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A Proposal On CEO Salaries

One often-overlooked outrage of our modern society is the growing gap between the earnings of the upper management of corporations and those of the workers. Shareholder activism has led to a few prominent victories, but it's difficult to organize that kind of action. The incestuous nature of the upper management class leads to endemic back-scratching at the expense of the workers, and even of the solvency of the corporation.

But what if control of CEO pay was held by the workers? Out of a simple sense of fairness the workers would be disinclined to lavish the big bucks on their supervisors, especially given the lack of a correlation between pay and performance (i.e. you don't need to offer a huge salary to attract a good manager). This would further give management an incentive to raise workers' pay and benefits, since generosity is more likely to be repaid with generosity. If they want to cut pay and benefits, they'd have to go to the workers and make a convincing case that it's the only way to keep the company afloat, or risk their own benefits being cut. It would also rein in outsourcing, as CEOs planning to move operations overseas would still be subject to the control of their American employees, who would be understandably unhappy.


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