Tuesday, March 17, 2009


We as a society must redefine this concept in legal, moral, and human terms. Too few receive too much while too many receive too little. It is painfully obvious that market forces alone will not regulate executive compensation. Just legal standards must be established and enforced by law. Every year I was told that no employee could receive more than a 3.5% raise and that my department's total salary could not increase by more than 2.5%. Every year, the CEO and top management received raises that exceeded the levels established by obscene margins. Executive salaries and incentives must be restricted to reasonable multiples of the company's average wage and their raises must be limited to the percentage increase of the company's average wage. That bonuses and options to top managers be granted only if the company does well must also be legally mandated. The pressing need to enact laws to ensure that a company's executives do well when, and only when, the company and its employees do well demonstrates to what extent our society has been corrupted by greed. In a fundamental way, this greed is no different than that that destroyed the Soviet Union and which, if unchecked, will destroy us as well.

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