It will be hard to have any meaningful discussion here without getting political, but I’ll try …
I sympathize with the cast members, who work so hard and deserve to be paid well. I also sympathize with Disney, which is a business, yet still pays no less than $15/hr, above federal minimum wage, to entry level workers (at least they claim as much in their statement).
The real problem is that living in California is impossible at $15/hr. Property values, taxes, and general cost of living are too high. I’m not sure there is a valid solution to these problems. In the meantime, I would invite some of those cast members to move east to some of the flyover states, where cost of living is much more manageable, even on an entry-level wage!
#1 lesson I have learned in life is money buys choices.- and this goes all the way around in her article(and really to everyone). I would hope that any employee would move on to better things in their lives if they can not make it work. I have worked 3 jobs to keep an apartment while my DH was in grad school…thankfully we got thru that after several years.
This is a good point. Years ago, when I graduated, all my computer science friends moved out there. I decided to stay. They got jobs making twice as much as me. Even today, I can get a job that pays more than twice as much as I make easily. (I have one friend who makes more like three times what I make.). But cost of living is so high it would take an income about 4 times what I make to have a similar lifestyle.
Frankly, there is no way that Iger provides $66m in value to the company each year. The vast discrepancy between executive pay and the pay of the people who actually provide direct value to the customers is obscene, and is a huge problem across this country. When comes the revolution, first against the wall…
Why do you say that? With the purchase of Marvel, Lucasfilm, etc. etc. you’re talking tens of billions of dollars of revenue. We talk all the time about how the parks are both super expensive and super crowded. You don’t think $66M is worth it to make those decisions correctly and smoothly?
My best friend’s husband moved them to Seattle six years ago to work for Amazon. He makes fully three times what my husband makes. Their house is significantly smaller than ours (though they have more kids) and is on a postage stamp lot - it cost more than four times as much as ours. It takes him an hour to get to/from work via a ferry system and a bicycle.
No, because he alone did not make those decisions. They were the result of the efforts of those who report directly to him, who in turn relied on the people who report to them, and so on. His contribution to a collective decision making process is not worth $66m.
I totally agree with you that $66 million/year salary for Iger is OBSCENE!
No one is worth that amount of money!
Who needs that amount of money?
How many yachts can one person have?
I love the Ben & Jerry’s old salary model the the CEO can’t make more than 7 times what the lowest paid employee makes…to give Iger $66 million then give the lowly 9.4 million/yr.
So pay them all millions of dollars. The point is that comparing someone picking up trash to someone making decisions worth tens of billiions of dollars is not useful. It’s not like the company would make the exact same amount of money if they just took 50% of Iger’s salary and distributed it to trash collectors. They would lose Iger (and other execs), have worse leadership, make less money, and everyone would be worse off. I mean, you’re talking about a company with a market cap of over 1/4 of a trillion (with a T) dollars.
I actually philosophically don’t think anyone should make that much money (I attribute the CEO salary inflation to bad execs who tank companies but still seem to get new jobs with $10M’s salaries), but if I were Disney’s board or a shareholder, or even a front line worker I would absolutely want the company to pay $66M to make sure the multi-billion dollar decisions were being led by the best possible people and if I were a board member or share holder or front line worker, I would say the company is doing pretty darn swell to the tune of billions under Iger’s (and other execs) leadership.
It also doesn’t help that there are people lining up to be front line employees at Disney because “magic.”
I’m not sure any function, decision or position merits a $66M salary. Not even the president of a nation makes that much money. It’s particularly annoying and insulting when the people below those leaders are so much lower.
I may actually agree but so many of the arguments I see on this topic are “It’s unfair” or “who needs that much money?” or something similar rather than some actual argument. If the shareholders and board think that the CEO’s leadership and decision making power increase the annual value of the company by more than $66M, not a huge stretch for a company worth $260 Billion (with a B), why shouldn’t they pay him/her that much?
If you genuinely think it’s unfair for someone to make $66M, the answer isn’t to yell at the company who clearly thinks there’s value there and exists to make profits. The answer is to fix the tax code so people making that much are taxed significantly more because the government, not corporations, are the thing that exists for the benefit of the people.
Good point. Taxes could be the ultimate equalizer.
But, ultimately, is it the government‘s job to re-distribute wealth evenly and make the world “fair”? Or is it our job as citizens to cry unfair when we see such gross discrepancies? I think it’s fair to point out unfairness and vote with our own wallets as to what we think better represents what we feel is right. However, there are very few companies that are fair and just. Their job is to make money, not be fair.
Would you like to run for governor of my state please?
OK, I’ll give you one. It’s not that it is “unfair”, it’s that it is rigged. Executive salaries at major corporations are generally set by Executive Compensation Committees, which are usually comprised of CEOs from other companies. In essence, they set their own highly inflated salaries.
^This. Despite what a certain political party tells you, this will not kill jobs and the economy. This sort of a tax system was in place during the post war years, and the economy did just fine, and the middle class benefited greatly. The 1%ers did fine too as they had plenty of loopholes to take advantage of, but today they have stupid low tax rates along with even more loopholes.
Yes, that is one of government’s many functions, and it is how we citizens can cry unfair and get something done about it. It does not have to be to the level of everyone getting the same, but it can be more in line with the value that someone actually contributes.
Voting with your wallets rarely works. For the most part the “free market” is an illusion, and you don’t have as much choice as you think. For example, do you have a choice between “evil” Disney and “good” Disney that are otherwise equivalent?
This it true. But then who’s job is it to make them play fair? Each government regulation exists for a reason - it was not created at the whim of a bureaucrat to make things difficult for businesses, it was created to stop an abusive action.
It may be that I’m extremely disillusioned with the government right now, but I think the government cannot, won’t and should not even things out. I think that’s our job. But you’re right, if you have no choice you can’t really influence things
You’re painting an awfully glum portrait then amigo. What would the solution be then? An enterprise free government who closes the loopholes, ups the taxes and forces the ECC to put a decent roof over salaries?
In case anyone is interested in reading Disney’s response:
Aw shucks amiga, that may be a good idea! I CAN balance a checkbook!
You can live with ma familia. We can watch Marvel movies on your days off!
I agree this is a problem.