We hear and read this statistic so often that it glides over the surface of our consciousness without sinking in. "The average corporate CEO pay is now 400 times the average worker's." How can we imagine what that means? Here's a little thought experiment...
Instaed of trying to imagine what 400 times your pay would look like, imagine that you make exactly what you do now, and everything costs 1/400th its normal price. Presto, you're in CEO land! And it's a fun place to live. Your car payment is now much easier to handle at around a buck a month. But why make payments? A top quality luxury ride can be had for cash, about $100 and that Mercedes is yours free and clear. And with gas at about two gallons per penny, who cares about mileage?
Your house payment is under $3 per month. Groceries? Don't even start; who cooks? A five star meal at the best restaurant in town will set you back ten cents, maybe 20 if you're a big tipper. Computer a bit slow? Toss it out and pick up a new one for five bucks. I recommend replacing it weekly; it's a lot less work than scanning for viruses.
Got kids to send to college? At $110 per year (room and board, Ivy League)you can give your kids and grandkids every advantage, in the unlikely event they choose to work someday.
Wow, you have LOTS of money left over after paying for the stuff you need, and even for the stuff you don't. Right wing economists say you should be starting businesses and putting people to work with the rest of that. Yeah, right, cause that is SO more fun than buying a condo in Tahiti, or just hiring some guy with a pocket protector and tape on his glasses to turn the money into more money on Wall Street.
In legal trouble? The best lawyers will defend your right to pollute, exploit and deceive, and will charge you under 50 cents per hour. Which is steep, compared to the nickel an hour you pay your managers, or the 2 cents your production workers make each hour. And even that is a lot compared to what you can get it done for in Indonesia or Mexico... so maybe it's time to get rid of some of those fat, lazy 2 cent an hour Americans. Close a couple of plants, the rest will shut up and behave.
And THAT is how you stay in CEO land - by making sure that those workers don't start demanding a bigger share of what you and they create together. By making sure THEY pay full price for everything, you get a 40,000% discount. Isn't life great?
The class war is over. We lost.