Steamed and Crabby

February 8, 2011 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Corporate HogsI’m a pretty easy goin’ guy. Yep, live and let live is my thing. But today my shorts are in a rare, huge crotch grinding knot.

Just read an article on MSN about the annual compensation of the ten top paid executives in Canada. The low man on the totem pole makes over $11 million dollars per year and the list topper rakes in over $24 million per year. Read here. Although large, those big figures are easy to gloss over; they’re conceivable and familiar numbers in this day and age.

I may have let it slide by except for being snagged by this snippet of analysis. The top 100 highest paid executives on the list (That’s 100 of ‘em, not just 10!) had made the average Canadian wage of $42,900. by noon on Jan 3 of this year. Let’s say the average work day for us peons (what an image that word invokes) is 8 hours, so these guys worked twenty hours to make what the average wage earner makes in a year. During that same 20 hours the average Canadian made $412.50. Now that is all for the average Canadian worker. How many of us make less than $42,900.? Ouch.

There was a companion article asking if what these execs make is fair and offering to tell us the real reason these fat cats make so much. Read article here. Basically it says that the competition for top business leaders dictates offering these outrageous packages. OK, maybe getting a sure fire hot shot for a troubled company is worth the loot but what about all the superstars who turn out to be the equivalent of Wile E. Coyote and are given enormous golden parachutes to go away? Think what could be done with all those wasted millions.

Should the government intervene? No way, this is free enterprise. Should the shareholders revolt? Not likely as long as the dividend cheques keep coming and the stock value rises. What about the unions? Well there may be a glimmer of hope here. Pressure is on unions to relinquish some of their past gains so there may be a valid argument from them when they are expected to cut back while the company head gets what 100 workers earn.

Don’t look for anything to happen soon. The situation will have to ferment for quite awhile until the inequity in this situation is so outlandish that the public will be disgusted enough to revolt. By that time there will be only two classes; the super rich and the poor. Sound like history repeating itself? “Let them eat cake,” anyone?

Maybe the government will intervene eventually but doing so goes against the principles of democracy and capitalism. We’ll have to ride this out for awhile, maybe quite awhile. If you are a shareholder you can attend the shareholder meetings and raise the question of what really justifies an executive’s over inflated remuneration when a good chunk of that money could be reinvested or passed on to the shareholders.
Perhaps shareholders will band together and start a movement. Think what might happen if it caught on.

The only thing I can see us regular peons doing is to take every opportunity to highlight this outrageous excess in the slim hope of embarrassing these execs back to reality or stimulating the shareholders to see the waste.

Well, my shorts are still knotted but I hope you’ll look at what you make per year and what these guys make. You work hard and they work hard but there are only so many hours in the week. What makes them worth your entire work year in two and a half days? I think these people are taking advantage of Canadians being too easy going. Maybe we need to toughen up a bit, or a lot.

Peace?

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lisa Llamrei  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    To be honest, I’m having trouble getting worked up about this. These guys are being paid by private companies that can afford it. Frankly, if my business was that successful, I’d probably pay myself $11 million, too. I can dream.

    What really steams me is when elected officials get paid outrageous salaries out of our tax dollars. There’s really something wrong when the employee makes more in a month than the employer sees in a year.

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