Okay, we’re not sure what the Occupy Wall St types are for, but they’re definitely against the huge salaries the top CEOs make. Maybe they’d like a law that puts a maximum amount of money anyone can make in a year. Once you hit that max you have to take the rest of the year off. I think a similar policy at IBM drove Ross Perot to start his own company.
So, that would also limit what the big movie stars and pro athletes would make. Maybe we could do that without a law. Imagine if every season ticket holder cancelled their season tickets and 90% of the movie goers stayed home; that could certainly impact the salaries and big time movie
contracts. Perhaps after a year or two, we might be able to take a family of four to see a game for less than $200 or see a movie for less than $40.
And I’m totally sure that CEOs of large corporations really do need $24-$87M every year in order to have a slightly more than modest home, upscale but modest cars, children attending good public schools, and a nice but modest summer home and vacation. On the other hand, they do create a lot of jobs for others—and turn out a profit for the stockholders (owners); that is what they are hired to do, you know.
Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list for 2010 says that Oprah Winfrey earned $290 million. Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned $100k, she earned thousands of times more than that. Is that fair? There are many other celebrities who make much more than their staff, including Tyler Perry ($130 million), Jerry Bruckheimer ($113 million), Lady Gaga ($90 million) and Howard Stern ($76 million). According to The Wall Street Journal Survey of CEO Compensation (November 2010), Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, earned $87 million, Oracle’s Lawrence Ellison ($68 million) and rounding out the top 10 CEOs was McKesson’s John Hammergren, earning $24 million. It turns out that the top 10 CEOs have an average salary of $43 million, which pales in comparison with America’s top 10 celebrities, who earn an average salary of $100 million.
So, why is it that rich CEOs are demonized and not celebrities? It clearly is not about the amount of money they earn. If it were, the left would be targeting multimillionaire Hollywood and celebrities and sports stars, such as LeBron James ($48 million), Tiger Woods ($75 million) and Peyton Manning ($38 million). But there is no way that politicians would take on the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and LeBron James. That means celebrities can make any amount of money they want and it’s fine. Are the only bad people the ones that create jobs for others?
So, what’s the issue? It’s the government. The Occupy crowd should join the Tea Party and throw all the big spenders out of DC. Any bets that they will?