Yesterday was Labor Day. I grew up in a blue color family in a rust belt city so Labor Day has always brought up some strong feelings for me. I have a deeply held belief that working folk deserve the fruits of their labor and ought to share in the fruits of this society. Sadly, this is becoming less and less possible.
Yesterday there was an article that my local paper carried from the Miami Herald with some frightening statistics... Productivity is up but standard of living is going down for working folk. Wages are the lowest on record as a percentage of the national income while corporate profits are at a 56 year high. In 2005, CEO's earned 262 times the average worker's pay (up from 24 times in 1965).
I think we need a maximum wage law... or at least incredibly high taxes - 90% or more - on incomes above a certain level. Or maybe some of the executives could learn from a good example. There are CEO's who are doing it right.
Jim Sinegal, CEO and founder of Costco, makes about $350K which is approximately 12 times what the average worker on the floor of a Costco makes. If he was at the typical multiplier of most CEO's he'd be making nearly 8 million! Costco also pays above the market rate and provides higher benefits for those folk on the floor. Wall Street doesn't like him. Companies like Walmart hate him. Seems to me, he's doing things right.