Now I have no trouble with corporate leaders earning significant income. Their job can’t be easy and it’s one I would not like to have. Especially when the corporation is so huge and beloved by so many. And the axe is quick to swing if the company doesn’t do well.
Nevertheless, a simple calculation concerns me. Let’s consider an average Disney employee. Not one at higher levels or in skilled positions where pay is much higher. Rather one in that vast majority who are service personnel in some capacity or other. There are tens of thousands of them. Suppose they earn $15 an hour. That’s’ about $30,000 a year.
If we divide 32,500,000 by 30,000, we get approximately 1083. That means that the CEO of Disney earns over one thousand times the yearly income of most of his company’s employees.
In 1965 the average CEO earned 21 times the average employee. In 1989 that had risen to 61 times, in 2019 to 307 times and in 2020 to 351 times. It definitely is a rapidly increasing trend so perhaps we should not be surprised by the 1083 ratio.
In 2021 Disney had approximately 190,000 employees worldwide. That’s down from its pre-pandemic level and it is higher today. I tried to find the number in the United States but was unsuccessful. Just out of curiosity, I wondered what would be the case if Chopek’s income was limited to a paltry $2,500,000 in 2021 and how far the difference would go if distributed among all employees.
This can be obtained by dividing the difference in his income, 30 million dollars, by the number of employees, 190 thousand. This calculation produces $157.90. Not a significant amount so dividing that 30 million among all employees would not positively impact their lives in any significant way, except perhaps as an indication of good will.
So, is it silly to worry about that 1083 factor? I don’t think so. It seems to me it is a further instance of the separation of our society into the few who control most of the money and the many who do not, with the further erosion of the middle class which for so long has been the backbone of our nation.
And I suspect that in this day and age someone like Chopek would turn up his nose at accepting the CEO job for a tiny 2.5 million dollars.
It just seems wrong!