16 August 2018   Leave a comment

The Economic Policy Institute has released its annual report on how much compensation Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) receive.  As in previous years, CEO compensation continues to rise dramatically: “By this measure, in 2017 the average CEO of the 350 largest firms in the U.S. received $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6 percent increase over 2016. The typical worker’s compensation remained flat, rising a mere 0.3 percent. ”  The ratio of CEO earnings to the average worker’s earnings is astonishing:

“Average CEO compensation attained its peak in 2000, at the height of the late 1990s stock bubble, at $21.0 million (in 2017 dollars)—344 times the pay of the typical worker. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio dropped to 188-to-1 in 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis but rose to 312-to-1 in 2017, as worker compensation has stagnated in the recovery.

“CEO pay continues to be dramatically higher than it was in the decades before the turn of the millennium. The CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio was 112-to-1 in 1995, 58-to-1 in 1989, 30-to-1 in 1978, and 20-to-1 in 1965.”

The trend in incomes is also mirrored in the trends for the concentration of wealth in the US.  According to the Washington Post:

“The richest 5 percent of Americans have captured 74 percent of the wealth created in the country from 1983 to 2010, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. Another report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning think-tank, found that the richest 400 Americans control more wealth than the poorest 80 million U.S. households, and similar research has found the top 1 percent now holding 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.”

Remarkably, none of this data reflects the impact of the tax cuts passed by the US Congress recently.  Those changes will undoubtedly aggravate the disparities in wealth and income.

 

 

One of the greatest singers of all time has died today.  Aretha Franklin sang for me my entire life and she never failed to lift my spirits.  She epitomized what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “soul” and she made me acutely aware of how important music is to a meaningful life.  Fortunately, her voice will always live on.

 

Posted August 16, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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