How the Other .01% Lives

Did you get a 27% pay increase last year? If you did, chances are you’re the CEO of one of Standard and Poor’s 500 index companies. And reading the wrong blog.

Median pay for a CEO in 2010 was $9 million,  just enough to cover yacht docking fees and the down payment on a new Jetstream. But let’s be blunt, salaries, like taxes, are only for the little people. The big money is in stocks and options, which if you’re Viacom’s big cheese totaled more than $70 million last year for a whopping $84 million pay package. Not bad for an annual income during the worst depression since the worst depression.

If you’re curious about the “earnings” details of the rest of the pinnacle of the parasitic class, see USA Today‘s chart here.

What I’m trying to calculate is how much longer the unemployed, partially employed and miserably employed—that would be most folks—can tolerate the levels of inequity that allow people like Michael White ($34 million) of Direct TV (that’s where those unfathomable cable fees go!) to live like pashas in a world of desperate need.

P.S. If you’re going to focus your contempt on just one person for today, consider Russian billionaire Yuri Milner who just plunked down $100 million on a 25,500-square-foot house in Silicon Valley. I’ve never met the guy, but this one purchase is his ticket to the pantheon of corporate wastrels. I hope he has termites.

Off to finish my article on “Why is the Locker Room America’s Deepest Closet?” for the Nation. (And watch some great hoops!)

2 responses to “How the Other .01% Lives

  1. Haha. Brilliant. These guys make bajillions and I can’t even come up with a 40 hour work week that pays a living wage.

  2. Everyday that I hear more travesties in this country is another day I feel small, helpless and hopeless. I wonder when Marx said that capitalism would collapse under its own weight if he knew it would be the top 1 percent crushing the other 99 percent? I’m sick to death of feeling small, helpless and hopeless.

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