CEO Pay Now 343 Times Higher Than An Average American

According to a report from the AFL-CIO, in 2010 CEOs earned about $11 million on average, about 343 times the average pay of the rest of the country, highlighting the blatant economic inequality in America.

“Despite the collapse of the financial market at the hands of executives less than 3 years ago, the disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are simply stunning,” said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president.

In 1980, CEO pay was only at 42 times what the average American made, according to the AFL-CIO. This reaffirms data from sources such as the CIA World Factbook, which states that wage levels have only risen for the top 20 percent of households in America since 1980 (adjusted for inflation). Data from the Commerce Department shows that America has one of the world’s largest income gaps between rich and poor.

The chief culprit for this unseemly trend is America’s failed trade policies. Actions beginning in the 1970s to promote the financial sector over the manufacturing sector through deregulation mark the start of this nation’s path to decline. Deregulation and failed trade policies during the past three decades have culminated in stagnant wages, the housing crash and massive economic gains for the wealthy through the stock market.

These disastrous ‘free’ trade agreements have allowed American companies, which are now American in name only, to create a race to the bottom in wages and benefits between citizens in other countries, and even U.S. states, while executives reap all the profits.

If you wish to find out more, the labor group has a website, paywatch.org, which has been around since 1997, but has recently added new features to the site that tracks exorbitant bonus pay and explains these issues at-depth. Recent additions to the site include checking to see how your salary compares to a CEOs, among other interesting activities.

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