It is a good day for working-stiff schadenfreude when top executives at
The "say on pay" vote, albeit advisory, was a surprising yet satisfying show of shareholders' disgust with the greed of top executives in the financial sector. Thanks go out to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which requires this vote for every publicly traded company -- a law
So, could this be the first hint that we have reached inequality's nadir, and that the pendulum of social equilibrium is now swinging back toward the middle? Is it a harbinger of another great compression similar to the one that occurred after World War II and into the 1970s when income inequality contracted sharply because of a resurgent middle class?
Don't count on it. That won't happen until Americans discard the myth that huge rewards flow to those who earn it through hard work. This is a carefully built illusion based on the assumption that the American economy is fair. And it fuels the corollary that those people who are struggling financially are just not giving it enough elbow grease or haven't strived hard enough for marketable skills. It's not true, and we're gullible to believe it.
Do glorified packaged-debt salesmen really work 10 to 100 times harder than the laborer who replaces a roof or the home health aide? Are their skills that much more valuable? See 2008 for reference.
America's explosion of Gilded Age inequality is the result of skewed government and corporate policies, not any superhuman industriousness by those at the top. And this misalignment has a cure: Fairer taxes and living wages for work, starting with the minimum wage.
Back then, marginal tax rates were as high as 90 percent, capital gains taxes were higher than the 15 percent Romney pays now and the government protected workers' rights.
Only the government can get the nation back to an optimal equilibrium, where millionaires pay at least a higher tax rate than
Minimum wage earners aren't just teens looking for pocket money. Eighty-eight percent of people making the minimum are 20 or older, and nearly 44 percent have at least some college education. And no, a raise won't reduce employment: see the extensive 16-year study by lead economist Arindrajit Dube, which found "no employment effects" from an increase.
When Romney ventured in January that the federal minimum wage should rise with the Consumer Price Index, conservatives let loose on him. Since then, Romney has backed off, pointing with pride to his vetoing of a minimum wage boost while governor of
After decades of wage stagnation, there is a growing awareness that hard work no longer correlates to success. The 99 percent "say on pay" is that enough is enough for
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'Say on Pay' Votes Battle Back Against Income Inequalities | Politics
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