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Are Corporate CEOs Worth $20 Million?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/01/are-corporate-ceos-worth-20-million

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May I just say… not a soul on the planet is worth 20 million. Most aren’t worth a dime imho.

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We are pushed the propaganda of the brilliant person at the top and what a difference they can make to the company’s performance so we must pay top dollar.

I suppose I understand the idea of wanting to tie some of the compensation to the company’s performance though stock price is a crappy metric to use to correlate with that. I’d be fine with a maximum wage in the US of 1 million per year - you just aren’t allowed to pull more than that for personal expenses for any reason. If the company does very well and compensation exceeds that, the money will have go to a rainy day or to be used for business expenses like starting a new company. There is way too much personal excess in this country and it isn’t needed to motivate smart people to do good work - some level of extra compensation sure, but not this much.

I’d feel a lot better about Biden if he had people like Baker on his economic team instead of the jerks he does have.

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Basically corporations are corrupt. Well who would have thought that, and just like Trump, they corrupt everything they touch, including our government.

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Let’s reframe and reword the question. What value to society as a whole does a CEO do. Does he take care of children and elders? Does he help in the community as a whole, doing work in soup kitchens and food banks. Is he building low cost housing for the homeless and the poor. Is he growing sustainable food or helping to build more mass transit. Many cultures give value to work and actions like this, not wearing a suit and probably off sourcing jobs.
The rentier class as a whole are parasites, feasting on the host until the host dies(the host meaning our society, not that we truly have one).
The person who should be paid the most is the one doing the scut work-changing diapers, cleaning bathrooms, where you get sweaty, dirty, and work long hard hours but are paid shit wages. The CEO is a figurehead, a pretty face wearing handsome clothes, but is worth at most minimum wage. Notice how, even when they fail and strip mine a company, they still get paid mega-bucks.
For a poster child of the rentier class, look no further than the entire Trump clan.

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It would depend on the particulars. In many cases, no value (many corporations exist to make profit in our system but don’t contribute anything objectively useful).

In other cases where the corporation makes something objectively useful (say giant wind turbines which scale in efficiency with size), it is at least conceivable that one CEO could make decisions compared to a different CEO to cause two very different trajectories for the company. Maybe there are safety problems and a blade breakage causes injury or death while also taking the company down making it harder to install as much wind generation capacity. Maybe one CEO directs more effectively to avoid these problems.

Anyone in the working world who has moved around a bit has seen some very smart people running things and some very stupid people you can’t imagine how they got there. It isn’t surprising to think there would be a difference between these two people when they are at the top.

That said, I gave my opinion on excessive compensation above.

I pose the question would it even be possible to have stratospheric CEO compensation packages if the economy were not so very unregulated and hyper-financialized? I think not. Let’s focus on the dog, the tail will follow.

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Good question. Are pro athletes worth $20 million (usually more)?

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Hi WiseOwl:
I understand that some pf those CEOs get all kinds of benefits and bonuses…so maybe with all of those benefits, maybe they don’t need a salary. And for some of them? Well, even 30 pieces of silver would be too much. : )

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I am not really in the market, thanks. And maybe we need another way to count value.

My issue with this argument is that people who do nothing make millions or billions more than that off of the athletes’hard work and dedication.

Edited to add that I’m a basketball fan so I realize that “hard work” doesn’t apply to all sports equally hah!

It’s not an argument, but a comparison - otherwise take your point.
The athletes are multi-millionaires and the team owners even wealthier.
We know that income equality is a driver of so much malaise, and it is at its highest level in generations.

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A little off topic, but didn’t know where else to drop this good news vid.
This vid is about a new outlet called “OptOut”, they will be a non-profit and provide a platform to bring together independent media outlets that are not corporate sponsored. Possibly a truly honest media source.

(h)ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvPTvwApc08
“Independent Creators Team Up To Take Down Corporate Media” / Ring of Fire Platform

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“It’s a big club…and you ain’t in it!” - George Carlin

Time to burn down their clubhouse.

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It’s because, being salaried, they don’t get to claim overtime, like them much luckier mail room clerks. Not hardly to mention the vicissitudes of martini lunches and tapas bars where they have to wade through a mental fog to return with the golden gems of wisdom to the board, only after working through the arrangements making sure their staff managers manage to get truly hard working air crews for their private jets, which, of course, they must fly in because it saves the company money, instead of unproductive CEO time at 20-million in airport waiting rooms.
Dang, your heartless response to those high salaries has no consideration that with all those board bored C-suite meetings they barely have time for a trip to the loo.
Has anyone in the entire history of creation worked that hard for that much?
/s (just in case anyone imagined otherwise, given how hard it is to satirize so much self satire)

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Basically the same d… jerks I saw one week after Obama was elected in 2008 at an economic advisors photo op. That was my first realization that we were screwed. At that date I didn’t realize how much. And it was still much later when I looked back at Obama’s career I realized he had not been bought so much as he hit the road early from college on selling himself as a here-I-am “development” package to buy shares in public offices for a return on investment.

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I love that Carlin quote. Again and again that is the nutshell which covers just about anything. Strip out all the fluff and cover and diversion and gas lighting and we are down to who is in “the club” or not in “the club.”
Follow the money.
Cui Bono.
One of us.

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