Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

It’s Lucrative at the Top

July 11th, 2011 | Bob Rosner

Image: Bob Rosner

According to a recent study commissioned by the New York Times, CEO pay is up 23%.

Okay so the suites are doing well. Damn well.

How are the rest of us faring? Non executive pay increased .5%. Yes, less than inflation. While CEOs race onward and upward, our pay shrinks.

I heard an interesting segment on the radio this weekend, the pay of the average worker hasn’t increased in 40 years.

Which leads me to a simple question. Is greed good?

Yes, that sounds familiar, it was the popular refrain from the movie Wall Street in the 1990s. Gordon Gekko, that Oliver Stone is a subtle guy isn’t he, made that a catch phrase for an entire generation.

We have a major problem in terms of unemployment in our country. At the same time we have CEO’s lavishing on themselves such extreme pay packages that they alone could cut the country’s unemployment rate in half just by making their pay packages more reasonable.

Marie Antoinette when told that her people were starving famously said “Let them eat cake.” It gave some small indication of how out of touch she’d become.

But if we were to try to come up with a similar phrase for today’s gilded class of CEOs I feel like the phrase would have to be let them eat dirt.

Okay, that was harsh, but I’m still flummoxed by the fact that no one has gone to jail after the financial shenanigans of the banks that caused our most recent recession.

But we’ve got to stop coddling these executives. Its not like Hollywood stars who had huge paychecks, CEOs only profit by taking the money that we’ve earned through our hard work.

Yes, I’m frustrated. You could say that I’m mad as hell.

I’m tired of seeing people suffering. We need to hold executives accountable. Now.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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