The social purpose of high executive pay is to create incentives for hard work to maximise profit. But these guys are being paid double what their predecessors were making in the 1980s, which was not exactly a period known for its stodgy egalitarianism. Are we seeing startlingly better corporate performance today than we were back then? Is there greater productive innovation in, say, medical technology or commercial real estate? Is our economy growing faster? Are general standards of living rising faster? No, no, no and no. What public interest is served by the fact that these CEOs, as a class, are earning a multiple of what their predecessors did a generation ago? . . . If the government were to, for example, return top marginal tax rates to the levels that prevailed in the 1990s or the 1970s in order to compensate for the superstar effect, there is no reason to believe that the top one percent would produce any less value for society than they do now.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Inequality is not Necessary for Economic Growth
The Economist savages silly arguments in favor of inequality:
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Seek out "For Us the Living" (under $7 at Kindle) by Robert Heinlein.
It's not really great fiction, but it's a fascinating look at our society and where it's likely to go-- written between 1838 and '39.
See his take on religious demagogues, economics, governance.
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