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How dare they

by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2007 7:35 AM PDT
Compensation for America?s top CEOs has skyrocketed into the stratospheric heights of pro athletes and movie stars, as half now make more than $8.3 million a year, and some make much, much more.

You mean people in business who produce goods, provide services, manage large corporations are as valuable as athletes and movie stars??

Actually, I am personally disturbed that these folks can make so much and feel equally about the high paid entertainment folks. I just thought the comparison in the article was worth note...as if this is acceptable in some fields such as sports and entertainment. I've no problem with financial reward for excellence and hard work. How much is enough I don't know....but hundreds and thousands of times more than others who contribute well is, IMO, obscene. And I don't think it's just the money but also the message that's delivered.

Again, I just thought the opening paragraph said a lot.
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I agree,
by Richard Jones Forum moderator / June 11, 2007 8:13 AM PDT
In reply to: How dare they

Hi Steven,

I have heard Bill Gates makes so much per *minute* he'd lose money by stopping to pick up a hundred dollar (U.S.!) note. Then again, he is a philanthropist, so...

Actors usually do not get paid much, though *some* stars seem to get an obscene amount per film, but they do work hard, as do most pro athletes.

The CEOs' I've known or heard about are generally well connected - good 'ole boy / gal networking types. I admire the Horatio Alger "breed" more, but that's my blue collar (not blood!) talking, perhaps.

Rick

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I saw a story this AM
by Dragon / June 11, 2007 8:17 AM PDT
In reply to: How dare they

about a guy who was paid 400 million.

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Yes, Dragon, you are absolutely correct
by Dragon / June 11, 2007 2:26 PM PDT
In reply to: I saw a story this AM

as usual!

NEW YORK (AP) -- Private-equity powerhouse Blackstone Group LP said Monday that Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman made $400 million in 2006 -- almost double the combined compensation for the CEOs of Wall Street's five biggest investment banks.

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Performance
by Angeline Booher / June 11, 2007 8:29 AM PDT
In reply to: How dare they
CEO pay isn?t set by markets, Finlay said in an e-mail interview. Instead, it is ?determined by a small clique of like-minded directors, most of whom are themselves past and current CEOs with a vested interest in perpetuating a failed, but to them, remarkably generous, system.?

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the world?s second richest man after Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, doesn?t go quite that far. But he did write in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last year that ?too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance.?


I think those are telling observations.

Lots of people working in the business community are evaluated by higher-ups fpr promotion and pay raises, and performance is a biggie in those decisons.

Outstanding athletes are born with talents that can be trained to excel. Sports is a business, and players employees (until their contracts run out). Thus owners pay them what they believe their performance is worth to produce a winning team.

So it seems that performance is not as important a criteria for CEOs.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
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Something in the message to the younger folks
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2007 10:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Performance

that's troubling. I just have to wonder what their view is of definition of success and that of failure. How many think that only the top rung is worthy of effort and, knowing it's not achievable, give up before starting. I have to think mostly of the young black kids who put all their effort into sports thinking that's the only way out and the only way to make money. How many know that there's little or no hope for them in athletics and translate that into meaning no hope at all...maybe they turn to crime instead...for the money...or is that just an excuse. We were recently at an event where a talk was given by a black gentleman who was a college football athlete. He recalled a visit from a major college university coach who wanted to visit him. He mentioned being troubled after the interview because the coach never mentioned his playing of the sport but was only interested in the young man's aspirations for getting an education and completing college. He said he just knew the interview wasn't going to land him a scholarship because the coach never talked about football. Well, he was given a scholarship and went on to play at Ohio State University. His name is Archie Griffin and the coach was Woody Hayes. Archie won two Heisman trophies at OSU. He did finish and get his degree. He had only a short career in pro ball and didn't earn much there but has found a permanent home at Ohio State where he's worn many hats. He was also one of the speakers at my son's graduation there. Archie will tell you his degree is worth far more than his football trophies including the Heismans. To me, Archie is a bigger success story than the majority of the big named black (and white) athletes you read about in today's sports headlines. He's a better role model, IMO, than the multi million dollar pro driving a gold Mercedes. But I doubt many young folks who see all the "bling" that's out there want to settle for less. Happy

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And Warren Buffet's salary is 100k per year, Angeline!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 11, 2007 1:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Performance

which is certainly more than fair. Of course, his stock is growing about at the market rate (109% of the S&P 500 over the past 6 years). OTOH, $1,000 invested when the stock went public would be worth over $100 MILLION today (it closed today at 109,000 and change)

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Disagree totally...
by EdH / June 11, 2007 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: How dare they

if they can get someone to pay those amounts then it is no one's business but theirs. How much more it is than what other people make is completely irrelevant. Obviously they are valuable to someone who is willing to fork it over. That says it all.

"Obscene" is not an appropriate description. They are not stealing it or doing anything illegal to get it are they? What disturbs me is envy.

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You have extracted and responded to
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2007 10:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Disagree totally...

a very minor section of my post. It must have rung loudly in your ears. As for stealing or doing things illegal, that may be true or untrue. It's no secret that "ruthlessness" has it's advantages when one's goal is to pile up assets. Other attributes contribute as well. But, my message wasn't primarily about that at all. It was a side bar only meant to explain my personal view of some of the high salaries that are available. I am entitled to that view and don't need to argue it. I simply thought that benchmarking CEOs salaries against athletes salaries was a curious comparison in that CEOs salaries are under fire in the media. So now the media takes on the CEOs but not the athletes? I do think the message that's being delivered to the young and impressionable about the meaning of success isn't healthy. My two cents. You have yours. Happy

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Athletes / Managers
by Richard Jones Forum moderator / June 12, 2007 12:00 AM PDT

Hi Steven,

Athletes *do* get a rap from the press, sometimes, though maybe less often than the top people in the corporate world. Perhaps because the sports stars are funded by advertising revenue - television, media, etc. ? whilst the biz guys are "stealing" from the blue collar workers who actually sweat and produce tangible stuff?

Also, many folks can dream of being a basketball star, big league baseball, whatever, having played those sports as youngsters? It does not require a degree or 'people skills' so much as the system instated in the biz world, so maybe it's regarded more as "fair" pay. I dunno how others feel, that's just my guesses. Happy

Rick " always wanted to be a Formula One champ " Jones

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Not at all true, EdH.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 11, 2007 11:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Disagree totally...

Aren't you one who says that "taxation is theft?" I don't at all agree (that's political, so we can discuss it in e-mail if you wish, though I note you completely ignored my previous e-mail responding to one of your political jibes in the stem cell thread).

However, I submit that exorbitant CEO salaries are VERY MUCH other people's business, and in fact that they are THEFT -- from the stockholders, who in a capitalist system are supposed to be the owners of the company, and thus the primary beneficiaries of its success. Unfortunately, the managerial class (CEOs in particular, but upper management in particular) is often running companies for their own benefit, rather than that of the shareholders, THEIR nominal bosses! And in many cases they're taking exorbitant salaries even as the stock price goes down and the true owners get less than nothing.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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It's all relative
by duckman / June 11, 2007 11:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Not at all true, EdH.

I think paying a college president the amount many make is theft (from the students)

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Pay for performance? Absolutely agreeable with me.
by grimgraphix / June 11, 2007 10:37 AM PDT
In reply to: How dare they

What disturbs me is those CEO's who leave a company worse of than when they got it but due to a pre-negotiated Golden parachute... they chuckle all the way to the bank.

I like the old anecdote about how a witch doctor's success could be trusted in some cultures since they died if the patient died. I think a CEO should only walk away with the brass ring if they deserved it. Should the company pension fund flounder? So should the CEO's fortunes as well.

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See my response to EdH
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2007 10:53 AM PDT

Obviously I don't write well. The gist of my post wasn't about the appropriateness of CEO salaries in general..but that's what seems to have stood out. We've done the CEO bit here before and wasn't trying to drag that out again.

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I am amazed by what people are willing to pay...
by grimgraphix / June 11, 2007 11:24 AM PDT
In reply to: See my response to EdH

for entertainment, sports, and supposedly "expert" guidance in running a business. Most of the time the pay is commensurate with perceived value and not actual performance. In essence, athletes, actors, and CEO's get paid for potential before the job rather than results they produce after the job.

When this concept of pay before play became acceptable I don't have a clue. It isn't acceptable in lower paying jobs. I don't get a pay check before I go to work and don't know anyone who does.

Since CEO's have now been included in the "pay before play" category I guess that comparing their salaries to each other is entirely appropriate.

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Pay before play is good point
by Steven Haninger / June 11, 2007 7:47 PM PDT

and we're not always sure what we pay because some celebrity personalities (and that includes athletes) pull extra from product endorsements. In fact, for some that's a major part of their income. So, I'd say, we the public pay them unknowingly so it's not always a matter of our willingness. They take a few pennies from everyone which adds up quickly. Still, I wonder how this affects young folks entering the job market and how it affects their motivations, expectations and views about success.

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Good question....
by grimgraphix / June 11, 2007 11:19 PM PDT

The past couple of years have seen news coverage around graduation time where you hear discussion about what will our kids do in a competitive work place? They grow our kids now a days in a nurturing atmosphere where you get a trophy for participation and everyone is a winner. Constant oversight and reinforcement is provided for our children, even through college. These articles often examine what will happen when a young adult enters a situation where they are expected to do their work independently and the only reinforcement is a pay check.

How does it affect their motivations, expectations and views about success? I don't know... but look at the common level of customer service you find in most service oriented workplaces. Performance is hardly ever the first objective of these employees. I, like many others, live in a rural state where the population has grown older because young people leave for better opportunities. Now, I'm not saying they shouldn't. But many of these kids who leave do so with an expectation they are going someplace where they will be better rewarded for their efforts when the reality is that their efforts are not that impressive to begin with. Look at the job interview advice columns where the expert tells the prospective employee to not discuss money at the beginning of the interview but save it till last. Kids have to be told now that an interview involves discussion of duties first and monetary rewards last?

I just think expectations of work and it's rewards have been flip flopped to a certain extent. Unfortunately popular media reinforces the myth of the success story that happens overnight. They most high profile people in our culture are rewarded that way and their success is publicized in every news source out there. The truth is that no matter how good you are, you still have to have a work ethic and many of these successful people do. Sadly, the press fails to publicize that part of success.

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