Data from the Securities and Exchange Commission offer a rare snapshot of how, in low-wage industries, the rich get especially rich, at the expense of employees.
Co-published by Fast Company
The Florida governor led a group that raked in cash from Wall Street firms after Scott’s administration gave them pension deals.
You might not think that one additional figure in the thick of annual financial reports would be a serious threat to our major corporations, but you’d be underestimating big business lobbyists’ penchant for hysteria. A simple rule finally passed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week drew more than a quarter million comments and 1,500 letters to the commission – add a large stack of articles and op-eds, and one can imagine quite a number of people with steam shooting out of their ears.
In a 3-2 vote August 5, the SEC adopted a new rule requiring that companies disclose a comparison of CEO pay with worker pay. This disclosure rule was a mandate of the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 legislation passed in the wake of the recession, and will take effect in 2017. Labor groups and others concerned with economic inequality had pushed hard for the SEC to move forward on it.
The SEC is dragging its feet implementing a section of the Dodd-Frank reform that would require publicly traded companies to calculate the ratio between the CEO’s pay and that of the firm’s median pay package. The New York Times editorial board urges them to push forward.
Corporate lobbyists say it’s too complicated to figure out the math. They figured out how to create uber-complex financial products that untangled the global economy, but aren’t able to divide the CEO’s earnings (they must know) by the median employee pay?
Of course, the real reason they oppose the law is that they don’t want to add fire to the public debate about excessive CEO salaries – certainly while the rest of America struggles to pay bills, put kids through college and afford mortgage payments. Obscurity, not transparency, benefits the privileged.
Their opposition to useful information for investors and consumers is a replay of earlier legislative battles.