The Politics of Hate and Envy

WalmartProtestPart of the progressive agenda is to create hate and envy. One component of that agenda is to attack the large differences between a corporation’s chief executive officer’s earnings and those of its average worker. CNNMoney published salary comparisons in “Fortune 50 CEO pay vs. our salaries” (http://tinyurl.com/c2b24rv). Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s annual salary is $2.8 million. CNN shows that it takes 66 Wells Fargo employees, whose average salary is $42,400, to match Stumpf’s salary. It takes 57 Wal-Mart employees, who earn $22,100 on average, to match CEO Michael Duke’s $1.3 million. At General Electric, 44 employees earning $75,300 a year match CEO Jeff Immelt’s $3.3 million salary. For people with little understanding, such differences seem patently unfair. Before touching on the fairness issue, let’s look at some high salaries that progressives ignore.

Forbes lists the “Highest-Paid Football Players 2013″ (http://tinyurl.com/kw4dv3d). Drew Brees, quarterback for the Saints, earned $40 million. If the average Saints organization employee earned $45,000, it would take almost 900 of them to match Brees’ salary. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady earned $31.3 million, and Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant earns $23.5 million for playing basketball. It would take the earnings of more than 1,200 workers making $45,000 a year to match the earnings of Brady and Bryant.

But the “unfair” salaries of sports players pale in comparison with movie stars. According to Forbes’ listing of the highest-paid actors (http://tinyurl.com/k3p8djs), Robert Downey Jr. earned $75 million from June 2012 to June 2013. Channing Tatum: $60 million. Hugh Jackman: $55 million. Let’s suppose the cameraman working with Downey earned $60,000. It would take the salaries of 1,250 of them to equal his salary. Oprah Winfrey’s 2012 salary came to $165 million, thousands of times what the earnings of people who work for her are.

Though sports and Hollywood personalities earn multiples of CEO salaries, you’ll never find leftists and progressives picketing and criticizing them.

Why? The strategy for want-to-be tyrants is to demonize people whose power they want to usurp. That’s the typical way tyrants gain power. They give the masses someone to hate. In 18th-century France, it was Maximilien Robespierre’s promoting hatred of the aristocracy that led to his acquiring dictatorial power. In the 20th century, the communists gained power by promoting public hatred of the czars and capitalists. In Germany, Adolf Hitler gained power by promoting hatred of Jews and Bolsheviks.

I’m not equating America’s progressives and liberals with Robespierre, Josef Stalin and Hitler. I am saying that promoting jealousy, fear and hate is an effective strategy for leftist politicians and their followers to control and micromanage businesses. It’s not about the amount of money top executives earn. If it were, politicians and leftists would be promoting jealousy, fear and hatred toward multi-multimillionaire Hollywood actors, celebrities and sports stars. But there is no way that politicians could usurp the roles of Drew Brees, Kobe Bryant, Robert Downey Jr. and Oprah Winfrey. That means celebrities can make any amount of money they want and it matters not one iota politically. Do you think President Barack Obama would stoke the fires of hate and envy by remarking that he thinks that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money” — as he did in a 2010 Quincy, Ill., speech — in regard to the salaries of Winfrey, Brees and Hollywood celebrities?

Why the high salaries? Ask yourself: If a corporate board of directors could hire a person for $45,000 who could do what a CEO could do, why would they pay CEOs millions? If an NFL team owner could hire a person with the athletic ability and decision-making capacity of Drew Brees for $100,000, why would he pay Brees $40 million? If some other actor could have created as many box-office receipts, why would movie producers have paid Downey $75 million?

There’s another important issue. If one company has an effective CEO, it is not the only company that would like to have him on the payroll. In order to keep him, the company must pay him enough so that he can’t be lured elsewhere.

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  • BagLady

    I have been comparing two business models which I could describe as ‘left’ and ‘right’ respectively – British company, John Lewis and Amercan company Walmart. I would ask you to say quite honestly which company you would prefer to work for.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Partnership#Organisation_of_the_Partnership

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/01/26/who-should-be-invited-to-the-state-of-the-union/a-walmart-employee-on-strike

    • cxt

      BagLady
      Very poor “comparing” even a quick read shows John Lewis employs only around 87,000 people while Walmart has 11,000 locations and employs over 2 MILLION people.
      You might as well ask “would you rather have a crappy job or no job at all?”
      I would “prefer” to have high paying job that requires little effort and with little chance of being fired……..but there is serious differences between my “preferences” and the real world.
      Besides—JL has had its own problems.

      • BagLady

        In a digital age we need not worry about the zeros. A good program will work as well for tens as it will for millions. From all I have read this morning on both Walmart and John Lewis, the latter comes out smelling of roses. Dollar for dollar JL has outperformed Walmart and still managed to pay 17% annual bonus (around 9 weeks pay) to employees, whilst still offering an whole raft of perks including final salary pensions financed wholly by the company.

        Why you think that, just because Walmart is the biggest employer in the country and times are hard, workers should feel lucky to have a crappy job when restructuring could change their lives, increase productivity and sales is beyond me. Too big to fail?

        http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/11/12/wal-mart-pay-raise/

        • cxt

          Badlady
          “a good program will work as well for tens as it will for millions.
          Sorry but that is simply not true—there are in fact many things that simply don’t scale well.
          In terms of pay at least one article YOU linked said they were cutting bonuses due to profits being down.
          No I think that comparing a small company operating in one nation to an extremely large company operating 11,000 location all over the world is less than exact.
          Think of it like this—no matter how good JL might be, since I don’t live in the UK I can’t work there. I can get a job a Walmart.
          So I can set around BMW’ing about it how things are less than perfect and that theoretically things could be better OR I can get on with my life and make the best of the hand I’m dealt.
          Or are you suggesting that I pack up everything I own and move to the UK and get a job with JL? How many people do you think have the resources to do that? How many people will the UK let in to do that and how many people can JL employ?

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    …and the left won’t go after Teresa Heinz Kerry, either. She inherited her bucks from grandpa Henry, one of the iconic figures in 19th century America; and she supports every leftist/radical cause out there. But what has she done to revive American manufacturing? Why, nothing. And I’ll bet she supports amnesty, too. If the IRS targeted Teresa Heinz Kerry, I wonder what they would find. And I wonder what Henry might say to Teresa if he could come back….

    • Larry Dallas

      THK got her money from her first husband, Senator John Heinz (R) of ketchup fame.

      • TheOrdinaryMan

        …and who did Sen. John Heinz get his money from? And yes…John Heinz was a Republican, as was his father, Henry.

        • Larry Dallas

          It was HiS grandpa with loot, not hers or her families. She just inherited it to spend on her leftist projects. Just like a typical lefty, they take from others and spend on their projects all the while claiming they are “one of the masses”. More like ” one of the asses”

          • nomoretraitors

            Actually they’re pretty smart. They know how to manipulate the unthinking masses for their own ends

        • alericKong

          And Teresa gold dug him,

          and John Kerry gold dug her.

          Don’t you just love the cut-throat world of leftism?

          • nomoretraitors

            Speaking of gold diggers, how about that Wendy Davis?

    • nomoretraitors

      He’d probably give her a b**** slap

  • Bamaguje

    I’ll have to disagree somewhat with Dr Williams on this one. I have nothing against innovative entrepeneurs like Bill Gates who create jobs and add value to society.

    But most of the top earning athletes and TV/movie stars are clearly overpaid… way out to proportion to the services they offer society.
    What exactly does Kim Kardashian do on realty TV to warrant the megabucks she earns?
    Memorize some lines penned by a screen writer, and make faces as instructed by the director, while a stunts-man takes all the risks… voila you get $20 million for a movie. So much for hardwork..
    I don’t believe for one moment that Robert Downey Jr has some
    exceptional acting talent that warrants him making $75 million in year.

    Ever wonder why so many Hollywood celebrities are on the left? Guilty conscience. Deep down many of them know they don’t really deserve the outrageous megabucks they make.

    • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

      This is why you and I aren’t dictator. Yes, I share your lack of admiration for some of the moral and intellectual pigmies (no offense to actual pigmies) that infest the TV world. However, we are outvoted by most of the viewing public. They willingly pay these stars for services rendered. They have the “right stuff” when it comes to pandering to the worse in the audience.

      Art isn’t the area to use to illustrate human greatness, industry, and hard-earned wealth. It’s the best place where charlatans and con men hide … aside from politics.

    • alericKong

      They end up loosing it. Their money just goes back to the movie studio through agent fees, attorney fees, real estate, publicity, cars, jewelery, and my favorite, philanthropy.

      The movie moguls end up with it somehow and most people, unless they are very skilled financially or they keep acting until they are 80 end up with very little actual wealth.

      CEOs get paid in stock options which they can’t sell or they will wreck their company, career, and possibly face jail time. Companies churn CEOs all the time, and that one year salary is about it for them due to all the liability they undertake and work restrictions they sign. The wealth’s at the board of directors. Yearly income is really just a number.

  • S1999

    There are so many things wrong with this article, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s just focus on (one of my least-favorite people) Oprah. Without her, there are no jobs for the 200-plus employees on her show. When a CEO ends his tenure or goes on to pastures greener, the company and its employees are still there, generating money. The CEO is a steward of an enterprise, not its engine.

    It’s not envy and hatred to want a little more justice in society, and it’s disappointing to see the writer of this article create false equivalents in order to divert from a very real and increasingly intolerable problem.

    • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

      Yes, but it’s the CEO that determines whether or not that labor produces something useful to the market. The Ford workers who made the Edsel and Mustang were just as hardworking. But the managerial decision was key in creating something that was highly valued and something that wasn’t.

      • S1999

        Yes of course – you are quite correct. But true responsibility also involves consequence, and we are not seeing people incurring any dents in their fortunes due to making corrupt or misguided determinations. Once you are at the ‘top’ your move is invariably sideways. In any case, it isn’t necessary for one person in a company to be on $10million a year while others are not even making $10 an hour.

        • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

          First see my comment below (written a few minutes before you, as you were probably typing.) If we had a free market, we would pay what we had to pay. Thus, CEOs would have to produce (see other comment).

          Wage earners making $10 an hour aren’t working any harder than those making 10 cents an hour in India. The reason they get so much more is because of the capital accumulation by the rich (and other stock holders) that goes into productivity. Because of this capital stock, labor is bid up by capitalists. They need labor and pay far more than mechanical work requires.

          But what tools to buy? What plans for those tools and labor? What engineers to hire and what projects to put them on? That decision has a much greater bearing on the outcome than the decisions of entry level workers.

          As Edward Conard argues in his book “Unintended Consequences,” about 70% of productivity improvements go to wage earners. That’s because the market forces capitalists to fight for the labor that has just become more valuable in light of these productivity improvements. If you hamper capital formation and decision making (like India and Latin America) labor will not be as highly valued. That 70% share means American wage earners aren’t benefiting from “trickle down” but from a “waterfall.”

          A free market makes the CEOs and capitalists work for us and work hard. Crony capitalism allows them to get paid without producing. We need more of a free market.

          • Richard Fontaine

            “As Edward Conard argues in his book “Unintended Consequences,” about 70% of productivity improvements go to wage earners.”

            And of course this is why the Republican establishment is being enticed to offer “amnesty” for all illegals to allow our Republican and Democratic “crony capitalists” to cut this share that has historically fallen to the American worker.

            Nice to be betrayed by your own “special interests”. Seems fascism is more rewarding to these business interests who are backing amnesty for 20 million illegals then a Constitutional Government. What do you say we let them fight the next war with their own children.

        • 1Indioviejo1

          You are an Obamista! Didn’t he say “how much is enough?”

          • S1999

            I don’t know what he said, because I don’t listen to him. But whatever. If that’s what you think I am, so be it.

        • fistdeyuma

          Then who decides what is “necessary”? You seem to think that a CEO who makes a lot of money somehow harms you. Therefore you need the government to step in and stop the harm. All you are really doing is moving the power from the market to the government. Believe me, the market will do a much better job.

          • S1999

            No. I’m saying that we pay CEOs too much, and that there is no real penalty when they mess up. Just a lot of golden handshakes.

          • fistdeyuma

            No penalty? They get fired. Are you saying that if you mess up at the job and got fired it is a benefit? As for golden handshakes, do you have anything other than a sound bite to back that up? Sometimes Liberals like you seem to believe every bad thing they are told, no study required.

        • American1969

          Does that include union bosses, corrupt elected prostitutes, and their cronies? Because those are the only people that seem to be making money these days. The friends of the Political Class.

          • S1999

            I condemn ALL overpaid mediocrity. You raise a great point.

          • fistdeyuma

            No, you condemn everyone who in your opinion makes too much money. Then defend that hate and ignorance with the word, “mediocrity”. Believe me, someone does not become the CEO of a large company by being anything close to “mediocrity”.

        • cxt

          s1999
          I suggest you check out the list of Forbes 400 richest people from year to year—you will find there is a LOT of movement up and down–many of the same folks that were on the list 20 years ago are no longer there at all.
          Also worth noting that this years list–and ONLY looking at the top 100–over 60 of them were self-made.
          “it isn’t necessary for one person in a company to be making $10 million a year while others are not even making $10.”
          Sooooooo…… your suggesting that a CEO with 25 years of experience and a masters degree should be making the same wage as the high school kid working in the mailroom?

          • S1999

            If Dad paid for the degree, and the CEO is dumb despite his 25 years of experience, can you guarantee that he will at least slip down to the level of the mailroom kid some day? Of course not, because we live in a society that celebrates mediocrity on every level, and that is replete with professions that thrive on connections and cliques.

            They don’t have to be earning the same in any case, the people in your example, but the mailroom kid has the same caloric needs and the same requirement for shelter and warmth as the CEO. A living wage would be good for him, and for society in general. You don’t have to be a hand-wringing socialist to see that that actually serves capitalism better than the current wage deficit that millions of hardworking (and, yes, educated) people have to put up with.

          • fistdeyuma

            S1999, you are an angry liberal repeating sound bites. You don’t know a thing but believe you know it all. Can you tell me what a “living wage” is? Do you really believe a mail room job is something a father of four should strive for? Do you really believe, as you imply, that all a CEO needs is luck? Do you really think hard work, talent and education are not keys to success. I hear this kind of ignorance from Liberals every day. It is so easy to be a Liberal, you just have to lack self control and read up on the talking points.

    • cxt

      It’s not envy and hatred to want a little more justice in society”
      But that is exactly why it’s such a complex problem.
      Is it “just” that a guy that hits a little ball with a crooked stick makes 1000xs a year what a heart specialist makes? Is it “justice” that someone that emotes for a living makes 1000xs more than LEO’s and firefighters and EMT–people whose job it is to SAVE LIVES—often at great risk to their own. Is it “justice” that we ask our young people to fight and die in other lands for 30k a year while people that sit on a couch and ask people questions make millions?
      For that matter is it “justice” that you make what YOU make–compared to someone else take-home and personal situation?????
      See, what I mean?
      Once you start asking for a “little more justice” you are forced to deal with all sorts of situations that you really don’t have an answer for.
      The other problem of course is the other side of the coin……it IS “envy and hatred” other people being rich does not make you poor…….the fact that you use the phrase “increasingly intolerable” points this out.
      It is “intolerable” because you are “envious”.

      • fistdeyuma

        You seem to be less about justice and more about greed, envy and hate. Just how does someone making 1000x what you make hurt you? Justice is wanting punishment or compensation for injury. As someone making more money than you in no way effects your ability to make money then you have no reason for justice, as you cannot demonstrate harm. No, justice is just a cover word so you don’t use the real words of revenge, envy and greed.

      • S1999

        You start by saying that the problem is complex, and reduce your argument to the conclusion that I am envious. It’s hard to respond to anyone operating on so dumb a level. Sorry.

        Keep believing that you’re going to join the ranks of the uber-wealthy any time soon (you won’t, I guarantee that, and neither will your offspring), and that you have a healthy approach to living and to what constitutes a society. I’ll stay in the camp that you have so intellectually labelled ‘envious’.

    • 1Indioviejo1

      Social justice is MARXISM.

      • S1999

        Our current system is not too dissimilar. 300 million sheep working for a handful of wolves, whose political puppets eavesdrop on the population. How exactly is that different from Marxism? Apart from the vague (and statistically stupid) promise of escape in our case? Because they don’t drag people off to prison for dissenting? They don’t need to. They are monitoring, but not really caring what we say in protest.

    • T-Rex

      Your comment begs the question: who determines what is just?

      Therein lies the problem. How can the writer “create false equivalents” in a society where individuals are encouraged to use their creativity and talents to prosper? The free market will determine whether the auto mechanic, making 1000 times less than the basketball player, will pay to go to a game. It is the same for the Wal-Mart employee who, making 57 times less than the CEO, shops at Wal-Mart. We are free to chose where we spend our money. (Not withstanding mandated “health care”.)

      Legislating “justice” in a free society and on open markets serves no one but those doing the legislating. I’m pretty sure they tried that in the former USSR with disastrous results.

    • JamesJ

      The Koch Bros employ over 10,000. Oprah is a cheap piker

      • S1999

        It’s not a dick measuring contest. In mentioning Winfrey I used the article writer’s example. Also, the Koch Brothers are owners of their given enterprise(s). They are not CEOs.

    • Drakken

      There is that word again, justice, every time you communists use that tired old word, one must watch their wallet and look for mass graves.

      • S1999

        Who’s a communist? Please don’t be cheap.

    • nomoretraitors

      Uh, the CEOs of large corporations lead organizations that produce THOUSANDS of jobs, not just hundreds. And those who worked on Oprah’s show can use their experience to get jobs in other media outlets.
      The “income inequality” mantra is invoked by those who want to manipulate the unthinking to achieve their own ends — the increase of their power. There will always be income equality because there is ABILITY inequality

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    Williams is right in principle. However, we do not have a free market. We have a highly regulated market. Because of regulations (I’ll skip the details for now) the owners of capital are isolated from being more involved in running the company.

    The CEO, who might merely be the hired lackey of the capitalists, is now the most important person in the company in terms of creation of value. Thus, they do earn their wealth given the burden placed on them but we are deprived of the more vigorous competition and talent that would be operative in running the corporations if regulation did punish the large stock-holding owners from being more involved. As a consequence many of the CEOs didn’t have the checks and balances that could have prevented mal-investment that led to some of the financial pain of the last 20 years.

    Yes, some CEOs earned every penny but some were exempt from fully competing and wouldn’t have amassed so great a fortune for such a poor performance. We were deprived of having the best do their best for us.

  • G. Tod Slone

    Walter,
    Great article! Thank you. It was time someone brought this matter out into the open. One might add Soros to the Oprah/Downey/Kobey list of not-guilty mega-millionaires. But he is a corporate billionaire like Gates, not a Hollywood or sports star millionaire. Obama, if honest, would make a statement that they should give some of their millions to the poor. Why doesn’t he do that? Well, they’re on his side. That’s why. And why isn’t there an uproar about the lavish life-style he and family live at taxpayer expense? Why does he and they need to live like the corporate multimillionaires he seems (SEEMS) to detest? Also, how might one explain the corporate mega-millionaires who hire Hillary and Bubba at 250K for an hour to blather in front of them? Somehow, it seems that both right-wing and left-wing corporate millionaires are not bothered by left-wing rhetoric about income disparity. So, how might one explain that? Perhaps Obama’s rhetoric is nothing more than feel-good rhetoric for the poor to chomp on. Perhaps that is the only real explanation, as opposed to seizing power from corporate millionaires. Finally, we, the people need to adopt a law that would make it illegal for a politician to lie. Period. Obama and Hillary both should have been fired after that blatant Benghazi video lie. Period. Until such a law is adopted, this country will continue its downward spiral.

    G. Tod Slone, PhD (universite de Nantes, France) and Banned-in-Barnstable Founding Editor (1998)
    The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence
    http://www.theamericandissident.org
    wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com
    todslone@hotmail.com
    217 Commerce Rd.
    Barnstable, MA 02630

    • nomoretraitors

      Soros actually DESTROYED jobs after speculating in a country’s currency, then pulling out. What does the left have to say? (crickets chirping)

  • 1Indioviejo1

    Envy is a loathsome emotion. Income inequality is the mantra of the envious to direct the loathsome wretches towards class warfare. In So. Fl. people on welfare own cars, live in A/C apartments paid for Plan-8, and eat because of food stamps. Only in a generous nation would the dregs of society live well enough to be ungrateful.

    • American1969

      What an excellent point! The “poor” in this country have it wonderful compared to the poor elsewhere in the world—–even countries with some kind of welfare.

  • fistdeyuma

    It is not that these thieves cannot stand up to simple logic, it is that the Liberal base cannot or will not understand simple logic. The entire Liberal movement is based on hating others, cloaked in love of others. Obama is just one of the worse examples of hate mongers. There are people far more skilled in creating hate while at the same time seeming to be loving and caring.
    These evil people will win if Conservatives are unable to get the message out. While social issues are very important they pale in importance when facing the hate generating Democrats and Liberals. At the current pace we will be slaves to the government inside of 20 years and social issues will be decided by the government instead of the people.

  • uptownsteve

    Uncle Walter, don’t the white conservatives you tapdance for hate rich athletes and entertainers? We can shoose whether we want to go to a Miami Heat game or buy a Beyonce CD. They are entertainers. But CEO’s wreck companies, lay off or underpay workers all the while scoring windfall profits and compensation, then that is WRONG.

    • Drakken

      Your right! We should do away with those evil white barons of industry so the govt can take care of the people. Sarc!

    • cxt

      uptown
      CEO’s also SAVE companies and provide jobs for 1000′s of people.
      And you have a very valid point that people CHOOSE to watch games and go to movies.
      But then again movie stars refuse to make movies in the usa–they go where the labor is cheap….like Canada.
      And don’t see ANY athletes or entertainers putting their feet down over the ever increasing ticket etc. prices at the games/movies.
      Some of these dudes bank 50 million a year–some bank 50 million a film…….can’t they at least try and help out the little guy?

  • Marlin B. Newburn

    It is often amazing how supposed adults are so easily manipulated by appeals to their obviously sustained adolescent emotions. A problem in history, that.

  • herb benty

    WHY? Why is George Bush reviled for trying to protect America, while Obama and his nuveau-marxists can ruin America and he is lauded? A nice big answer would be appreciated, nobody can give me a logical explanation.

    • uptownsteve

      How was invading Iraq protecting America?

      • herb benty

        Iraq had invaded Kuwait, with all the unpleasantries for the locals, SODAMINSANE had used WMD when he gassed Kurdish villages, Mr. Hussein also regularly sent mothers of suicide killers in Israel a 25,000 dollar check. The country of Iraq was a hotbed for terrorists and America was being attacked all over the world standing up for freedom. If the world took Bushs’ lead, there would have been an end to it. Instead the Left amongst us embraced Islam! The gay and women killers….goodbye.

        • uptownsteve

          Diddn’t Iraq invade Kuwait in 1990? And we know Saddam had chemical weapons. Bush 41 has the bill of sale. The people who attacked us on 9/11 were primarily Saudis. You know, friends of the Bush family. You righties are certifiable.

          • alericKong

            Democrats voted for it. They only went anti-war to win an election.

            With Obama in power, terrorists run the Middle East. He was given a stable Iraq and destroyed it because he felt the Moslem Brotherhood was entitled to a caliphate.

            If you blame Bush and Reagen for Saddam chemical weapons, which is untrue as he got them from other sources, do you blame Clinton for a nuclear Pakistan and North Korea as he gave them a heavy water reactor? Do you blame Obama for the 100,000 dead in Syria, and the nuclear centrifuges in Iran?

          • nomoretraitors

            Do you know when our special relationship began with the Saudis? During the FDR years.

            And how about all the big-name Democrats who said Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to world peace? Guess you forget about them, huh?
            What are they smoking uptown there Steve? It must be some powerful stuff

  • American1969

    The Left has to use hate and envy because they don’t really have anything else. Their policies are proven abysmal failures time after time, yet they continue to push this class warfare lie.
    It’s blatantly hypocritical and dishonest to target one group but not another, all while you yourself are part of the crowd you claim is responsible for the country’s ills.

  • Sniper’s Ire

    Great reality check on Progressive mindset.

  • wileyvet

    Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth. Just about describes today’s Liberal Democrat.

  • http://www.brentdgardner.com/ Brent D. Gardner, CLU, ChFC

    Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to success.

  • Ampersand

    In most corporations, the CEO has worked him/herself up from a field position over a 25 to 30 year period and then had 3 to 5 years as CEO.

    To move up the ladder, the CEO had to move his/her family several times and work 70 to 80 hour weeks for years. In the process of moving up the ladder, the CEO has learned a tremendous amount of things about the business that help them to run it.

    Furthermore, the CEO has “out-competed” many other potential CEO’s who end up with a comfortable, but not tremendously exciting retirement. The overall result is that we have some very good CEOs.

    No, it doesn’t always work out the way the should, but overall it does and it is a lot better than the alternatives.

  • nomoretraitors

    There are 2 reasons the left goes after CEOs:
    1. They are mostly white
    2. They are mostly male

  • Habbgun

    One thing I have noticed about top athletes and celebrities is that they have value well past the time of what they actually did. The recent biography of Mickey Mantle did quite well. We know salaries then were not what salaries are today. Yet what Mantle accomplished was worth a lot more to baseball than what he actually got. Billy Crystal made a movie about Mantle and Maris, Mantle memorabilia is worth a fortune. In many ways the best athletes and artists create memories. Memories such as I saw Mantle play (I didn’t personally but I’ll get to see Brady and Manning on Sunday). Since an artist or athlete has no guaranteed way on cashing in on future popularity they need to make what they can, when they can and hope they know how to manage it.

  • 1socratesdave46

    Professor Williams is wrong in so many ways it is hard to decide where to begin. Let’s start with the basic premise that part of the “progressive agenda is to create hate and envy”. Nonsense. While you can find someone, somewhere, to say just about anything, the concern of progressives is not that some people are rewarded for their skill, talent and effort, it is the lack of mobility and the extreme levels of wealth acquired during a period that the middle class and poor have regressed, with the middle class surviving as a middle class primarily by having women now being a major part of the workforce. As to the pass given to athletes and actors, that is not true in my neck of the woods. Complaints about overpaid athletes and entertainers are commonplace. There is virtually no hatred, and little envy in those situations, as the pay of actors and athletes has no effect on other people except for ticket prices for entertainment.
    The area where true friction between classes does arise is when people who have more wealth than they can spend in their lifetime, their children’s lifetimes, and their grandchildren’s lifetimes, spend their wealth in an effort to get further tax cuts beyond those given the wealthy over the last 40 years, to fight the “excessive” $19,000 per year pensions earned on average by retired municipal workers in Detroit, and to fund attacks on experienced teachers with post-graduate degrees in Wisconsin making an “exorbitant” $75,000 per year. And the opening of the financial floodgates in the political arena, by things such as the Citizens United (corporations are people) decision, and the Republican legislation in Michigan doubling campaign contribution limits and prohibiting identification of contributors in certain situations, only exacerbates the situation.
    As Warren Buffett said, “There is class warfare going on, and my class is winning it”.