Wal-mart employees still underpaid

I was reading news on Newsvine today and I saw this link to an editorial in The Nation. The newsvine headline read Op-Ed: $13,700 An Hour. The editorial discusses stagnant pay among most working Americans and the pay of corporate executives and the headline refers specifically to the CEO of ExxonMobil who earned $13,700/hour in 2005. The CEO of Haliburton earned $8,300/hour, and as usual a Wal-mart employee brings up the rear. The CEO of Wal-Mart earned a paltry $3,500/hour. Even the CEO of my employer made over $3800/hour last year. According to census data median household income fell 3.8% from 1999 to 2004. I can confirm this, because my own real income has fallen steadily for the last 5 years. My raises have been less than half the official inflation rate, and that doesn’t even fully factor in the real cost increases in energy and health care. A full-time employee making the minimum wage only makes $10,500/year. No executive is worth that kind of money no matter how much profit a company makes. For executives to earn 80-100 times or more what the average employee is making is absolutely obscene. The salaries and bonuses paid to corporate executives in the United States is completely out of control. Costco for example pays their CEO 12 times the average of all employees. They also pay their employees 40% more than Sam’s Club and 90% of their employees have health care coverage. Costco also has five times less turnover than Wal-mart and in spite of all this Costco is very profitable with over $1 billion profit in their last fiscal year. You don’t have to over pay your executives to make good profits.

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