Let me ask you a simple question, Steven Johnson: What do you see as the limits of the legitimate power of government?
Your essay suggests that you see none at all. Like so much of the politics-of-jealousy-driven Left, you think it’s entirely legitimate for government to not only intrude upon, but dictate, the agreements employers and employees can reach. True, we’re already far down that slippery slope, but there’s no reason to pour more Teflon on it.
Where did you get that 40:1 ratio? Out of thin air? What’s to stop future societies from making it 10:1? 4:1? Or even 1:1, comrade? From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, right?
What you ignore is that the wider distribution of startup capital wealth in Silicon Valley is entirely a product of the free market. Companies found that they needed to do that to attract the best talent. It happened without the tiniest bit of government intervention.
And did you sit in front of an Apple product to write your treatise? Which supercomputer is in your pocket? (And who would have guessed that we could all carry around a device with which we can gain access to the entirety of human knowledge mainly to use it to look at porn and pictures of cute cats?)
I, for one, am not willing to bind the mouths of the kine who tread the grain. Even if that means they make a thousand times what I do in a year. I simply don’t have that right, and neither does anyone else.