. Here are some education organizations that receive government funding. Listed are salaries made by top executives. (Links to Great Schools for America provide verification. This information is in the public record and available to the curious.)

  • In 2010 American Institutes for Research, Inc. received $257,559,985 in government funding. Sol Pelavin was paid $3,375,985, and 273 employees made over $100,000. Diane Pelavin, Sol's wife, was paid $1,556,396.
  • In 2010 Aspen Institute, Inc. received $1,231,098 in government funding. Walter Isaacson was paid $816,243, and 69 employees made over $100,00.
  • In 2010 Brookings Institute, Inc. received $1,921,354 in government funding. Strobe Talbott was paid $474,153, and 109 employees made over $100,000.
  • In 2010 Educational Testing Services, Inc. received $867,000,000 in government funding. Kurt Landgraf was paid $1,227,472, and 75 employees made over $100,000.
  • In 2011 Measured Progress, Inc. received $96,057,149 in government funding. Stuart Kahl was paid $407,043, and 25 employees made over $100,000.
  • In 2011 New Leaders dba New Leaders for New Schools, Inc. received $15,824,991 in government funding. Jon Schnur was paid $378,408, and 51 employees made over $100,000.
  • In 2011 the RAND Corporation, Inc. received $211,289,811 in government funding. James A. Thomson was paid $835,879, and 551 employees made more than $100,000.
  • In 2011 Teach for America, Inc. received $42,874,615 in government funding. Wendy Kopp was paid $393,636, and 132 employees made over $100,000.

Let’s start at the top. The President of the United States has, arguably, the most important job in the world. Why would we pay anyone more of our taxpayer dollars than we pay the President? Why would we pay employees of nonprofit corporations, who (in theory at least) do considerably less important work, more than we pay our Cabinet Secretaries?

The President's salary is set by Congress, and under Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, may not be increased or reduced during his or her current term of office. Back in the day when Congress could actually make a decision, it voted to double the president's salary from $200,000 to $400,000. In 2000, George W. Bush became the first President to benefit from that current rate.

The salaries of other top government officials are not fixed, but are adjusted each year. Below are listed current salaries for top government officials effective March 27, 2013.

  • Vice President of the United States - $231,900
  • Speaker of the House -- $223,500
  • Chief Justice of the United States -- $223,500
  • House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders -- $193,400
  • Senators and Representatives -- $174,000

The jobs of the White House staff are at least as important as any held by employees of nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, oversees 4,200 employees and a $68.6 billion budget. Even though some departments oversee more employees and larger budgets, each Cabinet Secretary is paid the same salary of $199,700 a year.

In his campaign to cut waste in government, the president published the salaries of other prominent government workers. The General Accounting Office has developed a schedule to determine the amount of pay for all federal employees at each stage of their careers. It is a thing of beauty. There is security in it, and most of us could use a little more security in our lives these days. Would it be asking too much for the government to use these same rules in dispensing our tax dollars to private corporations? And if it did, wouldn't there be enough money to employ more teachers, first responders, and other workers who have lost their jobs over the past decade? It would be a giant step in creating jobs and in restoring dignity to those of us who have been unemployed for some time.

What if we funded only defense contractors that followed the maximum wage rule? Why should we pay military contractors more than we pay for our enlisted troops?  I can think of millions of reasons why we shouldn't. Why should a Halliburton exec make more than a five-star general?  There is no free market at work when our government is granting boatloads of our money to favored corporations. The free market argument doesn't work here.

This is my American dream. Put Americans to work and pay them decently.

It seems that we would have enough money to employ so many more if we would just spend it wisely. I am an unemployed teacher. I lost my job when I came down of the wrong side of the war in Iraq. I have been unemployed since I lost my last appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. For years I thought my circumstance was special, but the end result is the same. I'm no different from millions of other jobless Americans who have lost their connection to the money supply for whatever reason.

I am advocating for a maximum wage for anyone who receives even a penny of government funding, and full employment for anyone who wants to work. We have the money. We only need to allocate it justly. If we all approach this positively, I'm sure we can find lots of places to make adjustments so that more people with education and skills can work, have access to healthcare, and regain their dignity.

Geez, why are we paying out thousands of millions to testing corporations? Ayeee.

Originally posted to annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:59 AM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Income Inequality Kos, and Occupy Wall Street.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

    by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:54:51 AM PST

  •  I would add companies such as Walmart- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cyeko, hnichols, RandomNonviolence, Audri

    since a large percentage of their employees rely on government assistance to survive, essentially a government subsidy for their payroll.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:06:09 AM PST

    •  4mygirls - but the federal government has no (5+ / 0-)

      leverage over Walmart. A related question would be companies like Lockheed Martin and other big defense contractors but that industry has contracted down to a small number of suppliers so the leverage may not be on the side of government.

      The author is proposing that where the federal government provides direct funding that funding could come with compensation restrictions for the executives of those organizations. Would that include universities? It's an interesting idea.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:19:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They would as soon as they stopped tax-subsidizing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hnichols

        them.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

        by achronon on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:23:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Should the president of a university (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hnichols, RandomNonviolence

        be more handsomely compensated than the President of the United States?  Hmmm . . .

        Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

        by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:46:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  annie - I think that senior executive compensation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, gfv6800, Words In Action

          for universities will become a real issue particularly with the financial challenges of higher education and rapidly rising tuition costs.  The discussion will initially focus on public colleges and universities but the author raises the issue of federal compensation guidelines for any entity receiving research grants, which could certainly include private universities.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:13:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Compensation to Pres far more than just salary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          To match living in a mansion similar to the White House in a high value real estate market plus staff is worth several million per year on an after tax basis.  There is also the retirement pay and payments for an office after one leaves office.

          Lastly, because he was President, after Pres Obama leaves office he will be able to speak at conferences for $200,000 per lunch or dinner.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 01:17:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still, even with all those extras, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            achronon

            we subsidize corporations that pay their CEOs much more than what we pay the President.  What bothers me most about the responses to this blog is that people are mostly concerned that people making a lot of money won't make enough. It seems to  me the concern should be that if we spent our tax dollars wisely, we could employ many more people, and lift others out of poverty.

            Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

            by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 01:58:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most Americans are ok with people making lots (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              of money honestly as long as it is made in the private sector and not due to a government created monopoly (other than patents and copyrights), or from government contracts. They also don't believe government should have laws limiting how much money they can make.

              Note I describe how most Americans feel not all.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:54:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If people in the private sector are (0+ / 0-)

                being paid with my tax dollars I mind very much how much they make as I think most American would if they would take a second to think about it.

                Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

                by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:52:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I would favor a pay cap, cast in terms which--some (0+ / 0-)

                day when the regulators get off their duffs--will be reportable to shareholders:  what is the multiple of the lowest paid worker to reach the CEO pay?  Set it at a generous figure--100 times?--but then enforce it by making everything over that figure taxable at  100%.

            •  annie - I have no issues with CEOs making more (0+ / 0-)

              than the President as long as it is in the private sector. The pay of corporate executives should be determined by the board of directors or shareholders. The appropriate public policy response to excessive executive compensation is higher marginal rates, but not based on a multiple of average workers pay. All high income earners, athletes, entertainers, physician, lawyers, and fund managers should be subject to the same tax rates as corporate executives.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:43:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The leverage for all firms could well be the (0+ / 0-)

        denial of the right to claim pay in excess of  a specific amount as a business cost.  In other words, the excessive pay would still count as part of taxable profit.  (Of course corporate taxes are  a whole different ball of wax....)

      •  Sure it does (0+ / 0-)

        If we can set a legal "minimum wage" we could set a legal "maximum wage" just as well.

        When lots of people show up to vote, Democrats tend to win.

        by Audri on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:38:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Audri - the legality of a maximum wage (0+ / 0-)

          is very different that a minimum wage. It would be very difficult to attract enough political support to even have that become a serious topic for discussion. Except for those cases like GM or the banks where the federal government purchased equity, or was a senior lender, and dictated compensation practices there is no legitimate role for the federal government to set maximum compensation levels. One other exception is the diary authors thought that if the federal government is supplying significant grant funding they could play a role in compensation policies. But for private companies the federal government should never be able to tell me what I, as a small or large shareholder, can pay a CEO. The correct, and much easier, public policy issue is just to tax those high levels of compensation at higher marginal tax rates.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:09:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck at getting a CEO for that price nt (5+ / 0-)

    nt

    •  I s/he is in it for the money, the s/he is not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, 6412093, gfv6800

      in it for the job, the performance or the satisfaction of knowing they're competent.

      We allegedly paid for the "best and the brightest" and they delivered us the biggest financial and economic mess we've seen.

      Good thinking ... let's pay them more. I would hazard to guess that 80% of all businesses, as they exist at this very moment, would do better without the CEOs and their lackeys.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  very few people do something (5+ / 0-)

        just for the satisfaction.

        You might hazard to guess that, but that is just a hazardess guess.

        •  Did I miss something? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          achronon

          $187,000/year is nowhere near "just for the satisfaction".  

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:56:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  nominalize - nearly all members of Congress (0+ / 0-)

            could make more in the private sector, even excluding lobbying.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:45:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  there's making money... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              achronon, VClib, Words In Action

              and then there's the power and status that comes with being a United States Senator.    

              It isn't all about the money, even for CEO's.  There is a large element of satisfaction in the job, in building a company, beating the competition, developing new products that dazzle the world, being the head honcho, the decision maker, the face of the company, being able to throw one's weight around, and so forth.  

              But to get back to my point--- I think that RightLeaningMod's assertion is correct--- few people do things just for the satisfaction.   That is, for $0/ year.  But RightLeaningMod implies that a salary of $187K is essentiallly $0 for a CEO, and that implication is false--- a salary of $187,000/year is by no means "just for the satisfaction", and considering how many people do work at lower pay scales than they could make because they love the work, why wouldn't that include CEO's (for the reasons listed above)?  

              Government employees generally make less than their private sector counterparts, because a) we, the owners, are cheap :D, and b) they are working for the public good, and that is supposedly a satisfaction in and of itself.  The private sector may lack that satisfaction to some extent (I suppose it depends on the position). But consider that a company with a government contract is working towards the public good, just like a public sector employee.  So why shouldn't they be paid less than their purely private sector counterparts?  

              Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

              by nominalize on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:41:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  If everyone did what they did simply (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wisper, FG, misslegalbeagle, achronon

        for satisfaction the volunteer sector would be booming as would be many charities, non-profit orgs, etc.

        •  But money represents good and production (0+ / 0-)

          which can both be increased with good management.  Its not really "finite".

          For example, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.  They didn't just take more than their share, they created something new.

          •  Goods infinite? (0+ / 0-)

            Natural resources are very finite.

            These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

            by HugoDog on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:50:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Resources are finite. The money supply is finite. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gfv6800

            Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the supreme examples of those who have taken more than their fair share. Bill Gates is responsible for funding a gazillion jobs in education that do nothing to benefit children in the classroom.  He did not come by his billions honestly, and no one deserves control over that much money.  He uses it to tell the rest of us (especially educators) what to do.

             

            Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

            by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:57:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  dafuq? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              misslegalbeagle, VClib
              He did not come by his billions honestly
              You may want to quibble over the sharp-edged business tactics Microsoft used to create markets, but if you think one of the most visionary Technologists of our time didn't earn a lot of money then I'm not sure what your basis is for anything.
              no one deserves control over that much money
              "DESERVES"... thats how we're deciding things now?  You only get the amount of money other people decide you deserve?  Really?  Not a tax on a certain percent?  Not incentivized philanthropy?  Just "You deserve $X.00 and not a penny more!"

              This idea is getting more unhinged the more you describe it.

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:07:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excuse me ... visionary technologists? (0+ / 0-)

                Where did you come up with that one? What technology did Microsoft ever develop? We already know that they never developed any products on their own.

                Gates spent years, and millions of dollars fighting networking (because he was afraid it would make Windows superfluous ... which it did); and Microsoft never really did figure out how to do it at the OS level so they dumped in the Unix networking modules (unacknowledged and unpaid-for) just so they could get to market.

                None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                by achronon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:33:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  le sigh (0+ / 0-)

                  Keep on hating...

                  Everyone has their own cottage-industry fairy tale about how Microsoft never invented anything coupled with their own darling company/flavor of obsolete tech that was pure and original and perfect (and, usually, now dead).

                  Whatever keeps you warm at night.  I've spent 20+ years fighting for and against MS on many platforms but your comment:

                  We already know that they never developed any products on their own.
                  Is untrammeled shit.  Not even Jobs tried to claim that.

                  I was just having a discussion with one of my development managers back in January about Ajax.  I barely knew what Ajax was and this guy is going on and on about how Microsoft invented the best technology for asynchronous HTTP and client side HTML modifications and patented ALL OF IT with absolutely no release of API's for years.  His claim is that this not only helped IE become the business default platform in the browser arena and solidified Outlook because of OWA but it stifled industry-wide innovation.  It took Safari 5 years and Opera 6 years to match AJax.  Even Firefox (my browser of choice) couldn't do it out of the gate.

                  So every time you use Google Maps, or gmail or any other of the THOUSANDS of sites relying on XMLHttpRequest language you are unknowingly thanking Bill Gates.  (or possibly cursing him for not allowing Web 2.0 to happen much sooner)

                  ...oh, and he says "You're Welcome"  (or possibly "Get over it")

                  Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                  by Wisper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:32:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                    As Ajax is not a program, nor a product, but an approach to client-server interaction, I don't see how you can say my comment is "untrammeled shit". When I think products, I generally think of things that can be bought and sold, but you obviously have a different understanding of what the term means. You are taking a somewhat narrow view here, but that's certainly your prerogative.

                    Of course, expecting an intelligent discussion is probably out of the question. I don't hate anyone, let alone Mr. Gates, but the genius of technology he isn't. He's a very bright man and he has some very useful skills for the business world, and that's just fine with me. It's the unbridled and unjustified idolization of individuals who remain mere mortals that sometimes rubs me the wrong way.

                    What Microsoft is "famous" for is Windows and the Office Suite. Windows was around before Microsoft, it is built on IBM's common user access platform. The office suite was pieced together from companies that they acquired. Even DOS was bought.  

                    What is more, what did Mr Gates do in all of this other than run the company?

                    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                    by achronon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:51:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Jobs and Gates didn't receive Federal subsidies. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:49:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't say they did. I did say that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gfv6800

              Bill Gates and Jobs fund companies that received millions of our tax dollars to privatize education. They pay CEOs and execs sizable salaries to cause chaos in our public schools. I don't want my tax dollars going to pay high salaries to people who are destroying public education.

              Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

              by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:57:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  What did Jobs and Gates create that was new? (0+ / 0-)

            Operating systems, especially ones that work well, were around a long time before Microsoft got in the act.

            And while we're at it, how many products did Microsoft ever develop on its own? I'll save you from looking: the answer is 0 (yes, zero). Everything Microsoft produced was bought, usually by acquisition.

            Jobs: mice, laser printers, graphical user interfaces ... all invented by Xerox which Jobs used to put together his Mac (which was started and developed to force out Wozniak from Apple ... I'm not making this up, read is biography), so where's all of Job's "new"?

            No, they took more than their share.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

            by achronon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:29:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          A lot of people do what they love and still make a hefty buck--- from doctors to engineers to all sorts of people.  

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:57:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's exactly my point. The government is (4+ / 0-)

      complicit in setting high salaries in the private sector. It's a double standard. We shouldn't support corporate greed with our taxes.  And, I think there are many execs who would rise to the occasion for a top government salary.  

      Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

      by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:50:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, I think there'd be pretty long lines for a job (5+ / 0-)

      paying $187,200 a year.

      Oh, I know, they would just be small people who didn't attend special elite CEO school...

      What qualifications would they have for offshoring American jobs and running a company into the ground anyway?

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:42:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah I never understood that argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD

        You'll never attract a talented CEO without a massive salary, they say...  well, reality teaches us that it's a crapshoot either way.  

        Besides, there's more to being CEO than the money.  There's the power.  The status.  The glory.  The perks.  The name on the letterhead.  

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 03:00:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Someone will do it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nominalize

      And their head will be the right size for the job .

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:28:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, I think that price would easily attract some (0+ / 0-)

      people who could run the economy into the ground just as successfully as the corporate bankers and leaders at GM and Chrysler.

  •  TnR for discussion (4+ / 0-)

    ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:22:39 AM PST

  •  This is not true... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, doc2, PhilJD, misslegalbeagle, VClib
    There is a finite amount of money in this world, and some people are taking more than their fair share.
    The fed is printing more money out of thin air all the time!
    •  But (0+ / 0-)

      at any moment of time there is finite amount of money. It takes time for electrons to move and people to type.

    •  True, and still some of us can't get (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, Words In Action, achronon

      any of it:)

      Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

      by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:59:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simpler: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misslegalbeagle, VClib

      This is not true....

      There is a finite amount of money in this world
      Add up the total amount of cash, assets and net worth of any group: a state.. the US.. the entire world (if you had the data).

      Look at that data point in 1940... then again in 1960.. then again in 1995... then again in 2012... then come back to me and explain how you are defining "finite".

      Economics is not a zero-sum game.  Yes, it has winners and losers.  Yes some people gain and many others lose.  But it is not limited, it is not finite.  Wealth is creatable not merely distributable.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:00:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. I'm not talking about economics. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm talking about resources to compensate someone for the work they do.  I work all day as a volunteer.  If there was an infinite supply of money, I would be paid.

        Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

        by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:22:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have no problem with someone making an (12+ / 0-)

    obscene amount of money.  Hey, capitalism is great.  What should NOT happen is the disparity between the highest and lowest wage that we see now.

    Instead of a "maximum" wage (which the capitalists would scream de-incentivizes effort) how about tying the lowest wage in a company to its highest wage?  The CEO can make a boatload of money, but he must pay the janitors and secretaries a set percentage of his wage.  If his salary goes up...so do theirs.  If he reduces their wages/hours to fill his own pockets, then his salary goes down accordingly.

    The upper crust of a company would be incentivized to take care of their lowest lowly employees if their own success depended on bringing those underlings up the ladder with them.

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:34:33 AM PST

    •  Exactly (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, Justus, blackjackal, 6412093, gfv6800

      People don't earn 400x their lowest paid workers, they take it. I think the word for that is exploitation. Set a rate and subject compensation above that rate to an exploitation tax.  A huge one. Ditto for companies that set up shop in countries so they don't have to follow our pollution and safety regulations. Do business here, follow the rules or pay the price.  

      Stay-at-home-Moms: Hard working unless they're on welfare, then they're lazy. Just ask any Republican.

      by musicsleuth on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:55:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have no problem with people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, PhilJD, 6412093

      making lots of money as they pay their taxes.  Here in Oregon, our Democrat governor recently convened a special session of the legislature to lower Nike's taxes.  Nike is located in the Beaverton School district where there are 60 kids in a classroom.

      Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

      by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:03:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that would set a maximum wage. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah

      I would say the ratio of highest to lowest should be a factor, as should highest to median, and perhaps some measure of size (revenue?) and performance (profit?). Imagine, instead of trying to hide net profit, we'd have executives trying to maximize it.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:31:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's how it will work: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, FG

    - Walmart USA pays $187,500

     - Walmart Cayman Islands Lts pays 8 figures.

     - Micky Arison pays Lebron James $187,500

     - Nike (or adidas or whichever prison labor factory makes his gear) pays 8 figures from their Cayman Islands subsidiary.

  •  Charles Ives, (0+ / 0-)

    the insurance guru and iconoclast composer, proposed this idea a long time ago.
    http://books.google.com/...

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:47:29 AM PST

  •  Shorter: Let the market decide. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib
  •  Hmm.. I think this undermines itself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Whatithink

    The reason those companies get federal funding is as an incentive to do something we want.

    Spend capital to bring jobs back from overseas?  You get a tax break.

    Want to invest in green energy technology to upgrade your commercial property?  You can get 20% matching funds up to a certain amount through a federal program.

    Hiring veterans coming out of active duty?  You qualify for a tax credit.

    All of these things are incentives to help companies decide to do things we think are in the National Public Interest.  If you then hang a powerful disincentive on this it undercuts some good things we're trying to do.

    ..also, the idea of the government telling people how much they are "allowed" to make seems like a crazy scary overreach.  What non-communist nation has ever done this?

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:56:16 AM PST

    •  Did you look at my corporate examples? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RandomNonviolence

      We don't want to spend billions on tests for kids.  We don't want to spend millions subsidizing think tanks where old white men think up ways to make themselves richer. We don't want fake teachers for our poorest minority children. High paying jobs at many of these government subsidized non-profits are entitlements and I for one do not want to support them.

      Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

      by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:30:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For practical purpose, maximum wage already exists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus

    Since salaries over 1 mln are not tax deductible, maximum wage is around 1 mln/year in most cases. However, that's just wages. There are all kinds of other forms of compensation (stock options, stock grants, bonuses etc.) not even taking investment income into account. You can try to limit of other forms of compensation but I don't see how you can ban or limit stock options or stock grants. And what about investment income? A government can tax it but it can't put arbitrary limits on it.

    •  100% taxation on income -- all forms of income -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus

      over a certain amount would put a limit on it. In fact, that's probably the easiest way to achieve it. Although, preferably we would set up a mechanism that would result in lower top incomes creating higher low and median incomes.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:35:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. That wouldn't take care of it. We (0+ / 0-)

        could still be subsidizing companies that pay execs millions of dollars in salary each year.  What's wrong with private sector jobs being in line with government jobs when those jobs are funded by government funds.  You want to pay more, just don't take government money.

        Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

        by annie em on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 01:11:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Progressive Income Tax as a Mechanism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence

    We did something similar in the past.  It could be done again if there were the political will.  And across the whole economy, not just limited to the companies receiving government funds.  A progressive income tax that sets a de facto maximum in total compensation.  The top marginal rate for federal income tax was over 90% for the 1950's and through 1963.  Hardly a time of economic troubles.

    Source

    •  You won't get it with moderates who are compro- (0+ / 0-)

      mised by their own personal ambition. They are invested in the status quo, not substantive reform. This is why moderates can never be trusted to champion the 80% in the Class War. A higher percentage of them are in the 20%, or think they soon will be, and dedicated like a Republican to serving the 1%.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:37:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site