Re: [sixties-l] Patterns

From: Mark Bunster (
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 13:39:35 CUT

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    > Don Monkerud wrote:
    > >
    > >That people aren't up in arms with the distribution of income is beyond me.
    > >The janitors fight tooth and nail to make $10 an hour while CEOs make $50
    > >million or $25 million. Our new post-Reagan "new consciousness"? Or a
    > >justification of a system that gives some 400 times more pay than others,
    > >often for less physical or mental work, and then has those making less
    > >justifying their lack of pay... (Last time I looked this was called false
    > >consciousness.)
    > >

    I'm sorry that I was unable to retrieve the section that referred to my points
    directly; I'm borrowing from another quoting to respond:

    I think I was very clear in stating what I thought should be compared:
    technology CEO pay to technology rank and file pay. To compare tech CEO pay to
    all average wages, when those can include part time, farm, and minimum wage
    labor, I think is consciously done to drag down the denominator, thus making the
    comparison more stark. The tech industry simply runs on a higher wage scale than
    almost any other. It's like complaining that an apartment in Manhattan costs
    $2000, while the "same" apartment would only be $450 in Des Moines. The scale is
    totally different, for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is available
    undeveloped land).

    Compensation disparity is real, but much of it, at least in the tech industry,
    is speculative compensation. There was no guarantee that AOL or Cisco would see
    their stock rise by factors of 10, and accepting compensation in the form of
    unknown futures is a gamble that, for many people, has paid off handsomely. When
    one considers that the CEO is often directly responsible for improving return on
    his (or her--see Hewlett Packard's dynamic new CEO) options, those funds are
    truly earned. And as I noted, the concept of company ownership is much more
    commonplace on a rank and file level in tech, than it ever was in traditional
    industry. It's still an unashamedly capitalist model to be sure, but I never
    heard of a shift supervisor at a factory retiring at 33 on cashed in options....

    Income disparity DOES concern me. My point, as I said initially, was to make
    sure the numbers we are discussing are relevant, sound, and as objectively
    presented as possible. In the case of the article posted, I felt they were not.


    Mark Bunster       **It's a different kind of feeling
    Survey Research Lab**you might not have felt at all
    VA. Commonwealth U **makes me jump and touch the ceiling
    Richmond, VA 23284 **if I fall well then I fall.   ****          --Chisel

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