Average compensation for top U.S. executives exploded to nearly $19 million in 2017, up almost 18 percent from 2016, a new report says. If you don’t remember getting an 18 percent raise, it’s because you probably didn’t.
The report by the liberal Economic Policy Institute shows that typical wages remained virtually unchanged during that time. This has driven the pay difference between people at the top and those who work for them to its widest gap in a decade.
The findings don’t encompass the impact of the Republican tax-cut bill passed at the end of 2017, but we know that, after those cuts, wages this year have remained mostly flat when factoring in inflation. Of course they have; corporations are largely using their tax-cut windfalls to buy back their own stock — to the benefit of investors, including those $19 million-a-year chief executives — rather than raiding wages.
All indications are that the gap between the top executive pay and everyone else’s is going to be widened by tax cuts that proponents touted as good for workers.
The report shows those pay trends were already going in the wrong direction even before this budget-busting, economically unnecessary gift to the rich was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. It adds to the long list of reasons to halt reckless administration policies that would further reward the already-rich while throwing the economy further out of balance.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH