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Letter: Multiplying The Outrage

Your “Train In Vain” editorial (July 16-22) referred to “genuflecting” to the MTA’s leaders — ”those six-figured salaried credits to humankind.” From that, I am inferring that you were implying that for salaries in the $100,000-to-$999,999 range, the public has a right to expect better leadership, and leaders. I agree with that, and feel even more strongly about the countless corporate executives being paid (not “earning”) seven-figure and eight-figure (millions and tens-of-millions of dollars annually) salaries. I refer to recent news stories stating that: “The head of a typical large public company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012.”

The story also said, “A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker’s salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009.”

 

Two-hundred and fifty seven times the salary! Not 257 times the hours; nor 257 times the education; nor 257 times the intelligence.

 

Hours Worked: Assuming a normal 40-hour work week, how many times those hours can the hardest-working CEO humanly work? Eighty hours? That would be double the hours. Even the almost-humanly-impossible 120 hours per week spent working would have the CEO working three times the average worker’s hours. Not anywhere near 257 times the hours.

Intelligence: The highest IQ for even the most brilliant human beings in the history of the world tops out at about 200. So, even the brightest CEOs would have an IQ about two times the average worker’s IQ of 100. Not 257 times the intelligence.

 

Education: Even if the average worker drops out of school at the end of eighth grade, and the average CEO spends 24 years in school until he gets a Doctorate (at age 29), he’ll only have three times the education. Not 257 times the education.

 

In conclusion, I say 257 times the salary is unjustifiable, and much more “obscene” than 4 percent raises for people who not only don’t earn millions of dollars a year, but don’t even earn 1/10 of a million dollars a year.

 

— Richard Siegelman