I got sidetracked this week when I saw a news item about CEO pay in Investor Place. The article stated that CEO pay increases jumped almost 40% last year. It also specifically reported that the CEO for McKesson earned $145 million last year. It was shocking to hear that anyone, let alone the CEO of a health care IT company, could earn $145 million. What Board of Directors could go along with this, helping to pick the pockets of both the stockholders and customers.
In the meantime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, pay increased just 1.8% for those workers in the U.S. who still had a job. The median income for a worker in America is now $753 per week, or roughly $40,000 a year. Compare $145 million a year versus $40,000 and check your gut reaction, your common sense – or your business sense. I'm sure no law was broken at McKesson, but it still feel like highway robbery or major fraud has taken place and someone needs to be dealt with harshly.
As the gap between CEO pay and that of their workers continues to widen out of all proportion, forces will emerge to correct this situation which is out of control. Thus we see the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements continue to grow and gather strength. The situation could spiral out of control if business and political leaders don't work to correct the ridiculous imbalance we can all see.
When I see something so wrong taking place and evil taking hold, I find myself turning to the Bible for wisdom, understanding, guidance, and comfort. I accessed a copy of the Bible online and ran a quick search through Proverbs, the book of wisdom, and extracted verses on wealth and sorted them to see what God was telling us about wealth and what we should be doing – whether we be rich or poor. Take a look at what emerged – see Proverbs on Wealth.
Like many of my fellow citizens across the U.S., I am a Christian and ultimately know we must put our trust in God, and then buckle down to do what we can to combat evil and make things better. We need wise, righteous leadership in our country. We can't continue to suffer under the leadership of fools or the wicked and expect our country to remain strong.
What do you think? Has the gap between the rich and poor gotten too big? Are the leaders in the public and private sectors acting wisely? What will you do to help correct the situation?