Published in The Huffington Post August 7, 2009 by Rob Shapiro, Chair of NDN’s Globalization Initiative and Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
The House of Representatives has committed some fumbles this year, but the legislation passed last week to regulate executive compensation in large public companies is sorely overdue. By any plausible standard, compensation for the very upper reaches of American business has been out of control for a long time. In 1991, candidate Bill Clinton scolded corporate America for rewarding the average CEO 80 to 90 times what their average worker earned — compared to a pay gap of just 10 times in Japan. Today, the gap here is 250 to 300 times, and it has indirectly contributed to the economic turmoil affecting us all.