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Switzerland voting Sunday on a MAXimum wage

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Old
11-25-2013, 10:50 AM
  #51
Ugmo
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
Don't most CEO's have law, and finance degrees? I think that alone justifies the pay scale. They have an elite tool set of skills. Not to mention most responsibility. A screw up by them isn't a $20 register shortage. It's loss of jobs and shareholders. It's extremely stressful.
Is it more stressful than it was in 1965 when they only made 20 times as much as their employees, rather than 273 times as much? And back when the economy was humming along and the middle class was robust?

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11-25-2013, 10:55 AM
  #52
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11-25-2013, 10:56 AM
  #53
Hnidy Hnight
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
Is it more stressful than it was in 1965 when they only made 20 times as much as their employees, rather than 273 times as much? And back when the economy was humming along and the middle class was robust?
Well, what's the cost of education now compared now to 1965? How much are these guys investing in school loans nowadays to get these high paying jobs?

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11-25-2013, 11:01 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
Well, what's the cost of education now compared now to 1965? How much are these guys investing in school loans nowadays to get these high paying jobs?
Let's say the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company is, what, 50? I would estimate a bachelor's degree when those guys were going to college cost 80 grand or less overall (it was around 120 grand when I was studying 12 years later). Does that justify a more than ten-fold increase in CEO pay? Furthermore, did regular non-managerial employees not have to pay for their education? On the contrary, a lot of them are likely younger than their CEOs and probably had to pay a lot more for their education.

How many other excuses can we come up to justify their obscene pay? The most plausible so far was Tim's explanation that their salaries are tied to the company's value, and even that seems like it's detrimental to society at large.

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11-25-2013, 11:04 AM
  #55
Hnidy Hnight
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
Let's say the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company is, what, 50? I would estimate a bachelor's degree when those guys were going to college cost 80 grand or less overall (it was around 120 grand when I was studying 12 years later). Does that justify a more than ten-fold increase in CEO pay? Furthermore, did regular non-managerial employees not have to pay for their education? On the contrary, a lot of them are likely younger than their CEOs and probably had to pay a lot more for their education.

How many other excuses can we come up to justify their obscene pay? The most plausible so far was Tim's explanation that their salaries are tied to the company's value, and even that seems like it's detrimental to society at large.
You would allow someone with only a Bachelors to run your company?

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11-25-2013, 11:05 AM
  #56
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11-25-2013, 11:07 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
You would allow someone with only a Bachelors to run your company?
These guys are paying for everything out of their own pockets? Really? And they're paying 273 times more than their non-managerial employees? And on top of that, the ratio between their cost of education and that of their employees has increased more than ten-fold since 1965?

I dunno, but justifying that stark a difference between CEO and employee pay through the cost of education seems like a major stretch. Especially as, like I said, they are probably older than their employees on average and likely had a less expensive education than most.

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11-25-2013, 11:16 AM
  #58
Troy McClure
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Originally Posted by Doppler Drift View Post
CEO's and high level executives do indeed (usually) work long hours. However we must realize that these include, luncheons, dinners, sporting events, concerts, operas, ballets, etc where they are entertaining clients. They also include attending events which their corporations sponsor such as golf tournaments, theater, or even charitable events such as walk-a-thons, telethons, etc. Granted this takes time from family and friends, but it isn't exactly drudgery is it?
For them, it's not drudgery, but that's also because the personality type drawn to the job loves or craves that stuff. These guys live their jobs, and they wouldn't have it any other way.

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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
And if it's the latter, then the former is completely irrelevant. But what it really sounds like is people here are making excuses for obscene managerial pay and are jumbling together whatever questionable justifications they can come up with.
Funny enough, the explosion in CEO pay can be directly tied to attempts by liberal politicians to find ways to curb it. Starting in the 80s, we have started to force public companies to disclose how much their executives have paid. The naive assumption was shareholders would get so outraged at the amount paid that they would demand executive pay be cut back, and that assumption was so very wrong. All it did was give CEOs a way to measure themselves against each other. The requirements for those disclosures have become more detailed over time. Now, you're not just disclosing salary, but you're also disclosing every other benefit and stock option given.

Just recently, the SEC proposed new rules to add even more detail about executive pay. Now, companies will have to disclose executive pay with ratios showing how much an executive makes compared to their median employee's income. The idiots at the SEC again think shareholders will be shocked and will push for executive pay cuts. What will happen is CEOs will have yet another way to measure themselves against their competition to be able to demand more pay. Thanks a lot, Obama.

I don't see CEOs as greedy or anything. They aren't forcing anyone to pay them insane amounts. They ask and get told yes.

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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
How many other excuses can we come up to justify their obscene pay? The most plausible so far was Tim's explanation that their salaries are tied to the company's value, and even that seems like it's detrimental to society at large.
I don't think it's detrimental to society at all. I do think it's detrimental to the shareholders who see more and more of their money going to CEOs who don't add more and more value. But with most shareholders being institutional investors and mutual funds, there is no one there really keeping a close enough eye to elect board members who will strive to reduce executive compensation.

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Old
11-25-2013, 11:16 AM
  #59
Doppler Drift
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
Don't most CEO's have law, and finance degrees? I think that alone justifies the pay amount. They have an elite tool set of skills. Not to mention most responsibility. A screw up by them isn't a $20 register shortage. It's loss of jobs and shareholders. It's extremely stressful.
Hahahaha. A MBA or J.D. gives one an "elite" tool set? There are many degrees that are far more difficult to achieve that require an extraordinary amount of intelligence, perseverance, hard work, etc.

And there are a ton of jobs that have as much, and more stress than that of a CEO. Another brainwashed fool. Sucker.

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11-25-2013, 11:22 AM
  #60
Hnidy Hnight
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Originally Posted by Doppler Drift View Post
Hahahaha. A MBA or J.D. gives one an "elite" tool set? There are many degrees that are far more difficult to achieve that require an extraordinary amount of intelligence, perseverance, hard work, etc.

And there are a ton of jobs that have as much, and more stress than that of a CEO. Another brainwashed fool. Sucker.
And those degrees are all compensated well. You don't get it.

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11-25-2013, 11:22 AM
  #61
Troy McClure
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
You would allow someone with only a Bachelors to run your company?
When hiring a CEO, their education is one of the least important things to worry about. The people up for those jobs have 20-30 years of experience. At that point in their careers, their education is no more meaningful than their shoe size. I want to know what the person achieved in the last five years. I don't care what they did when they were 22.

So... Yes, I'd gladly hire someone with "only" a bachelor's degree. If you look, very few Fortune 500 CEOs have advanced degrees. That's because they were busy working. Don't let the MBA marketing fool you, an MBA isn't part of the path to becoming a CEO, but it might give you a jumpstart into middle management.

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11-25-2013, 11:24 AM
  #62
Hnidy Hnight
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There are few private sector jobs as stressful as CEO. Doctor is certainly one, but again, salary meets stress/company value

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11-25-2013, 11:32 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
I think the long hours explanation is a cop-out. Are we saying they deserve more pay because they work longer hours, or are we saying they deserve more pay because they're worth more to the company? If it's the former then it makes no sense that they get paid hundreds of times more than regular employees, because they certainly don't work hundreds of times more hours. They deserve twice as much, if that. Not to mention there will be other people in the company who work just as much as the CEO and earn hundreds of times less.

And if it's the latter, then the former is completely irrelevant. But what it really sounds like is people here are making excuses for obscene managerial pay and are jumbling together whatever questionable justifications they can come up with.
Oh, I don't think the long hours difference is why they earn more. I was just correcting the OP's idea of extrapolating the working hours of an average employee to that of a CEO. I also think that education cost is also a crappy way of justifying high CEO pay.

Say I'm the CEO of a company, and I decide to expand my operations to another country and sell my company's products there, and this leads to a new large stream of revenue for the company. I, along with my upper management, should rightfully receive high compensation for growing my company's sales. On the other hand, some low level employee had very little to do with the company's growth. This is a simplified version of what's been happening over the last decades.

When Steve Ballmer resigned as Microsoft's CEO a few months back, Microsoft's shares shot up, increasing their market cap by a billion dollars. That just shows how much a good CEO is worth.

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11-25-2013, 11:34 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Tim Calhoun View Post
Oh, I don't think the long hours difference is why they earn more. I was just correcting the OP's idea of extrapolating the working hours of an average employee to that of a CEO. I also think that education cost is also a crappy way of justifying high CEO pay.

Say I'm the CEO of a company, and I decide to expand my operations to another country and sell my company's products there, and this leads to a new large stream of revenue for the company. I, along with my upper management, should rightfully receive high compensation for growing my company's sales. On the other hand, some low level employee had very little to do with the company's growth. This is a simplified version of what's been happening over the last decades.

When Steve Ballmer resigned as Microsoft's CEO a few months back, Microsoft's shares shot up, increasing their market cap by a billion dollars. That just shows how much a good CEO is worth.
Side note: Steve Ballmer earned about $840 million dollars in stock value just by announcing his retirement.

Best retirement plan ever.

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11-25-2013, 11:35 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
And those degrees are all compensated well. You don't get it.
Compensated well does not = being payed ridiculous sums of money and stocks. 20, 30, 40 million and more per year is stupid, I don't care how you slice it. They could live a lavish lifestyle on 1 million per year, especially when you consider all the other perks the top executives get.

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11-25-2013, 11:37 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Tim Calhoun View Post
Oh, I don't think the long hours difference is why they earn more. I was just correcting the OP's idea of extrapolating the working hours of an average employee to that of a CEO. I also think that education cost is also a crappy way of justifying high CEO pay.

Say I'm the CEO of a company, and I decide to expand my operations to another country and sell my company's products there, and this leads to a new large stream of revenue for the company. I, along with my upper management, should rightfully receive high compensation for growing my company's sales. On the other hand, some low level employee had very little to do with the company's growth. This is a simplified version of what's been happening over the last decades.

When Steve Ballmer resigned as Microsoft's CEO a few months back, Microsoft's shares shot up, increasing their market cap by a billion dollars. That just shows how much a good CEO is worth.
You mean the ones that had to actually build and implement the locations in the new countries, spending months, if not years, overseas? Yep, they had nothing to do with the company's growth.

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11-25-2013, 01:27 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Hnidy Hnight View Post
And those degrees are all compensated well. You don't get it.
Compensated well, certainly, like $100,000 to $200,000 in most cases. And yet even with those high salaries, they'll still make 10-60x times less than the CEOs we're talking about, despite being highly qualified professionals in their field.

Nobody has a problem with CEOs having incomes in the top 1%, and making a few hundred thousand dollars, or even $1 million if they're one of the very best. People have a problem with them making $6 million or more salaries to fund unnecessarily extravagant lifestyles, at a time when millions of hard-working people are part of the working poor, working full-time jobs and still living on the brink of poverty.

Is there a reason why one person would need to earn 250x the median North American salary? What do they need to purchase in order to achieve happiness, that they could not afford with a salary paying them $1,000,000 every year?

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11-25-2013, 02:25 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
and if I understand you right the people who work nights and weekends are making $24 or $32/hr, right??

or does the night and weekend shift premium only apply to certain industries?

because if the guy flipping burgers on the saturday late shift is making $32/hr I would have to think a Big Mac would have to sell for about $25
Double pay is only on Sundays (for me), and I'm not sure if it applies to other industries, or if there are lesser shift penalties for food service, bars, etc. Whatever their rates are, clearly they can't be too high, since shops and restaurants and bars are open on Sundays. They wouldn't bother opening if they couldn't earn a profit on these days due to higher employee compensation. And a Big Mac costs like $5 or $6, not $25.

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11-25-2013, 02:52 PM
  #69
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they can, but they'd probably axe and automate at least half of their workforce to do so.
No. They may cut cost in other areas but reducing the number of employees would be disasterous

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11-25-2013, 03:37 PM
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
I think the long hours explanation is a cop-out. Are we saying they deserve more pay because they work longer hours, or are we saying they deserve more pay because they're worth more to the company? If it's the former then it makes no sense that they get paid hundreds of times more than regular employees, because they certainly don't work hundreds of times more hours. They deserve twice as much, if that. Not to mention there will be other people in the company who work just as much as the CEO and earn hundreds of times less.

And if it's the latter, then the former is completely irrelevant. But what it really sounds like is people here are making excuses for obscene managerial pay and are jumbling together whatever questionable justifications they can come up with.
CEO's may work a lot of hours, but how many of those involve work and how many involve schmoozing over dinner or Knicks games or the gold course?

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11-25-2013, 03:41 PM
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy McClure View Post
I don't see CEOs as greedy or anything. They aren't forcing anyone to pay them insane amounts. They ask and get told yes.
How does this preclude greed? Are spoiled kids not greedy because all they're doing is asking and being told yes?

It might make it not legally wrong, or it might make them clever because they're just getting what the can, but it certainly doesn't eliminate greed from the equation.

Quote:
I don't think it's detrimental to society at all. I do think it's detrimental to the shareholders who see more and more of their money going to CEOs who don't add more and more value. But with most shareholders being institutional investors and mutual funds, there is no one there really keeping a close enough eye to elect board members who will strive to reduce executive compensation.
It's detrimental because the economy is stagnating because the consumers already don't have enough money to consume and it's just getting worse. It's nothing personal against CEO's really, it's just a flaw in the system.

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11-25-2013, 04:05 PM
  #72
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It's detrimental because the economy is stagnating because the consumers already don't have enough money to consume and it's just getting worse. It's nothing personal against CEO's really, it's just a flaw in the system.
Just to jump in

The economy isn't stagnating because consumers don't have enough money; it's much more complex than that

The paradigm of economic activity was perceived the late 20th century is getting an overhaul and we're not sure where it's headed

It isn't a flaw, it's evolution baby

Not that that makes it "good"; but it doesn't make it "bad" either

As far as the topic goes the concept of a maximum wage is pointless: businesses will leave the country or find work arounds via larger bonuses or other loopholes; it won't work.

The intent is noble but the growing divide betweem the rich and the poor isn't something that can be fixed with something like that: in fact, it's such a bad idea that it will likely backfire and make Switzerland worse off in the end

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11-25-2013, 04:08 PM
  #73
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I think it's interesting to talk about the idea. It's obviously not going to work for one country to go it alone.

I may have written it poorly but I did not mean to suggest that was the only reason the economy is stagnating. But having more money in the pockets of consumers would not hurt things, because they will spend that. People need to earn a certain amount to survive, they can get that from working, from the government or a combination of both. Wouldn't it be best for the economy if the government wasn't subsidizing the companies profits by making up the difference in what their employees need to survive?

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11-25-2013, 04:19 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by Vyacheslav View Post
I think it's interesting to talk about the idea. It's obviously not going to work for one country to go it alone.
Especially one single country in Europe: "I think I'll just move to Germany then"

Communism could work if every country in the world switched to it overnight: that's not going to happen though

I'm not sure what's interesting about the idea other than it's intent: it's naive and potentially harmful (in our current economic system)

How does capping wages do anything about the distribution of wealth? The money won't end up where you'd like it to go if wages are capped: it'll just stay in the same circles, the poor won't be seeing anymore of it

The concentration of wealth is a complex problem and I honestly think that trying things like this are only going to hurt: it's going to take a comprehensive and coordinated effort on multiple fronts to effectively tackle the issue ANd it's going to take a LONG time to fix because this has been a LONG time coming

EDIT: I see you edited. I definitely agree that people, in general, need to make money to power along the economy. One of the main problems is that wages have stagnated for the last little while (I read up on economics but have no training so I'm not quoting any numbers!): wage earners have gotten the short end of the stick, especially from 2000 and onward. AS to "why" that's probably way out of my league and I'd guess that no one really knows, if we did we could do something about it.

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11-25-2013, 04:52 PM
  #75
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Every idea isn't going to solve the problem but there's nothing wrong with brainstorming.

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