According to Dr Richard Wolff, who is always very accurate, the average pay for a CEO today is $238,000 a week. (Just under $1 million per month.)
I broke down the numbers further.
This comes to $5950 per hour (for a 40 hour week).
Going further, it equals $99.16 PER MINUTE.
Which equates to $1.65 PER SECOND.
Simply put, a CEO makes more money in 5 seconds than a minimum wage worker in the same company makes in one hour. The CEO can take a long sip of water or coffee and make more money than the worker, who spent an hour on their feet, tired, possibly sweating, dealing with difficult customers, handling sharp or hot instruments, etc.
I won’t bother going into the difference in benefits much which for the CEO means stock packages, bonuses for cutting staff, more bonuses for declaring bankruptcy and raiding pension funds or retirement accounts, full insurance paid for by the company (in other words, by low employee wages and jacked up prices for customers). All that becomes fairly moot when they could afford any catastrophic illness and have more money in investments than a real person could ever spend in multiple lifetimes.
I see capitalist puppets defending this system all the time. People who consider themselves oppressed billionaires, yet make less in a year than the CEO makes in a month. People who have no grasp of economics. They think they understand economics because they can use a computer program to balance their checkbook for them. Or because they made $1000 on the stock market last year in a folio managed by someone else. They are economic geniuses in their minds.
Back to the numbers.
I previously explained exactly how much $1 billion is because most people have no concept of it. They just hear the term all the time and have never even considered how large that number is. So, here is that explanation again-
If you make $50,000 a year, it would take you 20 years to make $1 million.
Now, $1 billion is $1 million times 1000. Yes, I mean 1000, not 100. Check your math class.
This means that at $50,000 a year, it would take you 20,000 (Twenty THOUSAND, not a typo.) years to make $1 billion.
Maybe you make $100,000 a year. Okay, so your numbers are cut in half. You would have to work 10 years for $1 million, 10,000 years for $1 billion.
Or maybe you make $1 million a year. Then you would only have to work 1,000 years, a full millennium to reach $1 billion.
Keep in mind that at the end of that time, you would not have $1 billion, you would have earned $1 billion. You would be spending during that time frame.
Thus, at $50,000 a year, to earn the $150 billion which is Jeff Bezos’ net worth, you would have to work 3 million years. (Go ahead. Check my math.) Oh yeah. He lost some of that in his divorce recently. So I guess he’s only worth around $115 billion now. Poor Jeff. The struggle is real.
Some people will attack me and ask, “Are you proposing class warfare?”
Actually, yes. Yes I am. That doesn’t mean I am proposing violence. I am proposing legislative changes that equalize the balance of wealth, improve the economy, improve living conditions for the 99+%.
I’ve written extensively on how the wealthy hoard money. Like capital gains. Capital gains refer to investments. Investments are not taxed until they are withdrawn, then considered income. This is no different than your own 401k. Then capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages. There is a cap on federal capital gains tax of 20% at the highest level. That only applies if the money is withdrawn. So, if you make $100 million a year and invest $90 million of that, you evaded taxes on that $90 million. Keep doing that for 10 years and you have evaded taxes on $900 million.
Now, apply that concept to Jeff Bezos, other billionaires and corporations. Yes, corporations do it too. One way they do this is by spending money on stock repurchases to boost stock value. Stocks they bought back using money they gained from the bipartisan tax break they recently got.
This has not even reached the concept of taxing wealth. This is only discussing income. Meaning an individual or company evades taxes on cumulative trillions of dollars in income each and every year, year after year.
Meanwhile our government debates whether we should raise the minimum wage, cuts food stamps, denies Social Security applications/claims, reduces Medicare and Medicaid benefits, schools cut teaching positions, roads and bridges collapse.
When anyone proposes increasing taxes on the top earners, that’s not taking away anything they already have. It is an increased tax on income only and is not retroactive in any way. It also does not mean they pay a 70% tax on income over $10 million, it does not mean they pay a 70% tax on the whole thing. OVER $10 million means exactly that because of the incremental tax system. So if a person makes $10 million and $1, they only pay the 70% tax on the $1. Plus, it does not affect the capital gains tax I already discussed, where they can evade most of their taxes.
So the discussion on increasing the top tax brackets sounds Progressive but it’s really an illusion. CEO’s can take bonuses in stock packages. Capital gains are still a thing. Corporations pay no taxes on money spent on stock repurchases, bonuses, etc.
I’ve previously suggested a much more effective idea. Implementing a maximum income. Not wage, income, meaning from all sources.
Such a maximum income could be quite generous. Like $50 million. That is annual income. If you need more than that to live on every year, you don’t need more money, you need therapy and lots of it. Anything above that cap would be taxed at 100%. Corporations should be taxed at a percentage of profits. A 15–20% profit margin should be enough for any corporation. Bonuses and stock repurchases would not be deductions. Of course, capital gains would be taxed annually and at the standard tax rate.
If this idea were implemented, then over time it would be a possibility that Americans below that income level would not have to pay any income tax at all. Especially if we cut our military spending. The result would be all the money currently paid by most Americans on taxes would then be spent in the economy. Know what that does? It increases profits for the rich while improving lives for the rest of us. It creates jobs, real jobs with living wages. It boosts the middle class considerably. The rich do not create jobs. Consumers create jobs. In fact, the rich destroy jobs by laying people off to boost stock values and dividends. Corporations force small businesses out of existence.
These are not radical ideas. This is reasonable. It preserves capitalism but balances it. The alternatives to this are radical, either in favor of the rich as we have now or in favor of literal revolution. These ideas are peaceful and rational.
Back to that class warfare thing. One thing to realize is that the rich have waged class warfare against us for generations. We have simply hunkered down and tried to avoid the missiles and mortars falling all around us, destroying our planet, our country, our lives. It’s time to fight back.
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