Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Corporate Cronyism Fuels Rise of the 1%

Why So Little Media Coverage of How the Rich Are Becoming Richer and the Middle Class Wages are Being Squeezed?
Oddly enough, not a popular topic among our billionaire owned media properties. Too busy covering Forkgate.  Nevertheless, the good folks at CEPR have tried to shed a little light on the subject of executive pay and the cronyism that has driven the astronomical increase in CEO compensation.
The rise in U.S. income inequality in recent decades is largely due to massive wealth accumulating at the top of the income scale. The press and popular culture treat this phenomenon almost as if natural forces were guiding it — an invisible hand dealing out different shares to different people. But the hands doing the dealing are in fact quite visible. They belong to the directors of the boards of the major companies in the U.S. and around the globe. One key source of wealth at the very top is the pay of the executives of our largest companies. That pay is approved by corporate directors, who are themselves paid for their service. Many of those directors are also executives at other companies, meaning they sit on both sides of the arrangement….. The system operates largely in the open, with corporate records filed publicly for shareholders to view. But there is little practical transparency around the issue. Based on research conducted by [Dean] Baker's CEPR, which combed through Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HuffPost has built the first-ever interactive database of every director of every company in the Fortune 100.
Carefully laundered through outside consultants and legal vetting, at least at the big corps.

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