Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability

It was once the standard that firms that performed well would give all their employees an annual wage

It was once the standard that only the very wealthy paid income tax.


So now, to correct that historic injustice, everyone except the very wealthy pay income tax. It’s only fair, right?


The thing is, having worked for or closely observed companies where workers are either, 1. Treated well, or 2. Treated badly, companies in group #1 succeed, massively. Companies in group #2 stagnate and perform mediocrely. Companies that shift from #1 to #2 go from high-performing to poor-performing or even just collapse.

Reams of HBR articles support this thesis. And yet executives at so many companies actively choose path#2. That is why CEOs don’t deserve their outlandish, disproportionate pay. Most lack the basic sense to learn from previous experience.


Late stage capitalism! Christ what assholes.


“C’mon guys, they’re all Shkreli these days!”


For decades, the GOP has worked to defund public education, foster mistrust of science and other subject-matter experts, and promoted efforts to replace fact-based curricula with counterfactual, faith-based pap. As a result, large swathes of the Republican electorate are uninformed, uncritical, and unemployable as the technically-skilled workers who are still seeing wage growth.

I’m not sure if the persistent underclass they’ve created is a direct goal of Republican policies or just a happy accident. Either way, it is a sizable voting block, chock-full of economic and class resentment, tailor made for exploitation by a populist demagogue.

Any strategy that weaponizes anger and inequity courts disaster. I wonder how long the GOP will be able to hold onto the reins?


Aren’t these glorious titans of industry supposed to be the “job creators”? I thought that was the reasoning behind giving them all the tax breaks. Sounds like they didn’t read the job description that well.

What will they think of next to excuse their obscenely bloated payscale? “Give us your money or we’ll shoot you!” is already taken, unless they’re finally ready to reveal their true identities as thieves…

And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddlesome kids!


It’s not like wages have been tracking with productivity since 1979. Some background:

Also, in regard to that date:

They’re still creating jobs. They’re just paying less and less for doing the same job.


They’re also continuing the usual annual shuffle designed to ensure that executives get their annual bonuses and incentive payments. Whatever it takes to meet a metric that looks good on the annual report - layoffs, furloughs, outsourcing, etc. - that is what they will do. It doesn’t seem to matter if they reverse it all immediately after the fiscal year is over.


If they chopped those massive pay and bonus packages for top tier management, win or lose, and board of director types, that’d be a leveled playing field.

ETA: I have to wonder why stockholders aren’t listening to the excuses that they “have to offer the high compensation packages to attract the top level of talent required in today’s business world” and not asking “Are you suggesting that the current bozos are the best available?”


Therein lies the question!

I think the answer to the latter is probably yes. But it’s a limited pool from the outset.

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Arguably, by doing so, they threaten the existence of other jobs, like proximity services and commerces. A good baker can make a good living selling good bread, provided there are enough people in the bakery’s vicinity who can afford to pay the price of good bread. In the current state of things, there is only room for a few good bakers making a lot of money in rich neighborhoods (maybe this example is a bit too French-oriented, but I hope you get the idea).


Also: they’re not the ones actually creating the jobs.


Two quick points:
This is why inflation’s low – so much downward pressure on wage growth. Till recently, there was none, now there’s minimal, limited growth.
And a couple of months ago when a spike in growth was seen, it was traced back to a spike in growth for top management while still close to none for everyone else.
I mean, MAGA!

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That seems an appropriate cue to bring on the Mark Blyth:

He gets into inflation and employment after about two minutes.

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What you are saying is perfectly true, but forgets one aspect that the same reams of HBR articles also support: executives get much better pay when they choose path #2.


True, but “much better” is like, 20-25%, for people who are making 300 times the median worker salary. The ones who choose path#1 could be replaced by a Magic 8-ball with better outcomes for the company, and still make $10M+/year.

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