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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 15, 2014

 
Born out of cronyism

by digby

It's a fraud:

Executive pay has gotten so out of hand, former AT&T Broadband CEO Leo Hindery told HuffPost Live on Thursday, that it has caused a "structural breakdown of the meritocracy of our nation."

Hindery pointed out that, even as CEO pay has skyrocketed in recent decades, it has not "trickled down" to workers, who must increasingly borrow money to finance their spending. That dynamic helped set the stage for the most recent recession and helps explain today's sluggish recovery.

Fortune 500 CEOs now make more than 200 times what their average workers make, according to Bloomberg data. That ratio has increased by 1,000 percent since 1950. As CEO pay has exploded, worker pay has stagnated: Workers have not had a real cost-of-living increase since the 1960s, Hindery argued.

And these CEOs are not exactly earning their exorbitant pay, said Hindery.

To hear them tell it, they're working harder than anyone else in the world, barely sleeping, totally exhausted with all the job creating trickling down a torrent of wealth on all the rest of us with nary a moment to themselves.

Of course it's rally all about who you know and who you blow:

"It's a fraud," the former executive said. "It's born out of cronyism."

That cronyism is demonstrated in a new Huffington Post analysis of executive-pay data showing the compliance of corporate boards in approving CEO pay, regardless of corporate performance. Those directors are themselves well-paid for their vigorous rubber-stamping.

The problem, Hindery said, isn't just that the rich are getting richer. The tragedy, he said, is the rise of the low-wage workforce. Half of the jobs created in the past three years have been low-paying while the wealthiest Americans continue to capture record earnings.

The federal minimum wage, which stands at $7.25, is worth much less today than was in 1968. And all recent efforts to raise it have been stalled by Congress.

This works across the elite spectrum, not just among the CEOs. But the CEOs and the Masters of the Universe keep ultimate score with money more than prestige or power, the other elite currencies. And they seem to feel they deserve to have it all, every last penny.


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