Tuesday, December 27, 2005

CEO Pay Continues To Boggle The Mind

As reported in this article, CEO pay continues to rise into the stratosphere.

It boggles my mind that the American public just lays back and seems to pay no attention to the fact that executive pay is beyond all records compared to the average workers in this country. Back in the Gilded Age the masses became plenty mad at the "haves so much they can't count it" and caused Congress to take action. The have nots became vocal enough that politicians were forced to take measures.

One result was the progressive income tax, where the highest income earners paid higher percentages of their taxes. The progressive income tax has all but vanished thanks to the Bush tax cuts. It's no wonder CEO pay has continued to rise at record rates.

Check out some of the highlights mentioned in the article. John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley is getting an $11.5 million bonus after only five months on the job. Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson is getting a $38 million bonus after last years mere $30 million bonus.

Adding insult to all of us corporate workaholics many companies are now paying CEO personal income taxes as part of their compensation. And this is to save the CEOs the trouble of not having to go through the tediousness of dealing with an off-shore tax-free account. All I can say is, WHAT?! Wouldn't that be nice for us plain old employed bums of the corporate world.

And what are these guys really getting paid for anyway? Basically telling the executives just below them to begin downsizing the company by canning employees, is all that I can figure out. They don't even do the firing, they leave that for others. Downsizing the workforce so that they get an obscene bonus, it's nothing but transferring wealth. And anyone who has survived a corporate downsizing well knows that the workload gets piled on those that remain.

Of course these CEOs are proving their genius, because they've figured out that in these times the vast majority of Americans are too meek and stupid to complain or do anything about it. We've been fooled into believing in this "American Dream" that only a few ever realize. That somehow we will actually be elevated to the top through hard work, when the truth is that only an infintesimal percentage ever crash the elite good old boys glass ceiling. The fact is that hard work in an American corporation is more likely to get you a pink slip so that the top fat cat can get another astronomical bonus.

When are Americans ever going to say, "enough is enough." It's time to demand from Congress some action on these obscene pay packages. There is a bill swirling around in the House of Representatives called the Protection Against Executive Compensation Abuse Act. Write your congressional representative and ask that they sign on. This is only a start though, but average Americans should start doing something that's for sure.


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