Absurd: Corporate-Backed Group Wants to Ensure That We Can't Compare CEO and Worker Pay
This is a fact that should shock exactly no one: corporations don't want us to know how much they pay their CEOs, relative to how much they pay their typical workers. That's bad PR!
Extra gross is the fact that a lobbying group supported by 81 major corporations, including GE and McDonald's, is fighting a legal battle to keep us from finding out those basic facts. The Washington Post reports:
The lobbying effort began more than a year ago. It involved some of the biggest names in corporate America and meetings with members of both parties on the House Financial Services Committee and Senate banking committee.
The companies and their Republican allies in Congress call comparisons between the chief and everyone else in the company “useless.”
Uh, useless to whom? Useless to the CEOs who might start feeling guilty about receiving excessive compensation packages while workers lower down the totem pole are getting laid off en masse? Or useless to the workers who might start to push back?
But wait, there's more:
Disclosing such comparisons “can mislead or confuse investors,” said Rep. Nan A.S. Hayworth (R-N.Y.), who filed the bill to repeal the disclosure. “It creates heat but sheds no light.”
She also said the calculation of the ratio would be a burden for companies, especially those with global operations.
A burden! Aw jeez. Well if you put it that way.
(h/t Sarah Jaffe)