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Here's an interesting article. We've all heard of the glass ceiling. How much have we heard about the glass floor?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-glass-floor-is-keeping-americas-richest-idiots-at-the-top_n_5d9fb1c9e4b06ddfc516e076?fbclid=IwAR3XuRtiRXhmQvNyVHl8yzGZ95wSzyO7qKNJmiKPHQhA1wljLvDD1zpTmJg

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/10/13 18:54:44


 
   
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Devon, UK

That's just nepotism and it's nothing new.

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

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Denison, Iowa

This is on the Huffington Post, so take it with a grain of salt. They are about on par with The Blaze, and one step up from Natural News and Info Wars. Finding an article from them that is factual and non-partisan is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/10/15 01:10:36


 
   
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Pleasant Valley, Iowa

What factual errors did you find?
   
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I suspect this is an example of the false equivelancy fallacy.
   
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 Ouze wrote:
What factual errors did you find?
I would like to know this as well. I always appreciate a good fact check.

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MN

The Glass Floor is not new... at all.

One thing I learned in small-business, is that "success" often is determined by your ability to absorb losses and still get cash. No one else can continue to absorb losses like the kids of the 1%.

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Nuremberg

Who knew getting a massive inheritance for doing nothing was a huge advantage? I, personally, am shocked by this.

   
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 Da Boss wrote:
Who knew getting a massive inheritance for doing nothing was a huge advantage? I, personally, am shocked by this.


The point of the article is more about how the rich are getting better at insulating their offspring from failure than they were in previous decades. So yes, this sort of thing has been going on forever, but they're setting up the system to self-perpetuate better (according to the article, anyhow).



   
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Macon, GA

This is a broader, snarkier rehash of a much better article in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/the-hoarding-of-the-american-dream/530481/

This article makes the common error of speaking broadly of "the rich," not only without defining the term, but using examples and arguments that stretch the word to it's breaking point. Yes, both the sons of tycoons, and the sons of Georgia families making six figures, both enjoy advantages, but they're radically different.

The article also doesn't really get into the policies behind this shift, such as tying education to property tax, and how they reinforce generational class status.

And while nepotism has long been an aspect of life, there really are signs that it's getting worse. top notch public universities used to be of low enough cost for the truly middle and working classes to afford, while now all post graduate education is incredibly expensive.

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Been Around the Block





One thing you always hear companies say in their own defense when accused of acting in bad ways is that they're only accountable to the share holders.

In that case responsibility to the share holders should mandate they remove incomoetents even from the higher ranks.

But I guess responsibility to the shareholders only covers certain issues.
   
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We'll find out soon enough eh.

The main problem with that is people still conceive of "the shareholders" as being a group of people investing their money, who could reasonably be expected to take an active interest in how a company is run, when the reality is most of "the shareholders" are big funds invested into dozens or hundreds of companies who don't give the tiniest little wet fart about the health or activities of each individual one so long as they keep churning out dividends on time, because they'll almost certainly have gotten their money's worth before any given one goes belly up from poor management and the loss of a single company here or there doesn't matter a jot to their giant portfolios.

Like a lot of things in the modern economy, people's perception of a thing has been formed(often quite deliberately) around a version of that thing that no longer really exists, having been replaced instead with some atrocious mutant shaped by intense lobbying into yet another vehicle for generating and retaining wealth for the elite.

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Macon, GA

Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!

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Denison, Iowa

 Polonius wrote:
Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!


That's more than a bit misleading. The number of good CEO's out there are less than the number needed. Just like any other employee, if someone else will pay them more for what they are all ready doing they will work for the highest paying employer. One company that bucked that ideal was Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. They tried a social-justice pay scale that stated that their top-paid employee would only make 5 times the wage of the lowest. This damned near killed the company. They agreed to up this to 10 times the pay, then 20, then 30. They went through about 5 batches of managerial staff before finding people competent enough not to trash the business, and that required decent pay.
   
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We'll find out soon enough eh.

I do wonder then - how did companies manage to succeed before executive pay ran rampant beginning in the 80's? Because roughly 10 times what a worker earned was pretty typical in the postwar era and yet companies managed to not totally implode.

I'd be interested in seeing some impartial reportage on that Ben & Jerry's thing if you have some links to hand - I have a sneaky suspicion there's a bit more to the tale than you're making out.

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-----
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
   
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Devon, UK

I bet you do. A quick Google reveals they stuck to it for 16 years, expanded it a bit in order to attract new talent when they couldn't get anyone to replace an outgoing director, and then got taken over by Unilever, which is what ended it.

Zero apparent info on it damaging the company.

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Macon, GA

 cuda1179 wrote:
 Polonius wrote:
Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!


That's more than a bit misleading. The number of good CEO's out there are less than the number needed. Just like any other employee, if someone else will pay them more for what they are all ready doing they will work for the highest paying employer. One company that bucked that ideal was Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. They tried a social-justice pay scale that stated that their top-paid employee would only make 5 times the wage of the lowest. This damned near killed the company. They agreed to up this to 10 times the pay, then 20, then 30. They went through about 5 batches of managerial staff before finding people competent enough not to trash the business, and that required decent pay.


I couldn't find any directly on point information on your example, but Ben and Jerry's did hire an outside CEO in 1995, with a base salary of $250k, which would be roughly 30 times what a minimum wage employee would have made back then. He stepped down after two years, recommending somebody with more marketing experience, and they hired a guy from Winchester rifles (!) at $300k a year So, yes, you need to find a candidate at market price for jobs with very specialized skills, which growing an ice cream brand to national/international distribution certainly is.

But there's plenty of evidence that simply supply and demand isn't enough. For example, here's one board director teeing off on the same point I made: https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0510/outfront-pay-bosses-ceo-chairman-why-executives-pay-is-high.html#12b31b9d9e51

Here's another article from Fortune, making a similar point: https://fortune.com/2017/04/19/executive-compensation-ceo-pay/

Here's a rundown of factors from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/073015/justifications-high-ceo-pay.asp

Here's an article from the Harvard Business Review which summarizes a paper on CEO pay, liking higher pay with cultural and political factors. https://hbr.org/2015/05/the-factors-that-lead-to-high-ceo-pay

These aren't articles from Slate or NPR, they're all from business friendly sources which seem to support the idea of cronyism.


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Sobekta wrote:
One thing you always hear companies say in their own defense when accused of acting in bad ways is that they're only accountable to the share holders.

In that case responsibility to the share holders should mandate they remove incomoetents even from the higher ranks.

But I guess responsibility to the shareholders only covers certain issues.


It's worth remembering a hefty majority of shares are held by a VERY small percentage of the population... and that percentage are the very ones who are often running the companies in question.

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 cuda1179 wrote:
This is on the Huffington Post, so take it with a grain of salt. They are about on par with The Blaze, and one step up from Natural News and Info Wars. Finding an article from them that is factual and non-partisan is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Cuda I really do want to know what factual errors you found in the article.

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Southeastern PA, USA

 cuda1179 wrote:
 Polonius wrote:
Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!


That's more than a bit misleading. The number of good CEO's out there are less than the number needed. Just like any other employee, if someone else will pay them more for what they are all ready doing they will work for the highest paying employer.


Yeah, although executive compensation can seem disgusting at times, market forces are a big driver. There just aren’t that many people who can do the job at a high level. And even if you find one, the trick becomes retaining them. So the multipliers may get ugly, but what’s the solution? Other than some socialist fantasy.


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Devon, UK

This isn't what I was looking for to cite, but in the absence of any luck finding that, this'll do.

Suffice to say, CEOs almost certainly don't have any sort of statistically significant impact on the businesses they run to justify their salaries.

https://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/study-luck-looking-the-part-relative-intelligence-makes-the-ceo.html

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Denison, Iowa

 NinthMusketeer wrote:
 cuda1179 wrote:
This is on the Huffington Post, so take it with a grain of salt. They are about on par with The Blaze, and one step up from Natural News and Info Wars. Finding an article from them that is factual and non-partisan is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Cuda I really do want to know what factual errors you found in the article.


That was more a problem with Huffington Post than the article itself. They have a history of "accidental" errors, editorials disguised as news, and other nonsense. While some of their stuff is okay, anything they put out makes me fairly critical of it until I dig in.
   
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 gorgon wrote:
 cuda1179 wrote:
 Polonius wrote:
Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!


That's more than a bit misleading. The number of good CEO's out there are less than the number needed. Just like any other employee, if someone else will pay them more for what they are all ready doing they will work for the highest paying employer.


Yeah, although executive compensation can seem disgusting at times, market forces are a big driver. There just aren’t that many people who can do the job at a high level. And even if you find one, the trick becomes retaining them. So the multipliers may get ugly, but what’s the solution? Other than some socialist fantasy.



The solution is to focus on the real problem. The problem isn't that CEOs get paid "too much". "Too much" is entirely subjective, and even if you took away all the money of the rich CEOs and divided it up to all of their employees it wouldn't help. Walmart's CEO earned almost $23 million last year. Walmart has 2.1 million employees. If he gave up his entire income, he could give each of his employees around $11. And Walmart is one of the better examples of income inequality between it's employees and CEO.

No, the real problem is that the cost of living is too high. Every basic necessity, with the exception of food, has become more expensive over the years. Plus more items that in the past would have been considered luxury goods have become necessities. Housing is insanely expensive where people actually congregate. People don't just need to pay for housing, food, and clothing either. You need some device that can connect to the internet because without that you often can't find a job as everything is online now, and the cheapest option there would be a smart phone. So you can add a phone bill to the basic necessity list. Transportation is another one. Its almost impossible to find a job that you could walk to. You need transportation, and at least in the US public transportation just isn't an option in many areas, or isn't a good option even if it exists. Maybe you might be lucky enough to be in range to bike, but otherwise you're needing a car.

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 cuda1179 wrote:
 NinthMusketeer wrote:
 cuda1179 wrote:
This is on the Huffington Post, so take it with a grain of salt. They are about on par with The Blaze, and one step up from Natural News and Info Wars. Finding an article from them that is factual and non-partisan is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Cuda I really do want to know what factual errors you found in the article.


That was more a problem with Huffington Post than the article itself. They have a history of "accidental" errors, editorials disguised as news, and other nonsense. While some of their stuff is okay, anything they put out makes me fairly critical of it until I dig in.
So is it the proverbial 'needle in a haystack' you referenced?

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Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
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Southeastern PA, USA

 Grey Templar wrote:
 gorgon wrote:
 cuda1179 wrote:
 Polonius wrote:
Yeah, in most corporations there is even a level between the management of a company and the shareholders: the board of directors. So, the shareholders elect the board, who approve of major decisions (dividends, taking on debt, executive pay, etc).

In practice... most shareholders don't vote, or vote by proxy. Boards tend to be made up of leaders in the field, so the Board of one manufacturing company may include an executive of another (non competing) company. This is why executive pay is so high - the people approving the CEO's pay are all past, present, or future CEOs of other companies!


That's more than a bit misleading. The number of good CEO's out there are less than the number needed. Just like any other employee, if someone else will pay them more for what they are all ready doing they will work for the highest paying employer.


Yeah, although executive compensation can seem disgusting at times, market forces are a big driver. There just aren’t that many people who can do the job at a high level. And even if you find one, the trick becomes retaining them. So the multipliers may get ugly, but what’s the solution? Other than some socialist fantasy.



The solution is to focus on the real problem. The problem isn't that CEOs get paid "too much". "Too much" is entirely subjective, and even if you took away all the money of the rich CEOs and divided it up to all of their employees it wouldn't help. Walmart's CEO earned almost $23 million last year. Walmart has 2.1 million employees. If he gave up his entire income, he could give each of his employees around $11. And Walmart is one of the better examples of income inequality between it's employees and CEO.

No, the real problem is that the cost of living is too high. Every basic necessity, with the exception of food, has become more expensive over the years. Plus more items that in the past would have been considered luxury goods have become necessities. Housing is insanely expensive where people actually congregate. People don't just need to pay for housing, food, and clothing either. You need some device that can connect to the internet because without that you often can't find a job as everything is online now, and the cheapest option there would be a smart phone. So you can add a phone bill to the basic necessity list. Transportation is another one. Its almost impossible to find a job that you could walk to. You need transportation, and at least in the US public transportation just isn't an option in many areas, or isn't a good option even if it exists. Maybe you might be lucky enough to be in range to bike, but otherwise you're needing a car.


Thank you for the cogent response.

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MN

I don't often agree with Grey Templar, but he nailed it.

Wages for everyone who is not a CEO is not keeping up with the cost of necessary items such as food, housing, transportation, etc.

Peak wages int eh US were in 1977 for workers, it has been downhill since unless you are part of the CEO class.

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We'll find out soon enough eh.

The problem with trying to say that wage stagnation is the "real problem" rather than executive compensation is that the two things are really just facets of the same issue.

Yes, wages have been stagnating, because the wealthy have been hoovering up all the growth, and ludicrously excessive executive compensation is one of the ways they've done that. You can't solve the former without addressing - among many other things - the latter as well.

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-----
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
   
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Not... quite that bad. The top 10% are breaking even, and I believe relative growth begins at 6%. So... some 18 million or so, which is quite a few more than just the corporate executive class.

Still, it's not good either.

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Macon, GA

well, this actually loops back into the point made in the OP, which is that there is a different cleavage point for economic security than for being rich. The professional class is doing all right, but outside of high skilled workers, it's rough and getting rougher.

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 Yodhrin wrote:
The problem with trying to say that wage stagnation is the "real problem" rather than executive compensation is that the two things are really just facets of the same issue.

Yes, wages have been stagnating, because the wealthy have been hoovering up all the growth, and ludicrously excessive executive compensation is one of the ways they've done that. You can't solve the former without addressing - among many other things - the latter as well.


The problem is everyone keeps focusing with laser precision on CEO wages, as if that is the one and only thing that is making the poor miserable. So its actually unhelpful to talk about CEO wages at all. Don't say "They're part of the problem and need to be addressed". Focus on the greatest contributor to the problem if you can only talk about 1 thing. Don't talk about the least significant part of the problem.

Its like a doctor treating a patient who has been stabbed in the gut, receiver a broken bone, and several minor lacerations on his hands, and only treating the cuts on the hands. The patient will die if you only focus on the small cuts, which in and of themselves are not an issue and will heal on their own. Treat the stab wound first, ignore the small cuts until they are the only issue.

Thats a big problem with everything these days. The focus is only on issues that are glamorous or fit a particular agenda, not on actually fixing problems.

Looking at it as Wage Stagnation is also missing the point largely. You're looking at it from the point of view of worker pay, and not from the standpoint of the cost of consumer goods and services. We really should focus on the angle of cost of living expense, not wages or salaries. Focusing on keeping the cost of housing to a reasonable level alone would probably fix most of the issue.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/10/16 20:02:32


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