From ‘Tax Freedom Day’ to ‘Freedom from CEO Pay (Day)’?

In Canada, today, 6 June 2011, the Fraser Institute claims is ‘Tax Freedom Day’, the first day that Canadians stop working for the government (i.e. by paying taxes) and start working for themselves. Now, the FI’s TFD is ‘an old, misleading gimmick’ about taxes (e.g. http://j.mp/jS3Fek).

(If you were following the debate over Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party’s abolition of the long-form census, you would know that the Fraser Institute was one of only two major organisations supporting that abolition – its abolition will make it harder to measure the adverse impact of government policies, which couldn’t possibly be one of the reasons why the Conservatives, the FI and their allies wanted to abolish the long-form census, is it?)

However, what isn’t ever calculated is how much employees, workers, managers and consumers pay for the CEO bonuses and salaries. It is almost as if ‘by magic’, money appears on trees to pay the CEOs (although there are more and more reports of shareholders’ revolting against CEO pay and bonuses, especially when their performance is lacking).

For example, about five years ago in 2006, the CEO of Home Depot, was paid around US$210 million when he was fired after six years (the last half had seen a decrease in the Home Depot’s share price by about eight percent).

For how long did Home Depot employees have to work to pay for Nardelli’s payout? How much of what consumers paid for materials and services, did they have to pay that went to Nardelli before meeting the overheads, wages and other costs for running Home Depot? (I am sure there are many, many, many more, but this was the first one that I really took notice at how outrageous it was! No wonder capitalism is so expensive for workers and consumers – we’re paying all these over-inflated salaries and bonuses for performance that doesn’t even match anything they claim they can do for the corporation!)

Can you work out how many months of the year that you have to work to pay for your CEO’s salary and bonuses?

Perhaps, we could have a competition to see which corporation has workers toiling away for the longest period before paying for their CEO? How many tax breaks and subsidies for corporations (e.g. tar sands corporations get more than Cdn$1 billion from public) that taxpayers paid for (the Fraser Institute doesn’t mention these, does it?)?

Let’s start a ‘Freedom from CEO Pay (Day)’?

Just a thought….

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Filed under Economics, Pensions, Politics, Uncategorized, Wages, Work and working conditions

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