FROM Edward Wolff
Executive Pay and Corporate Failure One of the reasons for income inequality in the US is the skyrocketing pay of corporate executives, even when their companies are not doing well. At the same time, the wages of workers are on the decline. Shareholders in Amgen, one of America's largest biotech firms, lost three percent of their investments in 2010, seven percent overall in five years. Located in Thousand Oaks, the company was closing plants and trimming the work force from 20,000 to 17,400. Chief Executive Kevin Sharer had been making $15 million a year, with perks that included two corporate jets. We hear what goes on in corporate boardrooms and what it means for the economy.
What Do Climbing Executive Salaries Mean for the Rest of Us? In recent years, compensation for corporate executives has quadrupled in constant dollars while pay for wage-earners has been steadily going down. That's true even for CEO's whose companies are not delivering for their shareholders. Shareholders in one of America's largest biotech firms lost three percent of their investments in 2010, seven percent overall in five years. Amgen was closing plants and trimming the work force from 20,000 to 17,400. Chief Executive Kevin Sharer had been making $15 million a year, with perks that included two corporate jets. We hear that corporate boards of directors determine executive pay based not on performance but on what other companies pay their executives. What did that have to do with the collapse of the economy? How dangerous are America's growing gaps in wealth and income?
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