Balancing the Scale
Balancing the scale of wealth inequality to create wealth equality is not an easy task. What does it mean to balance the scale or tip the scale in favor of the 99%? It means that in situations where a company is successful and is compensating the CEO, shareholders, and other executives at far higher rates than the employees instrumental to the success of the company, that it is time to raise wages and improve benefits for all employees.
An article on from ABC News looked at wages at Walmart and found that “CEO Doug McMillon’s earned $22.8 million in 2018, or almost 1,000 times the average full-time workers’ salary.”
Abigal Disney, the granddaughter of Roy Disney, recently made the news when in a speech she criticized the high pay of Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger. Iger’s pay is 1,421 times greater than the median pay of a full-time hourly employee. For more on this story, read this article on bloomberg.com.
Inequality will always exist, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the gap and maker sure every citizen has enough to afford the essentials. The most obvious step would be to limit CEO pay to a percentage of the lowest paid worker and to use the savings to fund higher wages and better benefits for the employees. Corporations that focus on the long-term health of the business, employees, and the community, typically have much lower employee turnover and more support from the community.
Some have proposed a maximum wage. Why should the accumulation of wealth be unlimited? This idea is often scoffed at and those suggesting it are ridiculed. In his article for the Atlantic, Sam Pizzigati cites the following jaw-dropping statistic:
At most major corporations, typical workers still have to labor over three centuries to make as much as their CEO makes in a year.
Pizzigati is the author of the 2018 book, The Case for a Maximum Wage.
An Uneven Recovery
By many forms of measurement, the U.S. economy has recovered from the 2008 recession and continues to grow. Official unemployment statistics are low and some areas are reporting a shortage of workers. Unfortunately, not all people have benefitted from the recovery. A recent news story on CBS News cites data from a new study by the Urban Institue showing that “nearly 1 in 5 families had experienced difficulty paying for food or medical care.”
Rising costs for housing, healthcare, childcare, and other necessities have in many cases negated wage increases. In some parts of the country, housing costs exceed 50% of low-income family income. A look at wage data shows that the largest gains are going to those in higher income brackets. This uneven wage growth and increases in the cost of housing and healthcare has resulted in even middle-class families to struggle meeting expenses.
It is normal for people to be skeptical of a new company taking a new approach to solving a problem. This even truer when the product is not tangible. Our goal is to reduce inequality and raise wages. How can we possibly do this? People and organizations much smarter than us have tried and failed. Politicians can’t agree on anything. The key is numbers. A million people need to say we have had enough, and we are willing to give this new organization a try. After all, what do you have to lose? Join for FREE, $1 or $12 a year. The choice is yours. No one listens to the low person on the ladder unless they unite in purpose and action. A single bee is not much of a problem but if you disturb a hive and you’ve got a big problem.