One of the issues today that appears mainly unfixable but also eminently unfair and even infuriating is the disparity of compensation paid to the lower working classes versus that sometimes provided to some senior employees and officers of some public companies.  For example, when I read about severance packages in the tens of millions of dollars for some senior executives, it feels obscene.  Why should any such person ever be in the position to receive any such payout?  It is simply too much money!  I know that life is often unfair and it is certainly complicated, and that compensation is also often reduced by a progressive income tax system, but this still bothers me.  But the problem is, what can be done about it, if anything? 

       For the government to reach in and put limits upon compensation packages in the private sector both strongly violates my libertarian philosophy as a clear violation of Liberty, and is also impractical.  It is clear that private competing companies must be able to attract and retain gifted, experienced, creative and insightful leaders, and one effective way to do that is to offer attractive compensation packages.  For example, most people probably agree that people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Thomas Edison should be well compensated by their companies.  The problem is that the compensation packages of most CEOs and other high officials are mostly set by the board of directors.  But, as a practical matter, most of the members of the boards have their positions at the pleasure of those same officials.  So the relationship can be incestuous and often hollow.  An alternative would be for there to be a law that everyone’s compensation package be capped at something like ten times that paid to the lowest-paid worker.  But formulas like that can bring both substantial philosophical and practical problems of their own, depending upon many variables.  (Remember the Law of Unintended Consequences?)

         I don’t have a proposed resolution for this nagging and sometimes even galling problem, but instead bring it to you for your thoughts and suggestions.  Please respond as to those thoughts.  It is an important issue that bothers many people in our country in a time that we need both to heal many wounds and also have people believe that they are being addressed and healed.  Do you agree?  If so, what should be done about this issue, if anything?

Quote for the week:  “Dreams are not so different from deeds as some may think.  All the deeds of men are only dreams at first.  And in the end, their deeds dissolve into dreams.”                                                                                          Theodore Herzl:  Old New Land (1902)

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President