EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 30, 2013

Letter: Corporate chiefs leave just crumbs for workers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Yesterday I came across a report by Forbes detailing salary compensation by corporate executive officers in the United States. For me to say it was an eye-opener would be a gross understatement.

Leslie Moonves of CBS was paid compensation totaling $60.3 million. Now granted Mr. Moonves is at the top of the food chain, only surpassed by CEO Larry Ellison of the Oracle Corporation who is listed at $96 million per year. The difference is that Mr. Ellison founded Oracle and built the company while Mr. Moonves was hired by the CBS board.

Using that as the base of my criteria, I have compiled the following salary facts. My source was a company that tracks wages of all occupations throughout the country — and most of the world for that matter — called PayScale.com and breaks the figures down to the median wage utilizing the entire United States. The following are the current median wages as of July 19: A registered nurse makes $55,830; Mr. Moonves’ rate is 1,080 times higher. An electrician earns $47,967; Mr. Moonves’ rate is 1,257 times higher. A high school teacher earns $44,372; Mr. Moonves’ rate is 1,359 times higher. A factory worker makes $28,000; Mr. Moonves’ rate is 2,153 times higher.

This admittedly is not the norm. Today, the average corporate CEO makes 273 times more than the average U.S. worker. This is what one might call quite extravagant.

Common sense dictates that when such large sums of available funds go to the executive suite, the hard-working employees must settle for the crumbs. This wage discrepancy was never this bad even 10 short years ago and should not be this far out of kilter now.

Robert Burdin