Home / General / Lake Wobegone Compensation

Lake Wobegone Compensation

Comments
/
/
/
236 Views

It’s a nice racket.

But what’s especially important to remember is that executives lavishly compensated by a backscratching cartel irrespective of actual performance are among the most oppressed people on earth.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Murc

    I think Drum elides what should be the main thrust here at the end:

    The reason their pay has gone up is simple: for all practical purposes, CEOs set each other’s pay. And they keep raising each other’s pay because they can.

    That’s… true, but its also a bit inaccurate. ‘Because they can’ is doing a LOT of work. Specifically, the work of saying ‘And they keep raising each others pay because they have discovered and implemented ways of allocating 100% of the phenomenal increases in per-worker productivity since the 70s to themselves.’

    That’s your thrust. These people are basically paying workers exactly the same amount of money to be far more productive than they used to be.

    One of the commenters over there also makes a very strong point about the ease of comparing salaries; CEOs want as many people as possible to know what THEY make, and they want to know what all their fellow CEOs make as well. In the meantime, they write out their employment contracts so that discussing what you earn with co-workers is in many cases a fireable offense.

    • Nathan Williams

      In the meantime, they write out their employment contracts so that discussing what you earn with co-workers is in many cases a fireable offense.

      Which is, of course, a violation of the NLRA, and is even being enforced lately. (I had such a clause in a past employment contract I was offered, and cited a few of these things at them to get them to take the offending clause out, as well as putting them on notice that I was paying attention.)

    • brandon

      It suddenly struck me as a first-thing-in-the-morning idea that setting up an anonymous wiki-type database of what people get paid & where they work could be a pretty decent end-run around the current never-compare-salaries state of affairs.

      Hmmm.

      (Also full-of-hyphens early-in-the-morning apparently)

      • Anon

        These guys might have beat you to the idea

        http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

        Not sure it is exactly what you were after but kinda close.

        • brandon

          That is pretty close. Unfortunately, the glassdoor.com site shuts the door and demands you sign up after you click around a few times.

    • they have discovered and implemented ways of allocating 100% of the phenomenal increases in per-worker productivity since the 70s to themselves.

      Yes, literally all of it. I live in the South, and I desperately try to make the people around me understand that this is happening, and that this is a huge injustice, but I can’t. *sobs*

      This nation has become wealthier and more productive over the past four decades, and almost none of that wealth has gone to you, unless you’re part of the top 10 or 20 percent. (Or ideally 1 or .1 percent). You’re working harder and longer (heh) than ever for the same wages. WHY ARE YOU NOT OUT ON THE STREET THROWING BRICKS?!

    • firefall

      Also, they’ve discovered they can do this without any oversight or objection from shareholders … astonishing when you think what this is doing to -their- returns

      • mpowell

        Well, shareholders cannot effectively exercise control over the company. If they try really hard to do so, mostly the impact is to drive down stock prices. It’s long past the point where we need to realize that public LLC’s are not in any meaningful sense ‘owned’ by their shareholders. Sure that’s who gets the profits and the CEO knows that he needs to keep the profits coming (at least compared to his peer companies), but there’s no real control. And we need to start forcing rewrite of corporate charters to bring CEO compensation under control on our own. As a society which has decided to recognize the legal right to form a public LLC (a very strange framework, to be honest), we should be more prepared to set the framework for how those entities will be structured for the benefit of the society, not just the CEO and the board.

        • we should be more prepared to set the framework for how those entities will be structured for the benefit of the society, not just the CEO and the board.

          Try to make a conservative grasp the question, “Why should we allow corporations to exist if they don’t benefit the general public?” They cannot.

  • DrDick

    A recent study using detailed data from Belgium clearly showed that executives were significantly overpaid based on their actual productivity and workers significantly underpaid. Given that executives there are paid much less than here and overall income disparities are far lower, I can only imagine (in my nightmares) what the data for the US would show.

  • witless chum

    I keep telling myself this doesn’t justify becoming a Maoist.

    • It certainly justifies becoming some kind of radical, anti-capitalist leftist. But not a Maoist specifically. I mean the dude was like “hey let’s pave over all the farms wait why is there no food anymore.”

      • mpowell

        Seconded. Mao was either a lunatic or psycopath or maybe both. There are plenty of intelligible far left positions out there to choose from.

      • DrDick

        I think you have to divorce the term “Maoist” from the man. If you look at actual Maoist movements (like in Nepal or the Sendero Luminoso) they are radical revolutionary agrarian socialist movements (reflecting the revolutionary stages of the Chinese Communist movement.

    • DrDick

      Given my personal trendline and the trends in the American economy and social system, I may get there before I die.

  • c u n d gulag

    I think it was the great Jimmy Clift who wrote, “The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall.”

    I look at it this way, when the Revolution does come, we can all look forward to some well-marbled CEO meat.
    Kind of like well taken care of, well fed and massaged, Kobi beef/pork.

    Normally, I like my steaks rare to medium-rare, but with the ultra-rich, I recommend that you may want to consider medium-well to well-done – those big vermin are bound to be chock full of little vermin.

    • Bill Murray

      I think it was Woodie Guthrie that wrote “some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen”

      Also, The Dillinger 4, in “A Floater Left with Pride in the Executive Washroom”

      Where once there was a pat on the back
      Is now just a crack of the whip
      Where once there was a celebrated coming of age
      Is just a uniform that doesn’t fit
      Witness this most common breed
      Whittled down to property

    • DrDick

      I am rather fond of the Dropkick Murphys take on this.

    • rea

      I think it was the great Jimmy Clift who wrote, “The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall.”

      It was ,”The harder they come, the harder they fall.”

      • c u n d gulag

        Ooops!
        Thanks for the correction. I knew something didn’t sound right…

        But, they ARE coming pretty hard for us! :-)

        • Fleas correct the era

          And it was Jimmy Cliff, not Jimmy Clift.

          And that wasn’t his name anyway.

          But he did write it. :)

It is main inner container footer text