Unequal... and we don't even know it...
The United States is the most unequal society in the developed world, but most Americans don't even know it. According to a new article by Les Leopold over at Alternet, most Americans think that the ratio of CEO to employee pay is about 30 to 1, despite the fact that it's more than 10 times that amount.
For every dollar that an average worker earns, a CEO rakes in more than $350 dollars – and that number just keeps rising. Yet, in two different polls, when Americans were asked about the wealth gap between workers and CEOs, most people believed that the ratio was 30 to 1 – regardless of their political ideology or education level. It's no wonder that we're not doing more to fight inequality.
One study called “How Much (More) Should CEOs Make?”, which surveyed more than 55,000 people in 40 countries, found that people in the United States think a fair pay ratio would be about 7 to 1. But, how will we ever reach that goal if most Americans don't even realize how wide the pay gap has become?
Extreme inequality slows our economy, increases demand on our social safety net, and allows the corporate elite to control our democracy. A small few control the vast majority of wealth and power in our nation, and it's up to us to take back control. To solve this problem we must acknowledge it, and that starts by making everyone aware.
CEOs aren't 350 times more valuable than their average workers, and billionaires don't deserve more political power than the average voter. Let's make sure that everyone knows how wide the wealth gap really is, and how it stands in the way of us taking back control of our democracy.