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Executive Pay

You’ll often hear railing that CEO pay is nuts and immorally high. After all, who needs $11 million per year? And how can it be necessary or fair to have CEOs running around making 400 times the typical worker pay, while 25 years ago that number was roughly 30 times larger.

Fine, have those opinions, I may even share them. But apply them consistently. Donald Fehr, the “CEO” of the Major League Baseball Players Union, just received a congratulatory bonus of $11 million from the players association. That amounts to about $5,500 per hour over the course of a year. A typical manufacturing worker earns a little less than $17 per hour. That makes the union chief’s wage over 323 times larger than the wage of a typical worker.

You want to regulate pay. Go ahead (ignore the economic consequences of this). But then go ahead and do it for everyone, always. Do it for lawyers, do it for politicians (if they are so wonderful, can’t they just do the job for free?), do it for union leaders, etc.

And while you are at it, why don’t you do something to regulate other inequalities that are as large or even larger? Is it fair that some bohemiams get to travel 300 times more than the typical American? Is it fair that some writers get 300 times more readers than other writers, or that some professors get to have 300 times more students listen to them than others or that some socialites are 300 times more influential than others. Why not rail on those inequalities and legislate them? Be consistent. If you believe that there is some moral case to do something about these things in the economic sphere, why not apply the same logic to other areas? The moral case for NOT doing so is not at all apparent to me.

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