* Median pay for the 200 highest-paid CEOs in the U.S. rose by 5% last year (to an average of $14.5 million a year).
* Wall Street CEO pay rose even more (rising by 20% in 2011).
* CEO pay has grown over 127 times faster than worker's wages in the last 30 years.
* An average Fortune 500 CEO now makes 380 times the wages of the average worker.
And these obscenely rich CEOs don't want to share a penny of their good fortune with their workers. In fact, they don't even care if those workers make enough money to support their families. Here in Texas, the janitors in Houston are currently on strike -- not to get a huge salary, but just to get a livable wage. And these are the janitors that clean up for some of the biggest corporations in America. While these corporations don't mind paying CEOs multiple millions of dollars, they won't even pay their workers a decent wage. Here is how the inimitable Juanita Jean (owner of the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon) describes the situation in Houston:
Janitors who clean Houston’s office buildings are paid less than $9,000 a year—less than half the poverty level. Their working conditions are deplorable and they’ve been threatened and harassed. They work cleaning up after for major corporations like Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Centerpoint Energy and Reliant.
So companies with CEOs making obscene paychecks are maximizing corporate profits on the backs of the working men and women of America who clean up their messes. There is something so damn shameful, unAmerican and humiliating in the eyes of a just and loving God about this behavior that I cannot even think about it without hollering.
These are honest Americans doing an honest day’s work, making half the poverty level. Even if both parents work, their children still live in poverty. This is not the America I love.
These are corporations who are also in cahoots with Republicans to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. They are also making middle America – you and me – help maximize their profits by sticking us with the bill for the social services and child health care for the children of these hard working Americans. Their jobs do not include health insurance for family members, so their children need state aid and free school lunches.
Because I am not a Republican, I cannot bare to see a child with strep throat or pneumonia go untreated and die because they cannot get healthcare. I understand that they are just children of working parents, and therefore not important like fetuses, but I cannot let them suffer and die like Republicans appear to be able to. So, I will pay my taxes and their corporate profits will continue to soar because I am taking care of their workers.
That is why I cannot understand why anyone making under $250,000 a year would ever, ever vote Republican. Don’t you see that they are bleeding you dry? They expect you to pay for their worker’s children because they want bigger, more grotesque profits.
If you work hard at an honest job, you ought to be able to live above the poverty level. A person working full time should not be shamed into needing public assistance. There should be honor in a job well done. This is damn America.
I am anxious to see the corporate big wigs have to clean up after themselves. Maybe a few days of restroom duty will convince them that janitors are admirable people and should be treated with respect.
Sadly, however, I doubt it. They look down their noses at anybody who actually works.
I stand with my brothers and sisters of SEIU. Their work has dignity. It is honorable.
This is America, dammit.
And the Republicans say they have a solution -- more "trickle-down" welfare for the rich. They want to give the rich CEOs more massive tax breaks, while they want to eliminate the minimum wage and allow the corporations to pay even less than the ridiculously small salaries they already pay. Does that sound like economic justice to you? To me, that sounds more like criminal behavior.