Comparing CEO's Average Wages To Their Workers

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Dec 11, 2013.

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Which Of The Businesses On This List Do You Support?

  1. I Don't Support Any Of Them

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  2. McDonald's

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. Starbucks

    12 vote(s)
    42.9%
  4. Dollar General

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. The Gap

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  6. TJ Maxx

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  7. Target

    11 vote(s)
    39.3%
  8. Wal-Mart

    9 vote(s)
    32.1%
  9. CVS Caremark (includes London Drugs)

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  10. Best Buy

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  11. AT&T Wireless

    4 vote(s)
    14.3%
  12. I've Shopped At All Of Them At Some Point

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    Just noticed this article on yahoo: McDonald's And Starbucks' CEOs Make More Than $9,200 An Hour. The article includes a top ten list of the companies whose CEO's make the most compared to their workers. At the top if McDonald's, whose CEO makes 1,196 times per hour of their average worker. Starbucks, Dollar General, The Gap, TJ Maxx, Target, Walmart, CVS Caremark (which also operates London Drugs), Best Buy and AT&T Wireless round out the top ten.

    This report was done by the personal finance website NerdWallet. They reviewed 100 companies to see which had the biggest per hour pay ration difference between CEOs and their workers. It's interesting to have this list as workers for fast food companies have been demonstrating to receive a living wage. Hopefully this list will make it a bit harder for companies to use the "we just can't afford to" line.

    So what are your thoughts on this list? Does it make you wish to stop frequenting any of these businesses? Or do you feel "this is just the way it is...suck it up, everybody!". Or any other thoughts?
     
  2. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    It is just the way it is. However, I think it is complete crap when a CEO comes in and does a horrible job, then loses his/her job and makes MILLIONS for basically getting fired. They often make so much just in their severance package. This happened recently and made a lot of news but I can't remember who it was.
     
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  3. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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    CEO's salaries are disgusting. They get bonuses for shutting down plants/facilities and putting thousands of workers in the unemployment lines.

    Sadly I have shopped at many of the businesses in this poll, but it's really hard to completely avoid some of them. It's such a part of our culture that it's hard to escape them. Starbucks, for instance.
     
  4. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

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    Well yeah, I get McD's. But I don't shop at any of the others, but not for that reason. I have my own personal boycott of Best Buy due to the snotty way they treated me (and this was when they were new in town and just opened, great way to build a customer base), so I don't go there for that reason. I don't drink coffee so no Starbucks for me. No Dollar General store near me. Can't shop at The Gap or TJ Maxx since they don't carry women's sizes. I have no reason to go to Target or Wal-Mart (I go to Meijers if I need that kind of merchandise stuff). CVS way too expensive compared to grocery store, and I don't have a cell phone so no AT&T. So its more that I just don't have a reason to go to those stores more than I intentionally avoid them (except for Best Buy).

    I stage my own personal boycotts against companies like not shopping at their stores or not buying their products because of the way I was treated by their employees. Now is the fact that I don't buy Company X's products going to drive them out of business? Nope, I know it won't. Won't even make a blip on the radar. But they will not be getting one cent of my money. But I'm not going to quit going to McD's because of the $$ the CEO makes compared to the workers, because if that's the case, then none of us would be able to shop or buy things anywhere. I also thing its pretty disgusting the millions of dollars the CEO's make, and the huge bonuses they get for essentially failing ... but that's just the way it is, and its really not going to change.
     
  5. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    If enough people choose to stop shopping at any company and profits take a big enough hit, the company will make changes. Your comment about the blip of the radar made me think of a speech Elizabeth Taylor gave about all the people doing work to fight A.I.D.S. She said something along the lines of, "we might all be just grains of sand, but together...we make one hell of a beach!" :respec:

    Maybe sometimes it's picking the lesser of two evils? Maybe if McDonald's got enough e-mails and letters referencing this article and said they would buy fast food at Burger King instead, maybe things could change. The public has the real power. The public has the money. We have strength in numbers. It's whether we choose to use our strength. Or not. :)
     
  6. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Hmmm, interesting points. Because Circuit City was once on my personal boycott list too and they don't seem to be around anymore either. At least they aren't in my city anymore.
     
  7. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    And here you thought you were just a straw. And you were right. But you put the camel in the hospital. :D
     
  8. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes. We don't have to just surrender and say "this is the way things are". The inequity is fundamentally unjust. Nobody deserves to make $9,200 an hour while the people who do the work to keep the business running struggle to get by.

    Things would just be much better all round if corporations shared the wealth. My dad was a pharmacist who had his own drugstore for 35 years. His two primary clerks were two sisters who were living together and raising the child of one them (the dad abandoned her after WWII). I always admired him for his commitment to the single mom, which a situation of shame back then. He paid them decently all those years and they had a good life. They could afford to send the child off to college. There was no grave inequity between him and them, and they gave him a great send-off when he retired. He did earn more as the business owner, but he also put in more hours. Still, he considered it imperative to pay his workers propery and he and my mom didn't travel abroad until they were much older.

    I have followed his example in my own business. I have an assistant who earns part of my hourly fee, but she doesn't do any of the administrative/marketing stuff. The way it works out, we are probably both earning about the same hourly. She's happy, and it is a win-win situation.

    I know the corporate lines about wealth, such as "we employ so many people we deserve a tax break" and variations of "poverty is a personal shortcoming". But I firmly believe that everyone would be happier in a world where everyone had a chance to prosper.
     
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Who sets these salaries? The Board of Directors. How do you get your voice heard to make changes? Buy stock in the company and attend the annual meeting.

    Please don't boycott the businesses. That has minimal impact on the Board of Directors and maximum impact on the people that you are trying to "help". Many lower wage earners can participate in bonus pools, but only if their local part of the business is doing well. If sales fall locally, those employees are SOL.
     
  10. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    This is true. The most impactful thing you can do, if you have the money and are really committed to this, is to buy stock in the company (if it is a public company), and to use that as a way to have a voice.
     
  11. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Agree.

    I liked Ben & Jerry's (as a company--who DOESN'T like their ice cream) back when they had the pledge that the CEO would never make more than x times the lowest-paid worker (I think x was like 20). Then when the original Ben & Jerry wished to move on, they had to abandon that (as far as I remember, anyway). Still, they do a lot of good and are committed, at least, to paying their employees living wages.
    Yeah. . . IF you can get to the shareholders' meetings and IF you can wrangle time to speak out.
     
  12. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Unless you are a significant shareholder - owning at least 5% of the company, your opinion won't mean much. But if you own 10% plus, you can easily get the BODs attention. But even that is no guarantee of any action. The only guarantee is a majority ownership.
     
  13. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Dornbush 2015!!!

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    Info comes from links posted on FSU in the past (Usually in PI):

    In the '80's they made 40 times the worker. In the 90's they made 540 times the worker. Today they make 1,196 times the worker.

    It's a little funny how the term "minimum wage" was invented...but never the term "maximum wage".
     
  14. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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    ITA. The people that will be hurt are the low wage employees. The people at the top will lay off many employees and continue to collect their high salaries. Their stocks and bonuses will go up while their employees may not have money to pay their mortgage or put food on the table.
     
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    PeterG, you are such an evil COMMUNIST for even daring to suggest that there might be anything questionable about CEOs (pretty much all of whom are male and white btw) earning 1,196 more than their average worker. Go away for North Korea if you don't like it, comrade! :mad:
     
  16. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    This - in reality your boycotting the stores in the name of hurting the CEOs is zip. The people it does it? those who are employed by the store or franchise, the community where the store is located, the surrounding businesses (most of these stores are located in malls or strip malls, if you boycott the major store/business, traffic slows other business surrounding die out).
    The CEO's don't really care about the local impact. They really don't care if *I* refuse to spend my dollars at their stores. My ~$8,000 or so to Target a year doesn't even pay the electric bill for a quarter. So my boycotting them - meh
     
  17. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I disagree about boycotting if there is a better alternative. People (companies) will mimic whatever is successful. So if company As sales go up 300 percent, other companies will notice. But finding the better alternative is not likely. They are all paying those high salaries because they are all mimicking each other.
     
  18. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    As someone who works at one of the companies listed above in a slightly above entry level position in a retail location, I can attest to the fact that if people just quit coming because they didn't like the way our CEO ran things, that would have very little affect on corporate but would have an almost immediate and detrimental effect on US. Our hours are allocated by sales and if we don't make sales, we don't get to work; if we don't get to work, we don't get to make money. That's just how it goes. By refusing to shop at the company you're trying to change, you're not really sending a message to the "big guys" but are reducing the paychecks of a lot of people who need every hour they get. If you really want to make an impact in the lives of the average employee, spend your money where you find good service and products, because THAT does actually have a positive affect on the people who work there.

    Don't get me wrong, I think what most CEO's make is criminal based on how clueless they are about how things really work, but folks just quitting to shop at their local retail establishment isn't going to affect them nearly as much as it affects the local employee who's just trying to make a living.
     
  19. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    I own 55 shares of Microsoft. Does anyone know how close I own to 5% ownership of the company?

    Uh, yeah RIGHT. Like I'm going to eat cold noodles!!! :eek:
     
  20. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Per yahoo finance, there are 8,350,000,000 outstanding shares of Microsoft. If I did the mental math right (it's early), one would need 4.25 million shares to reach 5%.
     
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    From what i've read, Starbucks is a pretty good place to work. Even part timers get benefits (healthcare). They seem to treat their employees well and the tips are good. But, I've never worked there, so...
     
  22. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    The way I look at it, I'm going to buy things somewhere. So, if I choose to spend my money where employees are treated better (and my tax money isn't needed to pay for food stamps for the employees to be able to feed their families), then I am just providing employment for someone else. If my spending employs more people at a place like Costco than at Walmart, I'm good with that.
     
  23. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    How can there be a maximum wage? Who would have the right to determine how much a person can earn? A minimum is different, that protects people. But raising minimum wage will only increase cost and loss of jobs. So, will it really change anything. NJ just passed a state constitutional law raising minimum wage and allowing automatic increases annually to keep up with inflation. Wages would only go up depending on rise in inflation. But this has the potential to be a dangerous law.

    I boycott Wallmart. Not just because of the way they treat their employees. It is also because their business model is to go into communities and put smaller businesses out of business. I find that despicable.
     
  24. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Totally anecdotal, but everyone I know who has worked there hasn't liked it. They have huge turnover in their workers because of it. But as with anything, it will depend on local management.

    A lot of places say they give their part-timers benefits, but the benefits they offer are prohibitively expensive to those part-time workers. So in essence there are no real benefits offered.
    I think people often personify evil retail corporations as being akin to Walmart. But really, Walmart isn't different from other businesses people find acceptable, and in many ways treats their employees better. Local businesses don't generally offer better pay and benefits than their larger corporate counterparts, and typically cannot employ as many people. So when you're looking at straight employment and salary numbers, places like Walmart will benefit rural workers far more than local businesses. That's generally why you don't see much Walmart bashing outside big cities.

    I remember reading a post once from someone who claimed they shopped at Target instead of Walmart because of how much better the employees were treated. But Walmart on average pays their employees more, and offers more benefits. The poster just assumed the opposite because they liked Target better than Walmart (If you compare average hourly wages, Walmart pays about .10 more per hour. But in addition to that, Target offers no employee bonuses while Walmart does. Walmart, OTOH, offers quarterly bonuses to all its employees--something very few places do, and which can earn a minimum wage worker up to an extra $6,000-$8,000 dollars a year.) Why? Well, most likely because Target focuses on a college-educated clientele while Walmart doesn't. So people at FSU who shop big box stores are more likely to shop Target than Walmart. But that's marketing--not better treatment of employees. So people justify their shopping choices by claiming more human treatment of workers rather than they simply they were effectively marketed by Company X.

    Many people don't like companies like Hobby Lobby which funnel their profits to socially conservative causes. Yet, they have made their minimum wage for workers $14/hour. Kum and Go offers its cashiers $15/hour starting pay. But its business model is to go into rural areas and set up chain stores that offer products cheaper with better paying jobs--pretty much the same as Walmart. And yes, that puts local businesses out of business. So do you patron there?
     
  25. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

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    The employees at my local Starbucks state that the customers can be incredibly rude, demanding, and sometimes abusive. One had a mocha latta cha cha something or another thrown at her because the foam wasn't right or somesuch. Having worked at Comcast with their rude, demanding and often abusive customers, I can sympathize. Sometimes it's the clientele who are the problem, not the company itself.
     
  26. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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  27. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Walmart openly states that it intends to put other businesses out. They stated, a few years ago that they plan to put Toys R Us out, uy under pricing them. Well, that's nice for the consumer, until Toys R US goes under and Walmart has no competition. In addition, the Walmarts around here are vile. They smell and are filthy.

    We don't have those stores around here. I've never been in either. However, knowing what you have said, I would not patron them.

    I do go to Costco :)