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Eye-Popping Executive Salaries

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Yes, as is pointed out in this article, business executive pay has reached outrageous new levels... but, I am resolutely against government regulation of executive salaries. If it is against the interests of businesses to hire at such stratospheric levels, they will stop doing it.

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post #2 of 41
Yeah, that would be completely intrusive for the government to regulate salaries.
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post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Not to mention it would destroy America's ability to compete with the rest of the world. The more over-regulated we become, the more attractive offshoring and outsourcing are. America needs to be more open to risk (with consequences), not less.

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post #4 of 41
if you don't like the salaries, don't buy the stock, don't buy the product...there, you had your vote. works for me. other than that, pay them a billion a month, i don't care, its probably what they deserve and its none of my business or the governments as long as they don't swindle, cheat, lie or do nasty things with other people's money or lives.
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post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
I've heard several Democrat contenders (including Barack Obama) mention this issue as one they would "like to address"... meaning: they want to introduce legislation to regulate executive pay... bad, bad idea.

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post #6 of 41
Just rich idiots helping each other make more money while the average Joe makes 36,000 a year working for the fat guy.

Incomprehendable greed, that's all.

 

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post #7 of 41
How would regulation of CEO pay harm our competitiveness? I'm not saying I'm in favor of it, but I also can't see any mechanism through which it could harm anything except for a few fat cats.
post #8 of 41
If CEOs were paid less, more earnings could be pumped into R&D, which would return greater profits down the road.

Or, companies could pass the saving on to the customers by lowering prices, increasing sales and thereby increasing profits again.

Both options would make us more competitive.

Bringing the CEO's income more in line with that of the line worker would also increase worker morale, thereby increasing productivitiy, thereby increasing competiviness.

 

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post #9 of 41
Executive compensation needs to be addressed somehow.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Executive compensation needs to be addressed somehow.

I suspect the airline industry will take care of that.
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post #11 of 41
They can afford their own jets now.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

They can afford their own jets now.

Indeed. But not for long.
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

If CEOs were paid less, more earnings could be pumped into R&D, which would return greater profits down the road. ...Or, companies could pass the saving on to the customers by lowering prices, increasing sales and thereby increasing profits again.

Both options would make us more competitive.

Bringing the CEO's income more in line with that of the line worker would also increase worker morale, thereby increasing productivitiy, thereby increasing competiviness.

I agree with this. ... Think about this. How much of the $200 million per year given to ONE FRIGGIN CEO could be used for other good stuff?

Maybe $50 million in IT upgrades for productivity, competitiveness of the company?

Maybe $10 million in better marketing to increase sales?

The CEO can still have his $50-100million per year. Just shave off a hundred mil' for IMPROVING THE COMPANY AND HENCE THE ECONOMY OF THE US.
post #14 of 41
I'd gladly take the hundred 'mil off his hands, and I promise to "help the economy" by re-investing it at the local mall.8)

 

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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Just rich idiots helping each other make more money while the average Joe makes 36,000 a year working for the fat guy.

Incomprehendable greed, that's all.

The "Average Joe" hasn't started a company that brings in millions of dollars a year. The more you put into making money, the more you will get out of it. (Well, not ALWAYS....)
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post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

If CEOs were paid less, more earnings could be pumped into R&D, which would return greater profits down the road.

Or, companies could pass the saving on to the customers by lowering prices, increasing sales and thereby increasing profits again.

Both options would make us more competitive.

Bringing the CEO's income more in line with that of the line worker would also increase worker morale, thereby increasing productivitiy, thereby increasing competiviness.

Exactly!!!! finally someone with common sense!
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

If CEOs were paid less, more earnings could be pumped into R&D, which would return greater profits down the road.

Or, companies could pass the saving on to the customers by lowering prices, increasing sales and thereby increasing profits again.

Both options would make us more competitive.

Bringing the CEO's income more in line with that of the line worker would also increase worker morale, thereby increasing productivitiy, thereby increasing competiviness.

True. If I ran a company I would do all of these things. But hey, it's their company to ruin if they choose to.
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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Just rich idiots helping each other make more money while the average Joe makes 36,000 a year working for the fat guy.

Incomprehendable greed, that's all.

nah, that average joe didn't bother to get some education that put him into the bracket that your 'rich idiot' worked hard to get into. Just pure poor man's jealousy.

yeah, a lot of them started with the proverbial silver spoon in the culo, but not all of them. If you want, you get, if you don't try, you don't have. simple. most people just don't have what it takes, nothing wrong with that....which gives you: average joe.
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post #19 of 41
I completely disagree. it takes literally nothing that you cannot learn to succeed. people with it don't like others getting it, so they make it harder for them to do so and suggest that they are somehow superior...
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post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

I completely disagree. it takes literally nothing that you cannot learn to succeed. people with it don't like others getting it, so they make it harder for them to do so and suggest that they are somehow superior...

Having worked closely with and known some very rich characters, I disagree with this strongly. I'm not very wealthy, never played golf, didn't go to college, and yet I still manage to do alright. I'm sure this is the case for most people on these forums. As a matter of fact, I'd say most of the people posting here are far more articulate and able to form a cogent argument than I am, but I wonder if they put all of these skills toward their success? I hope so.

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post #21 of 41
I think it was Bertrand Russell who said (pls correct me if I'm mistaken): "a specialist is a person who gets to know more and more, about less and less, until he finally knows everything about nothing". The executive salary situation reminds me a little about the above quote, in that (proportionately) fewer and fewer people are getting paid more and more, until finally a tiny elite owns everything. Well, thats obviously an exaggeration, but it is a parallel.

How much reward constitutes "enough", or "too much", or "too little" (dare I ask?)? I am vehemently against government regulation and intrusion into peoples' private affairs... but this Thomas Paine quote puts it in a nutshell: "Society is produced by our wants, and governments by our wickedness." In the case of insane executive rewards, when society fails to exercise self-discipline and the top individuals within it fail to exercise "reasonable self restraint", where bloated excess, greed, grossness, opulence and the resulting astronomical wealth does not reflect those individuals' worth to civilization, then that is the (unfortunate) time where responsible government ends up having to step in, for the sake of everyone.

How much higher can executive salaries get, before regular people start getting pissed enough to do something about it? There may be also a fear factor, a cold war relic at play here preventing this, (especially here in the US): Are we too afraid of being called "communists" or similar, because suddenly we recommend that the top people are limited to getting paid only 5,000 times the rate of regular workers, for example, as opposed to 10,000 times, or 20,000, or 100,000 times or unlimited?

The top exec. salary thing is also a game they play ... a celebrity competition amongst the elite to see who leads the table of excess. Not only that, but these people can afford to hire teams of skilled accountants and lawyers to set up complex trusts and overseas accounts etc. etc. in order to "legally" avoid paying taxes.

If these top salaried folks cant keep their own houses in order, re pay, and the situation gets so crazily out of kelter and lopsided that government is forced to finally step in, then that is the fault, not of government, but the narrowminded greed, lack of vision, and the "out-of-touch-with-reality" of these pigs. It's a bit of a parallel with the effects of terrorism, where the (evil) actions of a tiny minority screw things up for all... or in microcosm, where a bad kid misbehaves and doesn't own up, and the entire class often ends up beiung punished. At some point, I believe, enough is enough.

**

Whatever. Call me a commie... it would be a nice change from 'conspiracy theorist'.

Carry on.
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

How much higher can executive salaries get, before regular people start getting pissed enough to do something about it?

Do something? Like what? Refuse to travel? Not an option for millions. If we're talking about airlines, how many times have they been bailed out?
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post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not to mention it would destroy America's ability to compete with the rest of the world. The more over-regulated we become, the more attractive offshoring and outsourcing are. America needs to be more open to risk (with consequences), not less.

Regulations are the major reason for outsourcing. Most people don't realize this.

Quote:
Just rich idiots helping each other make more money while the average Joe makes 36,000 a year working for the fat guy.

Incomprehendable greed, that's all.

This is the most irrational thing I've heard in a long time. We don't live in a feudal society. Greed is not bad -- in fact, greed is the best source of equilibrium. There's no reason for corporate board to want to funnel more money than they think is necessary into an executive. The CEO job market is very volatile, and ultimately CEOs have to take responsibility for failure. For every ultra rich CEO, there are 10,000+ people who have tried and failed. Luck may be largely involved in the election process here, but no one said life is fair.
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Having worked closely with and known some very rich characters, I disagree with this strongly. I'm not very wealthy, never played golf, didn't go to college, and yet I still manage to do alright. I'm sure this is the case for most people on these forums. As a matter of fact, I'd say most of the people posting here are far more articulate and able to form a cogent argument than I am, but I wonder if they put all of these skills toward their success? I hope so.

Not so much... most posters went to college or have advanced degrees (those in the proper age group of course)...
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post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

The CEO job market is very volatile, and ultimately CEOs have to take responsibility for failure. For every ultra rich CEO, there are 10,000+ people who have tried and failed. Luck may be largely involved in the election process here, but no one said life is fair.

Did you read the article? This Home Depot guy was CEO for 6 years, presided over a shareholder loss of 8%, saw market share loss to Lowes, but got paid 456 million dollars.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

This is the most irrational thing I've heard in a long time.

Before or after you kept on typing?

Quote:
We don't live in a feudal society.

Funny that our distribution of wealth is very much like one, however.

Quote:
Greed is not bad -- in fact, greed is the best source of equilibrium.

Yes, Mr. Gekko.

Quote:
There's no reason for corporate board to want to funnel more money than they think is necessary into an executive.

Of course there is: "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine." You fail to take into account how many CEOs and other top executive sit on the boards of each others companies. It's a small, clubby, incestuous network of puffed-up self-important people running a lot of our big corporations.
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post #27 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Did you read the article? This Home Depot guy was CEO for 6 years, presided over a shareholder loss of 8%, saw market share loss to Lowes, but got paid 456 million dollars.

Also, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, presidents of publicly held companies could end up in prison for a long, long time if something happens during their watch that they may directly or indirectly do to damage the company. I think I'd want a really large compensation package to take on that risk.

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post #28 of 41
Steve Jobs gets a Buck a Year

Executive Salaries aren't so bad, if you forge the rest of the world exists...

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post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Steve Jobs gets a Buck a Year

Executive Salaries aren't so bad, if you forge the rest of the world exists...

Sebastian

Yes, but he is compensated with stock options and things like Lear jets instead. Not a bad package.

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post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Also, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, presidents of publicly held companies could end up in prison for a long, long time if something happens during their watch that they may directly or indirectly do to damage the company. I think I'd want a really large compensation package to take on that risk.

Not so much... if they didn't benefit and especially if they weren't actively involved in the fraud, then they have nothing to worry about... or perhaps you were implying that executives should be expected to steal from the cookie jar...


the little kindergarten game taught them a lesson or two...
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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Did you read the article? This Home Depot guy was CEO for 6 years, presided over a shareholder loss of 8%, saw market share loss to Lowes, but got paid 456 million dollars.

I read the article in the WSJ. During his stay, gross profits were also up two fold. In his contract there was probably a clause to the extent of "If during my stay profits rise a ton, you can't fire me without a big severance."
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

. . .
Funny that our distribution of wealth is very much like one [feudalism], however.

. . .

Of course there is: "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine." You fail to take into account how many CEOs and other top executive sit on the boards of each others companies. It's a small, clubby, incestuous network of puffed-up self-important people running a lot of our big corporations.

You clearly don't know much about modern business. Moreover, our distribution of wealth is very much not feudal: it's pretty well graduated, and aside from failing companies like Ford and GM, there's no vassal-serf relationship. Maybe you should look into the facts before you start spewing nonsense.
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

You clearly don't know much about modern business. Moreover, our distribution of wealth is very much not feudal: it's pretty well graduated, and aside from failing companies like Ford and GM, there's no vassal-serf relationship. Maybe you should look into the facts before you start spewing nonsense.

Have you ever looked at wealth distribution statistics? In the US, the top 1% in terms of income receive something like 20% of all income, and the top 1% in terms of wealth have over 30% of the wealth. Our poor may live better than medieval serfs, and there are more gradations of wealth from bottom to top, but it's the incredibly lop-sided share of income and wealth at the top end I'm referring to as being very feudal.

Our capitalist system is better than anything else we've ever tried, but I can't help but think about what Churchill said about democracy - "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - substituting capitalism for democracy.

The free market is not the wonderfully perfect, fully automatic magic balancing mechanism dispensing perfect economic justice some seem to like to believe it is. When you look at things like executive compensation and other issues of pay equity and wealth distribution, you've got to wonder seriously if free market mechanisms are functioning properly. I don't think they are -- which is not to say I know what the best method for fixing the problem would be.

CEO's are now paid on average 300 times an average worker's salary. Back in 1970, their compensation was "only" 40 times higher. Do you really believe CEO's are now 7.5 times more productive than they were in 1970? Were they just being terribly short changed back then, and we've finally gotten it "right"? Given the wild vagaries of business performance and growth in almost any business, with so many factors beyond anyone's control affecting the bottom line, how can you ever clearly measure the performance of a CEO and determine his or her worth?
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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Given the wild vagaries of business performance and growth in almost any business, with so many factors beyond anyone's control affecting the bottom line, how can you ever clearly measure the performance of a CEO and determine his or her worth?

that's clearly up to the market and the stockholders as well as the people that buy the products. NOT the government or some average joe crying foul because he's jealous of someone else's pay. If you want to be paid 40,000 times more than the average worker, get off your fat butt, quit watching TV all night and go get an edumacation and maybe you'll upgrade from the trailer in a few years. (not attacking 'you' per se, just 'you' in general, being the average joe.)

that's my take. There is no such thing as making too much money in the USA. period.
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post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Have you ever looked at wealth distribution statistics? In the US, the top 1% in terms of income receive something like 20% of all income, and the top 1% in terms of wealth have over 30% of the wealth. Our poor may live better than medieval serfs, and there are more gradations of wealth from bottom to top, but it's the incredibly lop-sided share of income and wealth at the top end I'm referring to as being very feudal.

So what? What has someone else's success to do with our own? Nonsensical statements such as "haves" and "have-nots" are appropriate for schoolyard bullying, not intelligent beings in a complex economic environment.

Quote:
The free market is not the wonderfully perfect, fully automatic magic balancing mechanism dispensing perfect economic justice some seem to like to believe it is. When you look at things like executive compensation and other issues of pay equity and wealth distribution, you've got to wonder seriously if free market mechanisms are functioning properly. I don't think they are -- which is not to say I know what the best method for fixing the problem would be.

The free market is pretty damn good. Even the Chinese realize this and have taken to it like a fish to water. Once opportunity is given, virtually anyone can take advantage of it...and it's hard to take back, also.

Quote:
CEO's are now paid on average 300 times an average worker's salary. Back in 1970, their compensation was "only" 40 times higher. Do you really believe CEO's are now 7.5 times more productive than they were in 1970? Were they just being terribly short changed back then, and we've finally gotten it "right"? Given the wild vagaries of business performance and growth in almost any business, with so many factors beyond anyone's control affecting the bottom line, how can you ever clearly measure the performance of a CEO and determine his or her worth?

Apples and oranges. Productivity has nothing to do with it. Competition does.

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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

So what? What has someone else's success to do with our own? Nonsensical statements such as "haves" and "have-nots" are appropriate for schoolyard bullying, not intelligent beings in a complex economic environment.

I'd say the way wealth gets distributed is what's much more like schoolyard bullying.

Some people, through their efforts, make the pie we all share bigger, and get a bigger slice in the process. Some people do no more than grab themselves a bigger slice even though they've done nothing to increase the size of the pie. Bastards like this Home Depot CEO shrink the pie, and still walk away with an obscenely large slice. Only the first case is something we should actively encourage and support.

Family and social connections, buying political influence, and downright corruption are significant non-market forces behind how wealth get distributed, things market mechanisms won't always automatically solve for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The free market is pretty damn good.

Yes, but still far from perfect. Some regulations are needed, for instance, for things like environmental protection and product safety -- waiting until people are poisoned and hurt and killed enough, if they can even be certain of the source of these maladies, and hoping this produces the necessary feedback to fix things, is hardly the way to handle things.

Quote:
Apples and oranges. Productivity has nothing to do with it. Competition does.

Competition which is far less than transparent and open, for which consumers and typical stockholders have only the most indirect, crude, and fairly ineffective influence.

Don't forget that nearly all large business are incorporated, and incorporation is a social contract. The people, hoping to encourage business growth by limiting the liability of stockholders and officers, grant those people a shield to hide behind where there personal risks are reduced, but where their potential gains are hardly touched. If the business fails, we all end up sharing in the big losses due to the impact of unpaid debts. If the business succeeds, the bulk of that benefit goes to those "bold risk takers" who aren't taking on the full risk of their ventures after all.

We have to be smart about what rules and regulations we pass and enforce on corporation, and be wary of unintended consequences, but do not be misled that it's none of our business to interfere. We are all, as citizens, partners in the financial construct which is a corporation, and we have a right to demand more, through the same power of law which grants incorporation in the first place, for our part in the deal.
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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Not so much... most posters went to college or have advanced degrees (those in the proper age group of course)...


Indeed. Quite a few here teach at colleges.

Speaking of teaching, I have former students whose salaries are already well beyond mine. Fortunately for me, I live in Japan where teachers are more revered and better paid than their counterparts in the USA, where teachers do not seem highly valued. It is amazing how little teachers are paid in the US.

 

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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Indeed. Quite a few here teach at colleges.

Speaking of teaching, I have former students whose salaries are already well beyond mine. Fortunately for me, I live in Japan where teachers are more revered and better paid than their counterparts in the USA, where teachers do not seem highly valued. It is amazing how little teachers are paid in the US.

/me climbs down from his ivory tower, which has mold growing on it and is falling apart in places and has an ogre at the top screaming PUBLISH OR PERISH and tangling the briefcase that every time you open it, you see the golden glow of tenure emanate.

Don't even get me started.
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post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Yes, but he is compensated with stock options and things like Lear jets instead. Not a bad package.

I know 8)
Didn't he receive a Jet in 99?

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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #40 of 41
Why would a government that wastes billions and only survives by compelling people, under penalty of law, to give it money have anything to say to a company that is successful enough to pay one of its employee millions?
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