According the newly published report Executive Excess 2011 by the Institute for Policy Studies, of last year’s 100 highest-paid corporate chief executives in the United States, 25 took home more in CEO pay than their company paid in 2010 federal income taxes.
The report also noted that in 2010 S&P 500 CEOs collected $10.8 million in average compensation, including the value of new stock and options grants awarded during the year — a 27.8 percent compensation increase over 2009.
With this pay increase, the gap between CEO and average U.S. worker pay rose from 263-to-1 in 2009 to 325-to-1 last year, according to the report.
The gulf between CEO and average worker pay is part of the larger phenomenon of income inequality, which stands at near historic levels.
As OCPP’s latest commentary notes, income inequality is bad for business and the broader economy:
Business is booming . . . for those catering to the rich. The New York Times recently reported that luxury retailers are seeing $9,000 tweed coats and $1,400 shoes fly off the shelves.
But far from taking flight, the nation’s economic recovery may have stalled. And it never got off the ground for much of Main Street.
As concern lingers over the possibility of a double-dip recession, lawmakers in both Oregon and the nation’s capital would be wise to listen to the growing chorus of economists and business people now drawing a link between income inequality and economic weakness.
If CEOs cared about the economy they’d help curb income inequality.
Read Narrow the Income Gap to Lift the Economy and discuss.