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How to Have Your Say On Outrageous CEO Pay
RealClearMarkets ^ | 05/02/2011 | Bill Frezza

Posted on 05/02/2011 6:46:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Few things raise the dander of radical egalitarians more than the growth of CEO pay. The umbrage is as much aesthetic as it is economic, as evidenced by the fact that the most impassioned complaints leveled against these corporate titans are not so much criticisms of their failure to deliver value for money but over the gap between CEO pay and wages for everybody else. That's because the former criticism raises the inconvenient question, value to whom? And therein lays the answer to the riddle posed by this column.

First the facts. CEO pay has undoubtedly been on a tear. The numbers are eye popping. And I don't mean just for the founder-CEOs who can lay claim to creating the machine that pays them. The hired hands are raking it in as well. According to salary.com average total compensation for a representative sample of S&P 500 CEOs exceeded $11M in 2010. That's a boatload of money. How can you not suck in your breath when you hear that?

But the story takes on different shades of meaning from there. Google up the words CEO Pay and you notice a few interesting things. First, the AFL-CIO has purchased the right to be at the top of the first page of search results. Taking their cue from President Obama's recent declaration of class warfare, this lets them show off their new Executive Paywatch website that documents the unseemliness of excessive CEO pay. Prominent on the site is a chart showing how many nurses, teachers, police officers, and fire fighters could be supported if you could somehow confiscate and redistribute the pay of an average CEO. No, our nation's union bosses aren't demanding that - yet. But the inference is inescapable.

(Excerpt) Read more at realclearmarkets.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ceo; ceopay; pay

1 posted on 05/02/2011 6:46:48 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Here’s my say:

GO FOR IT DUDES (and DUDETTES!) MAKE AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT TAKES IT ALL AWAY!................


2 posted on 05/02/2011 6:54:53 AM PDT by Red Badger (Mitt Romney: The Harold Stassen of the 21st century........)
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To: SeekAndFind
How to Have Your Say On Outrageous CEO Pay ...-OR-...
You could mind your own business..
3 posted on 05/02/2011 6:56:57 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Where is the outrage over the morons in sports and on TV/movies/rock that makes much more than this for something that really has little tangible value at all; does not actually contribute anything to the progress of society?

Oh, I know - liberals in particular worship these people. It’s OK for them.


4 posted on 05/02/2011 7:01:05 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: hosepipe

Well, the company DH and I worked for outsourced about 8000 employees...some over seas...and was rewarded with an almost 2 million dollar bonus for doing so.

That doesn’t sit real well with me, free enterprise or not.


5 posted on 05/02/2011 7:03:16 AM PDT by mom4melody
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To: SeekAndFind

Great article bump


6 posted on 05/02/2011 7:04:32 AM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: hosepipe

“How to Have Your Say On Outrageous CEO Pay ...-OR-...
You could mind your own business..”

From the article.....

“It is no more your business what some random CEO makes than it is your business to tell the Yankees how much they should pay their starting lineup.”


7 posted on 05/02/2011 7:06:10 AM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: hosepipe
A good CEO is worth every penny. Not a problem
People who really know their stuff and do it very well should be well paid and gov't should keep their mitts off.
I've seen a few bad ones though, the kind that runs a company into the ground and then collects a handsome parachute.

I do however have a problem when heads of non-profit charitable organizations collect superstar salaries for no apparent reason.
Maybe they work hard where I can't see it. Maybe not.

8 posted on 05/02/2011 7:07:10 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: mom4melody

The thing about capitalism is that it works best when the people have morals.


9 posted on 05/02/2011 7:07:10 AM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: SeekAndFind

My boss is on that list and he’s worth every penny.


10 posted on 05/02/2011 7:09:14 AM PDT by Ol' Sox
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To: the OlLine Rebel

No, you are the one that does not understand, people in sports, and entrainment earn their salary based on the real free market. In short if people do not vote for them with their dollars they do not make crap.


11 posted on 05/02/2011 7:09:29 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: hosepipe

“How to Have Your Say On Outrageous CEO Pay ...-OR-...
You could mind your own business..”

If you own stocks... in many cases it IS your business.

Do you think the HP stock holders would have liked to have had a say on what Carly Fiorina made for trashing their stock value?


12 posted on 05/02/2011 7:12:50 AM PDT by brownsfan (I miss the America I grew up in.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Compensation for performance is fine, but what gets me are the “Golden Parachutes” and severance packages that are paid out for failure (to the tune of 6 to 9 figures).


13 posted on 05/02/2011 7:13:54 AM PDT by Bonneville
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To: SeekAndFind

14 posted on 05/02/2011 7:22:03 AM PDT by TSgt (Colonel Allen West & Michele Bachman - 2012 POTUS Dream Team Ticket!)
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To: brownsfan
[ If you own stocks... in many cases it IS your business. ]

The stockholders hired him and are responsible for his actions.. else "they" would/should fire him..

The stockholders in America hired an in your face Marxist as President..
They need to fire him -OR- allow him to loot and dismantle a profitable business..

15 posted on 05/02/2011 7:23:29 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: hosepipe
OR-... You could mind your own business..

My sentiments exactly. I think these people are naive to think, that it'll stop with those making millions. Once this ball starts rolling, anyone who makes enough money NOT to be on government assistance will be targeted.

16 posted on 05/02/2011 7:28:53 AM PDT by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: SeekAndFind

The only catch is most peoples 401k mutual fund holdings are scattered among 100’s of different equities. This makes it nearly impossible to avoid a particular company’s stock if you want to “protest” their CEO pay for performance results. It’s my opinion that most of an executive’s compensation should be given in stock on a vesting schedule with performance targets set as a criteria for taking ownership.


17 posted on 05/02/2011 7:38:58 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: hosepipe
The stockholders hired him and are responsible for his actions.. else "they" would/should fire him..

If only it were that easy. I remember years ago when AT&T was fighting with its union so the union was trying to get one of their members elected to the BOD. They found out that if every member and everyone every member knew who owned stock voted their shares it wouldn't even make a dent compared to the stock that was still controlled by the company. The directors were hand picked and approved by the company and nobody was going to change that. Those hand-picked members also controlled compensation and were themselves well compensated for their time. So you are talking about a fair world as opposed to the real one where the game is rigged.

As for your American stockholders, how easy do you think it would be to get the Marxist off the ticket even if his own party members saw him as a liability? How did we get McCain in 2008 when there were others clearly more qualified? The "stockholders" were only given the choice of rubberstamping the picked candidate or sitting it out. Again, the game was rigged and there wasn't a thing you could do about it.

18 posted on 05/02/2011 7:46:14 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: the OlLine Rebel
Where is the outrage over the morons in sports and on TV/movies

I think the left considers those particular morons to be part of labor. Therefore, it's all good.

19 posted on 05/02/2011 8:04:08 AM PDT by BfloGuy
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To: Oshkalaboomboom
Throughout history the 'elites' have always looked after themselves very nicely while the 'proles' are kept powerless. The elites used to be the kings, then it was 'the aristocracy' then it was the 'robber barons' of the industrial age.

Now it is the 'CEO class.' They vote themselves into power, vote their buddies onto the board and then they vote themselves huge pay packages. They are invulnerable because shares are owned by their buddies, pension funds run by their buddies, investment trusts run by their buddies and the auditors are paid handsomely to look the other way. Life is sweet!

20 posted on 05/02/2011 8:10:40 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
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To: brownsfan
Do you think the HP stock holders would have liked to have had a say on what Carly Fiorina made for trashing their stock value?

I would ask those shareholders if they took the time to weigh in on the board of directors. CEO pay and compensation is up to the board.

21 posted on 05/02/2011 8:21:31 AM PDT by Lou L (The Senate without a fillibuster is just a 100-member version of the House.)
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To: Bonneville
Compensation for performance is fine, but what gets me are the “Golden Parachutes” and severance packages that are paid out for failure (to the tune of 6 to 9 figures).

Why does that "get" you? I certainly understand a bit of honest (and harmless) envy when it comes to executive compensation, but it shouldn't rise to anything greater than that.

Not that it alleviates any frustration, but golden parachutes are the price corporations pay to secure the talent and secure their "secrets". This happens even among the lower compensated set in certain key roles: "come work for us, but if you do, you can't work with any of our competitors for 18 months (or 12, or 24, etc.)" I was faced with that scenario. If you want me to bite that lure, you better give me some consideration on the back end.

22 posted on 05/02/2011 8:54:53 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Reddy

When CEO pay comes from taxpayer-funded bailouts then it is my business.


23 posted on 05/02/2011 9:00:08 AM PDT by SoCal SoCon (Conservatism =/= Corporatism.)
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To: Reddy
“It is no more your business what some random CEO makes than it is your business to tell the Yankees how much they should pay their starting lineup.”

That's why I expect the Federal Govt. to eventually force a Salary Cap and Revenue Sharing in baseball. To make things "fair" dontcha know. After all, we all do a bit better when we spread the wealth around! /sarc

What better way to spread the gospel of Socialism than by bringing "change" to Our National Pastime?
24 posted on 05/02/2011 9:04:04 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: mom4melody

That doesn’t sit too well with me either. Patriotism seems to be dead among the CEO class.


25 posted on 05/02/2011 9:05:34 AM PDT by SoCal SoCon (Conservatism =/= Corporatism.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

I agree. Compensation should be determined by the value of the product produced. CEO salaries are higher than their workers by a factor of 100s. Now is a CEO’s work really worth 300 times more than that of their workers? Given all the failed banks and companies that came groveling to the federal government begging for handouts, sorry, bailouts, I rather doubt it. As for the celebrity class even doctors don’t make as much as they do and a doctor’s work is far more valuable to the community than anything Lady Gag Me could produce.

The root of this problem is America’s blind idolatry of the rich, regardless of how they made their money. Some, like doctors, worked hard and studied for years to gain their wealth. Others, like Paris Hilton or Lady BlahBlah, were born into it and/or were lucky that enough of the American public was stupid enough to buy the tripe they were selling.


26 posted on 05/02/2011 9:17:06 AM PDT by SoCal SoCon (Conservatism =/= Corporatism.)
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To: MsLady

YUP! MYOB! You nailed it...


27 posted on 05/02/2011 9:29:24 AM PDT by California VWRC Member
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To: SoCal SoCon
Given all the failed banks and companies that came groveling to the federal government begging for handouts, sorry, bailouts, I rather doubt it.

I partially agree with you, but your point also illustrates an argument for exhorbitant CEO pay.

If an organization's failure (AIG, for example) would result in the complete unraveling of a giant sector of the world economy, I would think the CEO should be compensated handsomely; wildly, even, in comparison to the admin assistant working in Claims on the 3rd floor.

Very few people out there get paid "what they are worth", whether that worth is defined by their contributions to the company or the potential they bring on the front end.

Generally speaking, people are paid for the role they play. The company values roles in different ways, and compensates accordingly.

28 posted on 05/02/2011 11:12:39 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Lou L

“CEO pay and compensation is up to the board.”

And traditionally that’s been an incestuous relationship. A member of the board isn’t going to listen to someone with $5k worth of stock.


29 posted on 05/02/2011 12:38:28 PM PDT by brownsfan (I miss the America I grew up in.)
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To: brownsfan

Did you READ the article???!!!

“There are only three constituents that have a dog in the fight over pay for any given CEO, and that is the customers, employees, and shareholders of said corporation. “


30 posted on 05/02/2011 2:21:10 PM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: SoCal SoCon

Did a.n.y.o.n.e read the article??!!

“There is one important exception to this, of course, and that is if Congress has forced you to become a silent partner in a company by diverting your taxes into that company’s coffers. General Motors, any company getting perennial farm subsidies like Archer Daniels Midland, over five hundred banks that haven’t paid back their TARP bailout, government sponsored monstrosities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and beltway bandits feasting off federal contracts are good candidates.

In those cases every taxpayer has a right to scream and yell and demand that the CEO’s pay be cut, his private jet grounded, his limo auctioned off, and his free gym membership cancelled until he gets his snout out of the public trough. “


31 posted on 05/02/2011 2:23:23 PM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: org.whodat

No, you don’t understand.

I’m all for the free market. People can make what other people will give them.

But looking at it from a strictly practical - or even moral - view; seriously, who actually contributes something real useful to society?

I am tired of hearing communists spout off about evil corporations and their CEOs, etc, in the news and for all to hear, when they don’t give a hoot about rich people that don’t actually make or do anything useful for society.

That is called (serious) hypocrisy.


32 posted on 05/02/2011 2:31:26 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Reddy

Bingo.


33 posted on 05/02/2011 2:42:20 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: SoCal SoCon

A CEO’s job is to maximize long-term returns for shareholders, not to preserve jobs. To the extent the American labor market is not competitive, the blame lies with politicians and unions.


34 posted on 05/02/2011 2:55:46 PM PDT by oilwatcher
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To: brownsfan

The problem with that idea is that stock price is 75% market/emotion and 25% company specific numbers.

Profit means it goes up, loss means it goes down, in general, but if you’re in a bad “sector” or the market as a whole is bad, sometimes there isn’t much you can do.


35 posted on 05/24/2011 7:18:00 AM PDT by RockinRight (Cain/Bolton - the perfect ticket for America's future.)
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To: SoCal SoCon

We have this idolatry for rich people who are famous celebrities, but these same people (the idolizers) hate anyone who runs a business and makes a few bucks.

There has to be a balance. CEO’s should make a lot of money, otherwise why put up with the demands of being a CEO? However, I do have a problem with it not being mostly tied to profit and performance, etc and a previous posters mention of many CEO’s forgetting their roots and losing their patriotism.


36 posted on 05/24/2011 7:21:11 AM PDT by RockinRight (Cain/Bolton - the perfect ticket for America's future.)
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To: SeekAndFind

If the shareholders are ok with it, then I’m ok with it.


37 posted on 05/24/2011 7:24:29 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Bonneville

Sometimes those golden parachutes are worth every penny to the company to get rid of a BAD CEO. If you could get rid of one for say, 10 mil, versus the company losing another 50 mil by keeping the bad CEO until the end of their contract, what would you do? Most would cut their losses quickly. Thomas Sowell explains this very well in his books.


38 posted on 05/24/2011 8:01:38 AM PDT by Mama Shawna
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