Yet we let it slide that the uber-wealthy executive class has rigged the system, which, if you haven’t seen the statistical evidence, is now blatantly and repugnantly obvious.
Burgers and Bootstraps
Kristin Knowles
23

There are statistics. There is evidence. But they are never the same thing. Or, as Mark Twain would say: there are “lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Statistics are compelling, but I think the conclusion you’ve drawn in your article is wildly inaccurate.

Corporations are legally beholden to their shareholders to maximize profits, not for the greater good but for private amassment of wealth.”

The greatest good comes from the operation of the free market. In order to remain a viable entity within the harsh discipline of the free market, businesses must be profitable. “Shareholders” is another word owners, many of whom are also employees, so yes the corporation is “beholden” to it’s owners. Corporate ethics laws don’t require corporations to “maximize profits” either, though that would solve the issue of overpaying CEOs. Finding that intersection between the supply and demand curves will maximize profits, it will also provide the best product to consumers.

They have dammed up the flow of our currency in some sunny, offshore, well-funded loophole and the trickle down from that reservoir is a well-funded myth.”

Of course trickle down doesn’t work when politicians erect a siphon at the source funneling much of the “reservoir” to government. We abandoned supply side economic policy within months of Reagan leaving office.

By the way, there is no loophole in the corporate income tax law, if these companies had earned the money through sales in the US, they’d have paid the tax. Moneys held in offshore accounts are from offshore sources of revenue. Corporations might like to spend that money on domestic projects but the absurd tax laws make it cheaper to borrow money than to spend your own.

However, when the CEO to average worker pay scale ratio has gone from app. 40:1 to 400:1 over the past 40 years,”

This is one of those statistics. The kind with no source and no description of how the data was collected. It might be valid, or wholly made up. One problem I see right away is the term “average worker.” Half of workers work for small businesses that usually operate near the customer base. They typically get paid less, but since they work in small towns with lower cost of living and limited revenue potential that makes sense. Corporate headquarters are usually located near financial and transportation centers with high cost of living and lots of competition. It’s easy enough for a statistician to design a model that corrects this problem unless you’re goal is to intentionally mislead. For example I made a quick Google search for “Ratio of CEO pay to their workers” and found…

The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio for the 168 companies included in this report stands at about about 70-to-1 http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/ceo-pay

But more importantly Why do we care? Is this evidence of malfeasance? No. It’s more likely that the have-nots would have more if they changed their own behavior.

It’s become fashionable to identify people into classes or tribes. But we are individuals, living out our individual lives. A few of us get tremendous opportunities and fritter them away. Others have to overcome tremendous obstacles and do it everyday. Making comparisons to arbitrary groupings of people may be a fun academic project in an undergrad sociology class, but it’s pretty meaningless in the real world.

“…with executive salaries accelerating far more quickly and lower level employee wages stagnating, not even keeping up with the cost of living, this is willful, systematic oppression.

That’s quite the conspiracy theory. Hollywood teaches us that to qualify a suspect of a crime you must discover their means, motive, and opportunity.

Means:

You’ll have to describe the means by which normal market forces have been circumvented. Identify the laws and systems that allow your suspects to collude and control. I’m not saying such laws don’t exist, but without doing the hard work of identifying it you’re just making wild eyed allegations.

Motive:

The motive seems pretty straight forward, by using their wealth and influence CEOs create a system of legal pseudo-enslavement to enrich themselves.

Opportunity:

This is also a problem for you. You’ll have to show that there is a fairly well established cabal of CEOs that has remained static over the course of several years and that they have infiltrated government and multiple levels to eliminate the possibility of being discovered. The Bilderberg Group might be a good place to start.

Means, motive, and opportunity. In other words: evidence. It’s easy for us to imagine all kinds of reasons for why life is so hard.

I could go on but that would seem to much like I’m a Social Darwinist right wing ideologue who spins systemic oppression as some form of logical, meritocratic justice.