Note: Cites commentary and
data from Holly Sklar, "Pay CEOs less, Minimum wage workers more".
Overpaying CEOs and underpaying workers is bad for business. Studies show that showering stock options on chief executives lowers shareholder returns and increases the likelihood that companies will cook their books, default on debt and go bankrupt. On the other hand, higher wages for workers benefit business by increasing consumer spending, reducing costly employee turnover, raising worker morale and productivity and improving product quality and company reputation. It's a no-brainer: Paying workers enough to live on is the minimum employers should do. Holly Sklar, co-author of "A Just Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Business and Our Future" (McClatchy-Tribune)
$7.8 million: Average CEO pay in 1997.
$5.15: Hourly federal minimum wage in 1997.
728: Number of minimum-wage workers it took to earn as much as the average CEO earned in 1997.
$15.2 million: Average CEO pay at the top 500 U.S. companies.
$5.85: Current federal minimum wage (increased on July 24).
1,419: Number of minimum-wage workers it took to earn as much as the average CEO earned in 2006.
256% Rise in corporate profits between 1980 and 2006.
70%: Increase in worker productivity between 1980 and 2006.
32%: Decrease in the buying power of the minimum wage between 1980 and 2006.
Northeast Ohio CEOs earn at: http://www.cleveland.com/ceopay/