Has your CEO already made more than you do in a year?

It's only the second week of the new year, but many corporate CEOs have already made more money than most of us will make for the rest of the year.

Despite those exorbitant salaries, many of those same CEOs are fighting hard to keep their taxes low and keep our fellow Americans from making a living wage.

According to the Washington Post, by 8:30am on January 1st, 2013, the CEO of Walmart had already made as much as his typical employee did in a year. And, considering that CEO pay has been rising, it's likely that it took even less time to reach that amount in the 2016 new year.

With all that cash floating around, it's hard to believe that most Americans have seen their incomes flat-line over the last few years, and that our middle class continues to fall behind. But, when all the income goes to one group – and they refuse to pay their fair share of taxes – it leads to the economic inequality that's destroying our middle class.

According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, the American middle class has shrunk by more than 10 percent since 1971, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to get wider.

In 1965, CEOs made an average of 20 times the salary of their average worker, but today, many top executives bring home more than 300 times as much as they pay their typical employee.

That's why our middle class keeps shrinking, and why the average American feels like it's impossible to get ahead. And, that's exactly why we have to change our broken system.

We need to continue the fight for a living wage and force those at the top to pay their fair share of taxes. We need to strengthen our unions and reign in the salaries and bonuses of corporation executives who commit crimes or send jobs overseas. We need to invest in putting Americans back to work and reboot the American Dream.

And, all of that starts when we stand together and elect those who will stand with us. This election year, let's prove that when we fight – we win. Just like democracy, equality is a participatory sport. Tag you're it!

Comments

Keith Weborg Sr.'s picture
Keith Weborg Sr. 7 years 4 weeks ago
#1

This is one of my favorite subjects. Out of 10,000 listed stock companies who have a minimum of 5 corporate officers (ceo, cfo, cio etc) earning an average of 5 Million dollars per year (this is far in excess of sanity). If they were limited to 1 million per year (and that should be sufficient for most normal hominids) that would redistribute $3000 to each American Family, who would spend it all and put our economy in high gear. How do you do it? Either change the laws of incorporation or use the Hartmann Rule and tax anything over a million @ 90%. OH MY GOD REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH...........THE COMMIES ARE COMING.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 4 weeks ago
#2

I agree with Keith, except on one point: I'd lower the bar quite a bit more... like WAY lower, maybe half that... if that! Any family who can't subsist on four or five hundred thousand bucks a year oughta learn a few things about money management. "Normal hominids" don't need a $million a year to enjoy a comfortabe and carefree standard of living.

As for those greedy, psychopathicly selfish CEOs Thom is ranting about, oh well... pigs will be pigs!

David32's picture
David32 7 years 4 weeks ago
#3

Once again we fail to recognize that corps are TAX COLLECTORS, NOT TAXPAYERS. All their wealth derives from their customers and the labor of their employees. There is no "fair share" of taxes as taxes are just a cost of doing business. We must find other ways to limit the greed of the corporate execs and wealthy individuals. The only path to a thriving and lasting economy is a society in which all segments have money to spend and the willingness to spend it. We must recognize that the insatiable thirst of a few to accumulate greater and greater wealth are sociopaths much in need of treatment. We must also recognize that our capitalistic society cannot survive without checks and balances to stop the greedy from overstepping reasonable limits. A rather draconian plan would be limiting the ratio of CEO salaries vs a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour to 25. Non-salary compensation (stock, bonuses etc) cannot exceed 100% of salary pay. Execs would have to lower their pay or pay greater than minimum wage to get a raise. Fat chance. IMO, like most things human nature will allow the problem to fester until it becomes a crisis and then we will act in panic mode to solve it. Seldom are these solutions effective in the long run.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 7 years 4 weeks ago
#4

Oh yes.

Skiptothefuture's picture
Skiptothefuture 7 years 4 weeks ago
#5

I think you made a mistake on the ratio between the avg pd worker and & CEO. The book ii read is 850 times compared to 60 to 1 in 1969. Big change, and Ross Pero suggest this was going to happen in his presidential campaign. Didn't listen. I personally think this was planned by the corrupt ruling banker familes. Backed by the Federal Government.

Tony_Hampton_VA's picture
Tony_Hampton_VA 7 years 4 weeks ago
#6

As long as the corporately controled sheep keep walking in the door every morning, there isn't much we can do about this. If all the workers stood just outside the property until the corporation either gave in or folded up, then things would change. But no, since Unions are BAD. JUst ask any Conservative.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#7

It is the fed who likes it this way, CEO's pay 40-50% tax on those millions and the average working guy only pays 15%. If you take it from the wealthy and give it to the poor the Feds can't cash in.

At least CEO's are making their own money, it is none of my business what someone pays themselves in a private company. What I want to know is how did these guys accumulate soo much wealth working for the government

Harry Reid 10 million

Hillary Clinton 45 million

Nancy Pelosi 100 million

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#8

Kend. Sorry! Please explain who are these CEOs paying ~45% tax in the usa?

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#9

Sorry Hep 39.5%. I am Canadian. 45% here.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#10

Kend! Okay mate! According to what I read nobody pays 45% tax in the usa

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#11

Kend! Nevertheless it would be good to know from where wealth came to these representatives of "we the people" you mentioned... like Ried, Clinton, Pelosi?

In the kindest possible way... it might appear they could have been provided their wealth by political means

Surely they will find excuse or reason... maybe?

Perhaps able to submit to validation?

Would that be too much?

Harry Reid 10 million

Hillary Clinton 45 million

Nancy Pelosi 100 million

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2016/01/has-your-ceo-already-made-more-you-do-year#comment-345501

Harry Reid 10 million

Hillary Clinton 45 million

Nancy Pelosi 100 million

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2016/01/has-your-ceo-already-made-more-you-do-year#comment-345501

Harry Reid 10 million

Hillary Clinton 45 million

Nancy Pelosi 100 million

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2016/01/has-your-ceo-already-made-more-you-do-year#comment-345501

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#12

Sorry! It was not my intent to include all those links in the mail above damit

Now it will make no sense... certainly not the sense intended

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 4 weeks ago
#13

Kend, the CEO's are making their own money? Could they make it without us slaving away for them?

It's we who make it for them! It's like feudal times when noblemen, searching around for a source of income, would look for rich peasants with good, fertile land to oppress. Then they could take everything away from them that's more than just what those peasants need for bare subsistence and keep the rest for themselves, essentially just feeding and maintaining the slaves, and make out pretty good or a lot better than if they were oppressing poor peasants working shitty land.

You see that as your due, don't you Kend? We are just the livestock, aren't we?

Ever consider a fair percentage of the profits for the workforce, Kend? And by that I don't mean as little as you can get away with paying them.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 4 weeks ago
#14

In capitalism they just gave that a fancy name to make it sound legit. They call it "profits" or production/gross revenue minus labor/production costs, which = profits.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#15

Just about it Mark!

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#16

Come on Mark. Livestock, slaves. . By now you should know me better then that. I am not a CEO. I am a business owner who cares about my employees. Your right without them I am hooped. But with that said it was my idea, risk and money that started the business they work for. Together we make the business good or bad. What I meant was its the share holders that pay those over priced assholes not me through my tax dollars. So because I have no stake in those companies I have no right to judge the income they make. CEO's or employees it is none of my business. Only the share holders can do that. It's their skin in the game. Profit is not a bad word buddy. Without it no one gets a check. Good talking again. I miss you guys.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 4 weeks ago
#17

Kend, you're jumping into the line of fire trying to defend CEOs. What CEOs do affects all of us, it is our business and we can't stand by watching someone else get abused.
As for profits how about a fair percentage of them for the employees?

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#18

Profit sharing for employees is a great idea if it is incentive based. I do it all the time. Base plus commission, for example instead of a fixed salary or hourly wage. Most large companies can't do this though. Unions fight hard against incentive pay. Mark I can only speak for the big corporations up here but they pay the best. I can't remember when the last strike was. Utility, gas, phone, oil companies are the most desirable jobs with the best benifits. Where is it down their that employees are not looked after. Example?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#19

Canada is utopia by the sound of it... the best of all worlds!

I guess your saying your politics is not infested?

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#20

No utopia Hep but at least no one gets rich in politics. Here we are taxed more personally and less corporately. This way we lure more cooperations to come here.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 4 weeks ago
#21

K - Is Canada luring or being lured?

With money or influence?

It is patently obvious that politicians in the us and uk are rapidly being bought by corporate interests

Fascism against which 2 world wars were fought

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 4 weeks ago
#22

I don't know Hep. The world is so srewed up. The US rejects keystone and then funds a pipeline in Nigeria. Nothing makes sense anymore. I am too old to fight it anymore.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 4 weeks ago
#23

Kend, profit sharing - not the same as "merit pay" - especially in the form of employee ownership, is the best. Barring that, unions make a business compensate more fairly.
Down here employees are not looked after. Unions are not strong and everything is outsourced so that NOBODY claims responsibility for employees compensation and mistreatment. The rule is whatever you, as an employer, can get away with is fair game in a "free market" and, of course, in a competitive society the race is always to the bottom. Examples are minion, almost universal.

DixieMay's picture
DixieMay 7 years 3 weeks ago
#24

I'm coming in to the discussion late but I just had to respond. No wealthy person in the US pays 39.5. Don't believe me? Research it further. I'll give you a for instance.

In 2012 when Willard Romney, a VERY wealthy man, was running for President he strugged to raise his tax obligation to 14%. In order to do that he opted to forgo legitimate deductions he could have taken to increase his tax debt from the 13% it would have been. He knew that America would be angry at 13% for such a rich family. FUNNY that he thought 14% was any better!

That same year my husband and I made about 15k and we paid 24%. Seem off balanced to you? It sure did to us!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 3 weeks ago
#25

DixieMay, 39.5% is for earned income, 14% is for capital gains, a certain kind of unearned income from investments.
Go figure, this country seems to love injustice.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 3 weeks ago
#26

Kend, Reid and Clinton didn't make millions working for the government per se. They had money making schemes on the side, mainly investments, no doubt with some help from their friend, the investment banker and our, hopefully, soon to resign mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Aside from that, members of Congress, as government officials, are privy to information about stock values and futures and such and their prospects that the rest of the public is not and when they invest it amounts to insider trading. There was a small scandal about that when it cane to light and the public was outraged and they, members if Congress, were forced to do something about it. So they reluctantly passed a law banning the practice of members investing with insider information - and then, after a decent interval, quietly reversed that legislation.
In addition to that, there are numerous loopholes through which lobbyists can give plum jibs to members or their spouses or relatives and many other ways they can enrich members indirectly, including, in some states, an absence of any prohibition from using campaign contributions for personal use, so that commonly a freshman congress person enters Congress almost broke or not making much more than their average schmoe and leaving as millionaires - not Bernie Sanders though.

jojodancer's picture
jojodancer 7 years 2 weeks ago
#27

What was the name of the book you read, Skiptothefuture? I was listening to Coast to Coast (last month I think) and a guy who wrote a book about this very "800%" subject was on...I cannot remember the guy or the book and a google search wasn't useful!! You are my last hope, lol! Thanks for the reply, in advance.

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