It’s an old story, the growing gap between rich and poor, and it’s probably booring as hell to most. Thing is, I fear it’s shaping America in more ways than can be counted. I’ve been at a loss to make a clean argument about this, so all I can do now is give you this: Across the Great Divide:
In 1999, CEOs made 458 times as much as production and non-supervisory workers. If minimum wage had risen during the 1990s as rapidly as CEO pay, it would have been $24.13 an hour by 1999 instead of $5.15. Less in the realm of fantasy, if wages had at least kept pace with productivity, which rose 46.5 percent from 1973 to 1998, the median wage would have risen to $17.27 an hour, rather than $11.29, giving $12,438 more a year to full-time workers.
And it behoves me to ask, why does the Federal Reserve Bank, when setting percentage rates, not consider executive salary increases as signs of inflation? How can executive salaries increase 400% in ten years, but not set off alarm bells among those who watch the economy?