28 times to 158 times in 35 years

WaPo is running a series of  reports on growing gap in earnings between the richest 0.1% and the rest of US. The largest gain is in executive compensation.

In 1970, average executive pay at the nation’s top companies was 28 times the average worker income, according to the Frydman-Molloy data and numbers provided by Emmanuel Saez at the University of California at Berkeley. By 2005, executive pay had jumped to 158 times that of the average worker.


Since revealing these growing disparities would be embarrassing to all and sundry, there is some serious lobbying going on to ensure that executive compensation would not be released into public domain.

A group backed by 81 major companies — including McDonald’s, Lowe’s, General Dynamics, American Airlines, IBM and General Mills — is lobbying against new rules that would force disclosure of that comparison.

The companies and their Republican allies in Congress call comparisons between the chief and everyone else in the company “useless.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket.


One thought on “28 times to 158 times in 35 years

  1. These multiples are based on CEO pay for either the fiscal year ending in 2011 or 2012, as disclosed in the companies’ most recent filings before noon on March 26. Because most companies don’t disclose their average workers’ pay, Bloomberg used U.S. government data on worker compensation by industry. The average ratio for the S&P 500 companies is up from 170 in 2009, when the financial crisis reduced many compensation packages. Estimates by academics and trade-union groups put the number at 20-to-1 in the 1950s, rising to 42-to-1 in 1980 and 120-to-1 by 2000.

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