The rich keep getting richer
– at your expense
The web site of Occupy Wall Street promotes a demonstration about Bangladesh while CEO pay in the U.S. explodes.
Where is the Occupy Wall Street movement when we really need it?
Apparently, they’re in Bangladesh … certainly not on Wall Street, if you check their web site.
Inequality in income in the United States – already horrendous – is getting worse at a rapid clip, although that was not quite the point of what could be the most significant story in the Sunday edition of The New York Times yesterday.
Perhaps the most astute business reporter of all, Gretchen Morgenson, in “An Unstoppable Climb in C.E.O. Pay” brings us this news.
“According to an updated analysis, the top 200 chief executives
at public companies with at least $1 billion in revenue actually got a big raise last year, over all,” she writes.
“The research …. found that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million — a leap of 16 percent from 2011.”
Meanwhile, the federal government’s official scorekeeper, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its monthly survey released June 7, reports that average hourly earnings in May increased a miserable 0.017 percent from the previous year – or 41 cents per hour to $23.84.
That is not an error. Do the arithmetic yourself at the BLS web site: Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees …..
There is only one word for this: disgusting.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reportedly made $96 million in gross income last year.
According to Morgenson and the analysis firm Equilar
(which studied CEO pay for The New York Times), the top earner was Oracle Founder and CEO Larry Ellison – who also happens to be the current holder of the America’s Cup sailing trophy.
Ellison made the obscene amount of $96 million (in cash and stock), Morgenson reports.
No wonder he can throw more than $40 million at a dangerously fast racing yacht that capsized in San Francisco Bay in October. That’s just chump change to him.
Looked at another way, the BLS statistics on monthly wages show the average to have risen 0.22 percent in May from the previous year – to the whopping total of $824.21. That is a grand total of $9,890.52 per year!
How can anybody live on that?
One might – justifiably – argue that averages are misleading, because they include people like Ellison.
So, let’s look at another measure, the annual report on poverty from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The BLS chart of hourly and monthly income for May, 2013.
“Real median household income in the United States in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop,” it said in a news release in September 2012.
So, the wages of the 90 percent actually fell between 2010 and 2011 – while the gross (literally) income of the 0.01 percent soared.
Not angry yet?
“The nation’s official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty,” the Census Bureau added.
Back to the NYT’s Morgenson.
“Obviously, the pace of change in corporate pay practices has been glacial, even as the growth in pay has exploded,” she wrote.
Isn’t it enough to make your HEAD explode?