Transforming Fear to Joy

Income Inequity — The Making of a Class War

In 2014, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reported the top 100 richest CEOs in Canada earned a combined total of $896 M for this one year of work.  On the other hand, the average full-time employee in Canada made $48,636 in that same time period.  To more specifically illustrate the current wage disparity in Canada, I placed our 10 highest-paid CEOs in the table below.

Canada’s 10 Highest-paid CEO’s

Top 10 CEO pay scale canadaClearly, I do not understand what would motivate someone to negotiate an $89.7 M salary when so many countrymen and women are without homes, food and jobs and when his or her workforce is paid nickels and dimes in comparison. Furthermore, I am puzzled as to who and what determines the economic value of one’s work.

For instance, how does a corporation like Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. equate retired CEO Pierre Blouin’s yearly contribution to be worth $7,782,241 M (49th on the highest paid list, outdone by #48 Air Canada CEO coming in at $7,999,951 M)? And finally, how is it that we find ourselves in a place where the massive income gap between the “bottom billion” on the planet and the top earning 1% continues to enlarge — CEOs were paid 22% more in 2014 than 2008?

This massive income gap between CEOs and the workforce continues to climb regardless of economic recession, poor corporate performance, political pressure or public outrage.

Governments and citizens around the world continue to focus attention
on the astronomical salaries pocketed by CEOs. Especially in the U.S.,
there has been particularly strong public and political outrage at the
payment of enormous bonuses to the executives who have overseen
the wiping out of billions of dollars in shareholder value since the crash
of 2007–08.    
Hugh Mackenzie, Staying Power:  Ceo Pay in Canada

In 2014, Forbes reported on research analyzing 20 years of CEO compensation and corporate performance. The conclusion reached was, “the more CEOs got paid, the worse their companies did.” So, the bad news is that despite the public’s reaction to executive greed, no political or boards of directors’ leadership and no personal self-restraint is apparent. Even the scads of data (over 200 studies) depicting declining social relations (child conflict, homicide, imprisonment, social capital, trust), human c