Two stark facts about our world, from yesterday’s news:
(1) that a single man can be paid $1.84 billion dollars, as the Wall Street Journal announced yesterday — that’s 1,840 million dollars — over the last ten years of careening capitalism,
(2) and that this doesn’t strike enough people as an obscenity to be labeled as such on the front page of newspapers around the world. (Compare the 109 news articles about it with the thousands devoted to other topics.)
Couldn’t a single million have been enough reward? But almost two thousand of them, all to one guy? Did he contribute 4000 times in value to the world what the average American farmer contributed (and well over a million times the average non-U.S. farmer)?
This tops all the figures I’ve previously seen for CEO pay (which have gotten up to $100 million or so a year, and therefore $1 billion over a decade). Here’s the reigning top ten. And these are just the CEOs, not the self-made gazillionnaires but the corporate execs.
Exam question: Does this mean that (a) we are all in the same boat, but we (or capitalism) just don’t know it? Or that (b) some of us are in various sized boats (a few on yachts the size of the Titanic), while others are just treading water for as long as we can?