Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was America's top-paid female executive in 2014

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  • Reply 61 of 74
    eliangonzaleliangonzal Posts: 490member
    danielsw wrote: »

    Socialist pipe dream. Ridiculous.


    That scenario he described is the furhtest thing from socialism one could ever get. When are you people (yes, *you people*!) going to learn what the word really means? Or will you stop caring in January 2017?
  • Reply 62 of 74
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    I must be doing something wrong with my life....

    Choosing who to work with plays an important role as well as what to do. If you manage a stock fund for a billionaire, you can make more commission from a 1% gain than you could on a 10% gain for a fund with hundreds of low-level investors. You would be rewarded more for doing less simply by doing less with someone wealthy. Meg Whitman isn't rated as a very good CEO:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst//most-underachieving-ceos

    but she became a billionaire from her stock reward from eBay. Steve Ballmer has even more. Apply the right skills in the right place at the right time. The same goes for acquisitions:

    http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/28/whatsapp-revenue/
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/27/snapchat-funding-may-give-it-10bn-valuation-as-revenue-stays-at-zero

    WhatsApp and SnapChat don't make much money yet the CEOs have now become billionaires simply because other wealthy people decided they liked them.

    I find it interesting how everyone, even at the low income level help propagate this while seeing how unbalanced it is. A low income worker will treat a wealthy client with more respect than a poor client despite having more in common with the poor one.

    You'd expect salaries at the most valuable company in the world to be higher simply because they have more revenue. This doesn't apply to the entry workers as they are deemed easily replaceable:

    http://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salary/Apple-Salaries-E1138.htm

    Those salaries look like they are around minimum wage. Angela Ahrendts was already making tens of millions from Burberry so I expect her move to Apple was more than financial. She had a long distance relationship with her husband for 17 years. Moving to the US would let them live closer together. If the job offer was $1, maybe she would have taken it just the same.

    Ultimately people are all trying to reach a positive experience in life. If overvaluing a few and undervaluing the vast majority leads to denying positive life experiences for the majority then it's going to eventually lead to something bad for everyone:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-tudor-jones-on-inequality-2015-3

    That leaves the question of who gets to decide who's worth what amount? Just now, someone is always making this assessment. If an employer employs someone then they are making this judgement. The uneven ownership of assets puts the decision-making over a person's worth in the hands of very few people and it also caps their upwards mobility. There needs to be a model that is applied to the financial system as a whole that keeps it stable. There are already laws to do this by limiting how much people can leverage their assets. Changes in the world population are going to need a more stable model:

    1000

    Back when there were 5 people trying to share a pie, it was a lot easier. It's a lot harder trying to maintain stability among several billion people especially with man-made systems that can move billions around in minutes:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3049633/Trader-helped-trigger-500bn-crash-semi-London-man-held-causing-Wall-Street-chaos.html

    Tim Cook clicks a button and $12b goes on a stock buyback. One click that would take 12,000 minimum wage workers an entire lifetime each to make. I don't think anyone would suggest there shouldn't be wealthy people but there's no sense in having very few super wealthy and billions of poor people when it's clear there can be a better balance where everyone gets a positive life experience.
  • Reply 63 of 74
    karmadavekarmadave Posts: 368member

    Top executives, at Silicon Valley companies, make big bucks. Deal with it!

     

    In this case, she was probably awarded stock for leaving Burberry where she was their well-paid CEO...

  • Reply 64 of 74
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 1,134member
    Lets hope she proves it worthwhile?

    So far the Applewatch launch has been littered with loose ends, invonveiances and Lack of excitement of the usual apple product launches at their retail stores .. Not becouse the watch is not exciting, I love it more than my phone ! .. But due to a messed up launch!

    Hope this was due to some unforseen production issue and not a deliberate strategy!??

    Time will tell !
  • Reply 65 of 74
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    ....

    Tim Cook clicks a button and $12b goes on a stock buyback. One click that would take 12,000 minimum wage workers an entire lifetime each to make. I don't think anyone would suggest there shouldn't be wealthy people but there's no sense in having very few super wealthy and billions of poor people when it's clear there can be a better balance where everyone gets a positive life experience.

     

    I seriously doubt any Apple executives are able to influence the timing of any actual stock repurchases. The potential for a conflict of interest is too great.

  • Reply 66 of 74
    jdwjdw Posts: 954member
    Contrary to common belief, most executive jobs are not doable by the average person.

    So what do these "mostly undoable" executive jobs entail? What does this executive actually do on a day to day basis that "clearly and indisputably" warrants a salary of tens of millions of dollars versus say one million? For that matter, how much more work (please give a detailed list of specifics here) separates an executive who makes 250,000 annually from one who makes one million annually?

    If you can't give us a detailed list of specifics (and since you clearly are not a company exec making millions per year, you probably can't), then would you agree that executive salary often has little to do with how hard a person works or even the amount of work they do? Would you agree that it most often boils down to the fancy degrees you have, the brand name universities you attended, the places you worked at previously, the people you know, how fashionable you look, and your ability to make deals? Because that's what I see these execs (male and female) doing. You get hired with a golden parachute and glorious stock options, make a few big deals that show the board and shareholders you were worth the steep price, and if things don't work out you walk away fabulously wealthy, such that you really could retire if you wanted too, but you'll probably stay in the game because, quite frankly, making millions is fun. And if you make enough millions, you and your spouse can become philanthropists and start a foundation so that your name can live on forever and many generations hence can look fondly upon that rich couple who did so much good in the world, all the while regular people who lacked funds to start a foundation die and are forgotten. But because your foundation helps so many of those soon to die and be forgotten "common people" it's all worth it in the end.

    I write this not to slight the rich or poor but rather as an observation of fact that few of us care to admit. If wealth is used in the right way, we ought to celebrate it. But we must take care we don't start worshipping wealth or the wealthy such that we lose sight of the more common things of life. Perhaps the only reason this story is interesting to us is because (other than it being related to Apple) it is an uncommon story that allows us to temporarily escape the boring reality of our own common lives.

    Executive jobs are probably "doable" by all of us here who are fairly educated, who are driven to work hard, and who can learn on the fly, but again, we don't have those jobs only because we lack past experience that big companies look for, we lack the fancy degrees, we have a degree but didn't earn it at the right university, we lack the "connections" required to make big deals, and perhaps we don't have the physical appearance that some companies look for. It doesn't always related to smarts, IQ or how hard you work. That's why some people start their own companies because if they didn't, they could not be hired by someone else as an exec who makes millions per year.

    You can now say "yep, that's true!" and then go back to your common life of making a salary $100k/yr or less.
  • Reply 67 of 74
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,186member
    You make the money, you keep the money in whatever form you like: Inheritance for family, a foundation, contributions to whatever charitable organization, etc.

    It's really no ones business but the person who held the money.
    And boom, you have a landed gentry, generational wealth, insurmountable wage divides, barriers to mobility taller than the Berlin Wall and you've created a neo-feudalism.

    Congratulations, you've thoroughly disassembled everything that your country was founded upon.
  • Reply 68 of 74
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    And boom, you have a landed gentry, generational wealth, insurmountable wage divides, barriers to mobility taller than the Berlin Wall and you've created a neo-feudalism.



    Congratulations, you've thoroughly disassembled everything that your country was founded upon.



    Would such complaints be null and void if enumerated by an Englishman?

     

    Besides, America is still (despite all of the myriad forces in government aligned against it) a source of opportunity for those without a pedigree. A good idea, persistence and an ability to leverage connections means more than those other nonsensical factors. In fact, the existence of sites such as Kickstarter (and many others) have opened the floor to donors, investors and angel investors like never before.

  • Reply 69 of 74
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,186member
    Would such complaints be null and void if enumerated by an Englishman?
    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. The nationality of the speaker has no bearing on the validity of what they say.
    Besides, America is still (despite all of the myriad forces in government aligned against it) a source of opportunity for those without a pedigree. A good idea, persistence and an ability to leverage connections means more than those other nonsensical factors. In fact, the existence of sites such as Kickstarter (and many others) have opened the floor to donors, investors and angel investors like never before.
    What are you talking about? The USA does not have 0% estate or inheritance tax, which is what you were suggesting. What difference does it make how the USA is doing now when the subject was the effect of a drastic change in policy?
    Aside from which, of course, the USA has massive income inequality, declining social mobility, an increasingly dynastic political and economic class, even without 0% estate/inheritance tax.

    P.S. By and large, "investors", angel or otherwise, haven't made any money from Kickstarter. Aside from some edge cases of vendors prepurchasing bulk orders which they can then sell on for profit, it doesn't work that way.
  • Reply 70 of 74
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. The nationality of the speaker has no bearing on the validity of what they say.

    What are you talking about? The USA does not have 0% estate or inheritance tax, which is what you were suggesting. What difference does it make how the USA is doing now when the subject was the effect of a drastic change in policy?

    Aside from which, of course, the USA has massive income inequality, declining social mobility, an increasingly dynastic political and economic class, even without 0% estate/inheritance tax.



    P.S. By and large, "investors", angel or otherwise, haven't made any money from Kickstarter. Aside from some edge cases of vendors prepurchasing bulk orders which they can then sell on for profit, it doesn't work that way.



    The US was founded on a Constitution and the idea of individual freedoms and rights. I've no idea what your response has to do with opportunities available to any who were not born with a silver spoon.

  • Reply 71 of 74
    herbie49herbie49 Posts: 14member
    Can anyone be worth 83 millions?
  • Reply 72 of 74
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    I seriously doubt any Apple executives are able to influence the timing of any actual stock repurchases. The potential for a conflict of interest is too great.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303496804579367543198542118

    "Apple Repurchases $14 Billion of Own Shares in Two Weeks
    CEO Cook Says Company Wanted to Be 'Aggressive' and 'Opportunistic'"

    Someone has to make the decision, it can't be left up to random employees as they could make a really bad mistake and lose a lot of their capital.
    herbie49 wrote:
    Can anyone be worth 83 millions?

    The earlier post about wealth being linked to labor helps determine this. Start out with the idea that there is a minimum quality of living for any one person. That person is then employed to do work by someone with an idea/service/product direction. For the person at the top to be successful, there has to be more income coming in than is going to that employee otherwise the business fails. The person at the top also doesn't want to be making less than the employee so they'd try to make at least double the income to get paid the same.

    When you scale that to an operation of thousands of employees by growing the business then if every employee made twice their salary, the person at the top would have thousands of times what each individual has.

    If you look at the population graph earlier, you can see a huge rise in the number of available workers that allows very large scale operations. Foxconn alone employs over 1 million people and that operation is needed to deliver something on the scale of the iPhone and iPad. Walmart has 2.2 million employees.

    If every Foxconn employee was paid at least $100,000, their operating costs would be at least $100b, which is almost as much revenue as they make. It's a very complicated balancing act.

    The balance comes from people - what they are prepared to sacrifice (labor vs pay). Some people would rather let this work itself out but it coerces people into being greedy and to fight for themselves at the expense of others and it harms people who are in desperate circumstances because they have nothing to negotiate with. This becomes dictatorial where very few wealthy individuals are deciding the value of millions of people and their quality of life.

    A fair balance can only come about through a fair system that works in everyone's interests and not just the interests of the few at the top.

    When it comes to people like Tim Cook and Angela Ahrendts, they probably lose sight of how privileged their positions are because they worked for decades to get to where they are. Ahrendts worked in the fashion industry for 30 years:

    http://magazine.wsj.com/features/the-big-interview/earning-her-strips/2/
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2005-10-21/news/27482821_1_liz-claiborne-juicy-couture-ellen-tracy

    She started as an accounts manager in 1983 after getting a degree in merchandising and marketing in 1981. She worked her way up from that role to vice president and president roles by 1989 so it took her less than 6 years to get to a VP role - that comes from making the right contacts and convincing people you are right for the job. Once you are in the management position, you can move around different companies at that level and you'll always get a good pay.

    They don't know what it's like to work for 30 years on minimum wage, always having mortgage payments and debts to repay and this can happen with some job roles because some roles inherently have no upwards mobility.

    The easy fix is to just forcibly balance everything out Robin Hood style but this presents another problem, which is that people don't inherently like to sacrifice anything. If you give people a reward and expect nothing in return then they don't feel compelled to give something back. Do it often enough and they come to expect it. Behaviour comes about from external conditioning just as people adapt to their environment and it's easy to turn people into takers/moochers if you never expect them to sacrifice for their reward. This happens with wealthy people too such as one of the Hilton heirs who describes poor people as peasants:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/paris-hiltons-brother-conrad-hilton-charged-after-alleged-flight-ruckus-n299691

    There can't be a system to promote laziness just as much as there can't be one to promote levels of inequality that are harmful. That's what the minimum wage laws are meant for but these are burdensome on smaller businesses. That's where tax credit systems have come about where taxes come off high income businesses and low-level workers in any business making below a certain threshold can claim extra income from that.

    It's likely that there will always be a significant gap between the poorest and wealthiest people because of how people are rewarded for work. If there ever came a time when food/water/accommodation was as easily acquired as the air we breathe then significant industries would collapse. It wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing because many of them only exist in the first place to improve quality of life.

    In the short term, there needs to be a realisation that the industrial system is a closed system and there aren't unlimited opportunities for everyone to become wealthy and for there to be any opportunities, the system has to be made fair by design. This shouldn't involve demonising people who are wealthy but rather convincing them that a heavily unbalanced system is harmful. Quite a few already realise it but what's missing is an effective solution they can be part of.

    One solution might be a non-profit non-government organisation that wealthy people donate to and it would be setup solely to give work credits to low paid employees. If a billionaire donated $1b in a year to it for example, 1 million low paid employees below a threshold could claim an extra $1000. This fund can also be used to create private sector jobs. The private sector loves to compete so why not compete with the government for social benefit? If private companies reduced the social burden then taxes wouldn't need to be so high.
  • Reply 73 of 74
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,186member

    The US was founded on a Constitution and the idea of individual freedoms and rights.
    It was. But crucially, not the idea of total individual freedom. That's why there's lots of things you can't do. Pay 0% inheritance/estate tax is one of them. Because of the reasons I mentioned.

    Seriously, you started the topic, so stay on it. Stop trying to sidestep your own bs.
  • Reply 74 of 74
    smalmsmalm Posts: 670member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joogabah View Post

     

    The right to your own money translates into a right to pass it to your children who did not earn it and turns your values upside down by creating a layer of wealthy individuals who exhibit none of the qualities you list.  And yet they retain the political power that wealth provides and use that power in ways that directly affect our lives.


    While I do not disagree, the most super rich people right now are self-made.

    Or better: They are super rich because others bought shares of their companies for unbelievable amounts of money hoping to make even more money that way. 

    We are such a greedy species :\

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