Congratulations to Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos for amassing a personal wealth of $154 billion dollars, more than the GDP of Guatemala! According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, he is among the 350 CEOs who earned, on average, 312 times more than their employees last year.
While Bezos is now officially the richest man in the world, he has been doing pretty great for awhile: In 2017 he took home $1.7 million, or 59 times an average Amazon worker’s pay. McDonald CEO Steve Easterbrook made 3,101 times his average worker, earning $21.7 million. Must be nice.
Here’s a summary of the findings from the Guardian:
The rise came after the bosses of America’s largest companies got an average pay rise of 17.6% in 2017, taking home an average of $18.9m in compensation while their employees’ wages stalled, rising just 0.3% over the year.
The pay gap has risen dramatically, with some fluctuations, since the 1990s. In 1965 the ratio of CEO to worker pay was 20-to-one; that figure had risen to 58-to-one by in 1989 and peaked in 2000 when CEOs earned 344 times the wage of their average worker.
The jump is due to gains in the stock market, as CEOs earn a bulk of their compensation through stock options (which is another scam all together). However, CEO wages have skyrocketed by 979 percent since 1987, the Guardian notes, while workers saw an increase of a measly 11.2 percent over that time. Accounting for inflation, the typical worker is actually losing money over time. “Exorbitant CEO pay therefore means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers,” the report summary notes.
“The redistribution of wages to the top 5 percent, but particularly the top 1%, affected the wage growth of the bottom 90 percent,” EPI distinguished fellow Lawrence Mishel told the Guardian. He explained that if wages had not been redistributed back to CEOs and upper management, “the wages of the bottom 90 percent could have grown twice as fast as it actually did.”
The report, which confirms that income inequality in the U.S. is getting worse, doesn’t take Donald Trump’s tax plan—which slashes taxes for the wealthy—into consideration.
Capitalism: still thriving.