There was one informative piece of news that came out on April 15th, better known as “Tax Day.” The AFL-CIO unveiled is 2013 Executive PayWatch website highlighting the growing inequality in the U.S. economy.
According to recent economic studies, CEOs of the largest U.S. companies made 354 times the annual earnings of what average rank-and-file workers received, roughly $12.3 million versus $34,645 a year. Considering a 40-hour work week for a 52-week work year without a vacation equals 260 days, that means the CEOs of these largest companies pocket more money in less than one day than what the average worker takes home in a year.
The AFL-CIO noted, “This new data confirms CEO-to-worker pay disparities have increased dramatically over the past several decades. Thirty years ago, CEOs were paid 42 times that of rank-and-file workers in the United States.”
“What a lot of people in Washington forget is how hard the American people are struggling, ” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said during a press conference. “And they’re angry about it.”
The labor federation is urging the adoption of a comprehensive set of policies that would help correct this situation, most notably the closing of corporate tax loopholes that allows U.S. multinational companies to avoid taxation on overseas profits. This could have raised $42 billion in new revenue in 2013 alone.
Unfortunately, this economic disparity isn’t enough for some people. “CEO groups like the Campaign to Fix the Debt want to overhaul the tax system so that corporate profits kept overseas are permanently exempt from U.S. taxes,” Trumka pointed out.
The AFL-CIO is urging all trade union activists and concerned citizens to get the facts out. Anti-worker groups have been spinning the issue with the same old “trickle down” theories.
Trumka added it doesn’t have to be like this: “Not only is U.S. CEO pay out-of whack with historical norms, it is off the chart globally. For example, in Switzerland, where voters recently imposed new limits on executive pay, the
CEO-to-worker pay gap is 148 times. In the United Kingdom, the CEO-to-worker pay gap is one-quarter as large as ours. And in Japan, the gap is even smaller.”
To go to the AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch site, please click here.