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Minimum wage? It's time to talk about a maximum wage

By Guardian (US)

Conservatives try to laugh off the idea of capping executive pay – but it’s an idea with a distinguished history Most of our mainstream political discourse on “fighting inequality” has revolved – fRead full story

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  • I like the idea of restricting government contracts to employers with a better worker-executive pay ratio. If they don’t like it don’t do business with the government.

  • “Researchers at the Stanford Business School two years ago asked Americans to estimate the “maximum amount” a CEO should make at a company where average workers were making $50,000 a year. The answers averaged $882,054, about 18 times average worker pay.

    “How much do CEOs actually make? In 2017, the McDonald’s CEO, Stephen Easterbrook, took home $21.8m. That’s 3,101 times more than the typical McDonald’s employee worldwide.

    “The outrageously high rewards that corporate executives can pocket give

    “Researchers at the Stanford Business School two years ago asked Americans to estimate the “maximum amount” a CEO should make at a company where average workers were making $50,000 a year. The answers averaged $882,054, about 18 times average worker pay.

    “How much do CEOs actually make? In 2017, the McDonald’s CEO, Stephen Easterbrook, took home $21.8m. That’s 3,101 times more than the typical McDonald’s employee worldwide.

    “The outrageously high rewards that corporate executives can pocket give these executives, in turn, an incentive to behave outrageously, to do whatever it takes – from downsizing workforces to cutting pensions – to hike their share price and stuff their own pockets.”

  • As long as the income is lawful, it's none of my business what levels a person's income reaches.

    College drop-out, Bill Gates, obeyed the law and his income is none of my business until the law is broken.

    Land of unlimited opportunity.

    The amount of food on your plate...not my business...I need to keep my eyes on my plate, and of course...share my food.

  • @Michael Mahony: The personal liberty of our increasing numbers of low-income and below-poverty families demands that measures like this *must* happen.

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    Open Comment: It has often been said by conservative-minded scholars that, "No nation has ever been taxed into prosperity." This article shows the exact opposite: We came out of the Great Depression and into WWII, and FDR's high tax rate on high income (culminating at 94% on all income above $200K/yr by 1944) lead to the development of

    @Michael Mahony: The personal liberty of our increasing numbers of low-income and below-poverty families demands that measures like this *must* happen.

    ----------

    Open Comment: It has often been said by conservative-minded scholars that, "No nation has ever been taxed into prosperity." This article shows the exact opposite: We came out of the Great Depression and into WWII, and FDR's high tax rate on high income (culminating at 94% on all income above $200K/yr by 1944) lead to the development of the largest middle-class in American history.

    Corporate America needs to take a cue from its most successful government entity: The US Military. The pay for the most senior officer (Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) is slightly more than 10x that of the most junior enlisted member during their first 6 months of service. This relationship is equivalent to a corporate CEO versus the lowest-paid starting employee.

  • of course it’s insane when a ceo makes 3,000x more than a typical employee, but a max wage wouldn’t solve that problem. capitalism is a meritocracy, and there will always be great disparity even with a max. better to vote with your wallet and don’t buy the products or stock of companies that abuse the tax laws and overpay their execs.

  • Personal liberty demands things like this NOT happen

  • I think there should be a cap on how much a ceo can make compared to his employees. There is no reason a CEO should be making 250x his lowest paid employee, of course CEOs should be rewarded but everyone should have the ability to share earnings and live a comfortable life. I am sure people would appreciate working for a company like that, productivity would increase, and in turn profits.

  • The problem is the government cannot do this without abridging a list of constitutional freedoms. Economic freedoms are tied to political freedoms. So the cost of eroding those political freedoms have to be considered as well. Another way to counter inequality is to consider why the gap is increasing and mitigate that, helping increase the productivity of the middle class. Money follows relative value. If the government can better coordinate and predict a moving market, it can sway it's educational efforts towards those areas.

  • It's funny that conservative pundits are laughing off this concept when their target audience, working class citizens, probably would be for this motion. Their ultimate bosses making insane sums regardless of how the companies (and how the core of their work staff, for that matter) are doing is completely out of control these days.

  • Wow, complete and total lack of all economics.

  • It is time to stop talking about price controls.

  • Personally I think that all jobs should have a pay cap on them, even executives. I've known a few Executives in my time and they would just keep giving themselves raises until it was quite unbelievable that they were making that much for what they were doing. I'm not saying that there aren't good Executives out there, but the majority of them rely heavily upon their underlings to get the job done. The only thing they do is make a few decisions and goto meetings. Most of the rest of it is left to

    Personally I think that all jobs should have a pay cap on them, even executives. I've known a few Executives in my time and they would just keep giving themselves raises until it was quite unbelievable that they were making that much for what they were doing. I'm not saying that there aren't good Executives out there, but the majority of them rely heavily upon their underlings to get the job done. The only thing they do is make a few decisions and goto meetings. Most of the rest of it is left to their aides or executive assistants. Either way there still needs to be a cap on their wages.

  • the guardian sharing its wisdom on economics and the functioning of markets

  • I am in favor of eliminating extreme wealth. If a CEO today is without passion and can lead only with the carrot of extreme wealth, I’m skeptical of the culture and the methodology of the journey. I’m skeptical of the value placed on those in the trenches. The widening gap between the trenches and the boardroom concern me, in that the greater the number of layers and dollars between them reduces true empathy and understanding of our fellow man’s journey as he or she tries to raise a family and navigate

    I am in favor of eliminating extreme wealth. If a CEO today is without passion and can lead only with the carrot of extreme wealth, I’m skeptical of the culture and the methodology of the journey. I’m skeptical of the value placed on those in the trenches. The widening gap between the trenches and the boardroom concern me, in that the greater the number of layers and dollars between them reduces true empathy and understanding of our fellow man’s journey as he or she tries to raise a family and navigate the marketplace on just above minimum wage.

  • Novel angle. While I don’t think it’s practical, it’s a useful framework to discuss how out of line pay ratios have become in nearly all modern companies.

  • I find it interesting how everybody talks about CEOs and executives, who actually create jobs but no one mentions the ridiculous amount that athletes get paid for doing basically nothing

  • Or at least changing the tax system back to allow taxation of pay over a million to execs of top companies regardless of how well companies do. This change under clinton ballooned ceo pay and if it is corrected would help combat the inflated budgets of many companies and could get them to reinvest in their workers or their company to combat their own debt.

  • This is absurdly disgusting. How dare anybody think they’re entitled to somebody’s else’s hard earned (or even not hard earned) money. It’s theirs. Not yours, no matter how they got it. The 1% shouldn’t have to pay for the 99%. What incentive is left for the future 1%? Why would anybody need to work hard if it’s handed to them. Go crawl back to the libtard sewer and try again

  • I think this idea is intriguing in theory, though unrealistic in practicality. The only reason I might support it is to lessen the wage gap and create more opportunity for the middle class b/c it would create an overall healthier economy for everyone. I’m not sure it would actually do that and corporate greed is not one of the main reasons the wage gap has widened. The industrialization jobs have stagnated and the move towards technology and automation of less complicated blue-collar jobs will inevitably

    I think this idea is intriguing in theory, though unrealistic in practicality. The only reason I might support it is to lessen the wage gap and create more opportunity for the middle class b/c it would create an overall healthier economy for everyone. I’m not sure it would actually do that and corporate greed is not one of the main reasons the wage gap has widened. The industrialization jobs have stagnated and the move towards technology and automation of less complicated blue-collar jobs will inevitably lead to increasing income inequality. It is irritating to listen to some people’s supposedly moral rationales for supporting a pay maximum: that the CEOs do not work 300x harder than their employees or that it’s “unfair” and “greedy” for them to pay themselves so much. In capitalism, people are paid for how much they/their ideas or products are worth, not how hard they work. Though, the two are usually correlated. Someone is willing to pay them that amount, the board of directors in the case of most big CEOs, so it’s not “unfair” for them to accept it (like most people would). What seems greedy, ironically, is a random person commenting to limit the income of someone else b/c they feel like it. In the cases of a new CEO coming and hiking the prices of generic drugs or firing employees (doing something not in the best interest of the company or its consumers) just to give himself a bigger bonus, then something is wrong and needs to be done.

  • The post-WWII high taxes didn't trash the economy because it was propped up by enormous deficits going towards rebuilding Europe. Moreover, achieving a greater level of equality does not have to be a zero-sum issue. It is possible to people up those in need without explicitly taking from the affluent (I.e incentives for companies to educate and hire workers from low-income areas, certifications which bring good PR to corporations abiding a certain pay ratio similar to how the EPA gives out energy star certifications, etc)

  • In my opinion, there is no question income inequality has gotten out of hand. Perhaps a maximum wage would help share a company’s wealth more evenly among its employees. That being said, it’s going to be hard to implement such a thing knowing how much we like having more than everyone else.

  • You would end up with inferior companies doing government work, providing inferior results. Bad idea.

  • Okay Ellison, if you are advocating for maximum income caps then follow up with maximum taxes caps. This will never happen.

    I think it would be easy to come up with a maximum wage for lawmakers that demonstrate low IQs.

    I'd like to see the ratio of LeBron James' contract dollars to the average incomes of the fans that buy tickets to see his games.

    🤔

  • I think putting a cap on a floor wage or a ceiling wage is non-productive.

    "Income Mobility. Only by focusing on the income brackets, instead of the actual people moving between those brackets, have the intelligentsia been able to verbally create a “problem” for which a “solution” is necessary. They have created a powerful vision of “classes” with “disparities” and “inequities” in income, caused by “barriers” created by “society.” But the routine rise of millions of people out of the lowest quintile

    I think putting a cap on a floor wage or a ceiling wage is non-productive.

    "Income Mobility. Only by focusing on the income brackets, instead of the actual people moving between those brackets, have the intelligentsia been able to verbally create a “problem” for which a “solution” is necessary. They have created a powerful vision of “classes” with “disparities” and “inequities” in income, caused by “barriers” created by “society.” But the routine rise of millions of people out of the lowest quintile over time makes a mockery of the “barriers” assumed by many, if not most, of the intelligentsia." -Thomas Sowell

  • So let’s take more away from the people and give more power to the government? Soon the left will have the government telling us everything we can and can’t do. The left has lost it’s mind.

  • It is time for the rich to pay taxes!

  • Sounds intriguing in concept.

  • The government needs to keep its hands out of the free market. If the government was in charge of water América would be a desert

  • Does anyone remember the saying “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?” And, knowledge is power

  • Interesting idea. It might force individuals to spread out how their income is earned.

  • It’s a whacked idea now, as it was 50 years ago and 150 years ago.

    Does it include Basketball Players and Movie Stars?

    Why invest in a company if every dollar you make is taxed? Why work harder if the government is going to take every penny?

    Innovation and hardwork would cease.

  • Please read.

  • GOBBUDISM!!!!!!

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