The Big O’s political ads have been running on radio and TV, ad nauseam. Change, change, change. Change of fools. Oh wait, that's chain, chain, chain. Never mind. Exactly what type of change does The Big O have in mind? Sex change, spare change, tire change, change of clothes, change of address, change of habit, climate change?
During the ads, I have become intimately acquainted with the mute button. There is something very satisfying about silencing unwanted verbal diarrhea. Mute: It's Kaopectate for the mind. However, one day I was a bit slow to react. In that momentary pause, I was regaled with O’s bombastic blatherings. While I managed to tune out most of the drivel, one sentence stuck in my mind.
Forgive me as I paraphrase: This administration has created a divide between Wall Street and Main Street. A CEO makes more in 10 minutes than the ordinary worker makes in a year.
While I disagree wholeheartedly with blaming "this administration" for any disparity between Wall Street and Main Street, the accountant in me wanted to examine the validity of his claim. I put the spreadsheet to use.
For the sake of this exercise, I looked at 2004 CEO compensations at Forbes.com. I selected Reuben Mark, CEO at Colgate-Palmolive, who was ranked #1 for compensation.
My figures were determined as follows: Hourly wage was calculated on the standard 2,080 hours worked per year and broken down into 10 minute increments (Annual Wage/2080 = hourly wage. Hourly wage/60 minutes = minute wage. Minute wage x 10 minutes). I ran numbers based on "straight salary" (no bonus, other compensation and/or stock options) and "total compensation" (inclusive of bonus, other, stock). Based on the calculations, here is what I found.
Mr. Mark was compensated straight salary at $1.6 million. His earnings for 10 minutes of work was $132.77. Considering his total compensation including bonus, other and stock, Mr. Mark earned $148 million. The wage earned for 10 minutes of work $11,859.00.
Compared to a minimum wage earner, working full time (2,080 hours at $6.15/hour = annual salary $12,792.00) Mr. Mark earned approximately $900.00 less for 10 minutes of work.
Even using the most extremes, The Big O’s assertion is factually incorrect. Hang on folks, we have a politician uttering fallacious statements in an effort to be elected to the Office of President?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.