The Los Angeles Times recently profiled the obscene CEO-to-worker pay gap which currently exists in the United States, the average of which is 350 to 1.
However, the most notable part of the Times' profile was how there appears to be little correlation between an executive's performance and the pay gap he or she enjoys. This is starkly represented by JC Penney's CEO, Ronald Johnson, who according to Bloomberg enjoys the nation's largest worker-to-CEO pay gap: 1,795 to 1.
Bloomberg gave JC Penney the option to comment on why Johnson enjoys such a bombastic and treacherous pay gap at a time in which the company is losing value (73 percent in the past year).
JC Penney declined to comment, perhaps due to the sobering fact that, while Johnson makes an annual salary of $53.3 million, his workers earn a meager average salary of $28,688. Or maybe the company declined to comment since it cut 43,000 jobs last year. Or perhaps it's because, at a time in which it has created the largest CEO-to-worker pay gap in the country, it is also fighting a proposed SEC rule that would require corporations to consider workers' salaries when calculating that of a CEO.
Of course, most of corporate America is fighting this proposed law as well. Apparently, not because these executives deserve the money they are being paid based on performance.
No. They are fighting the proposed rule due to blind corporate greed. They are fighting the rule due to systematic attempts by executives to protect their own interests at the expense of those workers who allow their companies function. Those workers who cannot afford many of the basic necessities of life, including those products they work hard to sell.
They are workers who have their performance evaluated regularly. Working for executives who have absolved themselves from such evaluations.
Executives who stand upon the front lines of a class war they are unwittingly beckoning.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.