COD, July 10, 2017: We deserve part of CEOs' salaries – Richmond.com

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We deserve part

of CEOs’ salaries

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A tea party sign asks: “How much is your fair share of what another person has worked for?” My answer with respect to American CEOs and from the standpoint of being a U.S. citizen is: a lot more than I’m currently getting.

The Times-Dispatch recently reported that median CEO pay in the Richmond area was $3.5 million in 2016. Nationally, CEOs make 380 times what the average worker earns. The worker must work a full month in order to take home what a CEO makes in one hour. Such discrepancy is the stuff of revolution.

How can anyone really earn $3.5 million a year? Do CEOs put in 380 times the effort of the average worker? No. Are they 380 times smarter than the average worker? No. Their level of compensation is so distant from a just measure of the labor and talent they expend as to be, if not immoral, then uncivilized.

Some will argue that free-market forces produce these salaries and that nothing can be done about it. Who knows, but the fact that greedy capitalists continually award themselves compensation way out of proportion to the actual work contracted is reprehensible.

In 1976 the top 1 percent of income earners took home 9 percent of all national income. Today they take home almost 25 percent. Why? Most of it has to do with luck. CEOs work in the world’s richest economy. They work in jobs where market forces do not limit their income. They get lots of extra money simply because they work here. The average citizen gets nothing.

Higher taxation of CEO incomes could lessen this scam and slow our transition from a democratic republic to a plutocracy. So why are GOP politicians hell-bent on giving CEOs new tax breaks?

John Schuiteman.