Monday, 25 October 2010

The excesses of US executive pay: That's just the way it is.

I'm sure that by now most readers of this humble little blog will have spotted the occasional rant against the inequalities of executive pay in the UK.

If you haven't been following the theme, here's a bit of background reading:

A fair day's wages for a fair day's work?
£36.8m. Not bad for a year's work.
But today, the editor is the bearer of good tidings! Things are not as bleak as they may have seemed. But the bad news is that this is only the case because the situation across the Atlantic makes our inequalities pale into insignificance.

Once again, dear reader, you are challenged. See if you can read the following facts and remain unmoved.

One out of every 34 Americans who earned wages in 2008 earned absolutely nothing in 2009.

Average wages, median wages, and total wages have all declined, except at the very top, where they leaped dramatically, increasing five-fold.

The number of Americans earning more than $50 million fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 in 2009

Those at the very top of the scale increased their income from an average of $91.2 million in 2008 to almost $519 million. (And you thought that Wayne Rooney's reported £180,000 per week was on the rather high side! : These guys earn nearly $10 million per week!)

This next little snippet of information needs a section all of its own, because it's so astonishing. Read these words slowly and consider them:
The 74 highest earning people in the USA made as much as all of the 19 million lowest-paid people in America combined
So, how did you get on? Did you gasp? Did your eyes pop out on stalks? Or did you just shrug your shoulders and hum the words of the great American songwriter Bruce Hornsby: "That's just the way it is, some things will never change?"

Hopefully you'll recall that there's another line:
But don't you believe them.


  1. Where did you get these amazing stats?

  2. Forget the stats - great taste in music Mr Editor!!


  3. As a few people have wondered where the alarming statistics came from, it's here!