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Ear to the Ground

CEO Pay: A Teeny-Weeny Secret for Rich Folk

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Posted on Jun 28, 2011
Flickr / Medill DC

Rookie Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., sponsored the bill to repeal the CEO pay transparency provision.

The House Financial Services Committee has voted to repeal a provision in last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform law requiring public corporations to report the ratio between CEO and median worker pay.

It’s no secret that U.S. worker’s wages stagnated while the economy doubled in size since the early 1980s. As economist Robert Reich explains with uncommon clarity and brevity, most of those gains went to America’s wealthiest families who can and do purchase lawmakers, as this latest slap in the face to American workers plainly shows. —ARK

Michael Winship via CounterPunch:

The annual “Executive Excess” survey from the progressive Institute for Policy Studies last September found that back in the seventies, only a handful of top American executives earned more than thirty times what their workers made. In 2009, “CEO’s of major US corporations averaged 263 times the average compensation of American workers.” And a USA Today analysis earlier this year found that while median CEO pay jumped 27% last year, workers in private industry saw their salaries grow by just 2.1 percent.

So how are many of those corporations addressing this gross inequity? By trying to cover it up.

Last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation requires publicly traded companies to report the median of annual total compensation for workers, the total compensation of the CEO, and the ratio between the two. Big business has lobbied loudly against the reporting requirement, and on Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee voted 33-21 to repeal it.

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By clearwaters, June 28, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

The depraved and ugly live in secrecy for good reason. They don’t do well in the
light of day.

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By question, June 28, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How much more blatant must the arrogance become before American workers finally storm the executive water coolers?  Who will organize the revolution?  I used to think it would be Democrats but that’s now a joke.  Then I thought it would be unions, but they’re under their own assault.  Obama’s leadership motto is “Compromise first, last & in the middle”.  Is there hope for a strong Progressive party?  Will it require a serious of natural disasters plus government corruption to bring the US economy to its knees first?

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By faith, June 28, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Vote out the current leadership-  Include both houses of congress, the executive
branch in that rebuke.  We have allowed our leadership to be purchased with a
mere few shekels of silver by the corporations and extremely powerful and we no
longer are a government for the people, by the people, of the people.  We, the
voters and workers merely exist out of sheer necessity to serve the powerbrokers
who need our labor.  These are truly disconcerting times.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, June 28, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Blessed with unbelievable profits from 1970-2007, the CEO’s decided it must be their genius that was raking in the dough, and so they rewarded themselves accordingly.

It never occurred to them that the reason profits were so high is because labor wages were stagnant.  Imagine!  Workers working harder, productivity on the rise, and making less. 

What a windfall for the corporations! Raking it in and not paying workers a rising wage!

It must be CEO genius!

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, June 28, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Either we begin setting the streets aflame like the Greeks, or we are slaves of our own making.

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