Saturday, September 24, 2016

Response to C.Conover's response to W.Potter's outrage at CEO compensation packages.

It started with an article by Wendell Potter bemoaning extravagant and increasing CEO compensation packages.  Rising to Wendell's challenge Chris Conover over at Forbes wrote an article sharing one of those epiphanies.  He takes CEO pay and divides it by all employees, presto, see there CEOs aren't milking anyone.  It's a great fantasy argument and I'm sure his math holds.  But, ...  

Conover deftly skips over the reason for the outrage at health insurance company executives with his little math trick. First Mr. Potter:
Skyrocketing Salaries for Health Insurance CEOs 
By Wendell Potter, Center for Public Integrity | Commentary | June 10, 2014 
If health insurance companies announce big premium increases on policies for 2015, I hope regulators, lawmakers and the media will look closely at whether they are justified, especially in light of recent disclosures of better-than-expected profits in 2013, rosy outlooks for the rest of this year and soaring CEO compensation.
Almost all of the publicly traded health insurers reported big increases in revenue and profits last year. The big winners have been the top executives of those companies, led by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer. Bertolini’s total compensation of $30.7 million in 2013 was 131 percent higher than in 2012. … {read on}
Mr. Conover's retort at Forbes:
What If We Confiscated CEO Compensation For Large Health Insurers And Redistributed It To Members? 
Chris Conover | March 31, 2016

Last month, AEI’s Mark Perry posted an interesting hypothetical: What if the compensation for all S&P 500 CEOs were confiscated and redistributed to rank-and-file workers?  [1] It turns out that this redistribution would lift average worker pay by 3 cents an hour–truly peanuts in a world in which the average American worker earns more than $25 per hour.{*} 
In light of the persistent low opinion that many Americans and policymakers seem to have about “greedy health insurers” and “ skyrocketing salaries for health insurance CEOs,” I thought it would be interesting to conduct a parallel exercise for the nation’s very largest health insurers. How much money might the average plan member save if only we could confiscate the allegedly “eye-popping” (former industry “insider” Wendell Potter’s characterization) CEO compensation paid to executives of the nation’s largest health insurers? 
The answer? Peanuts.     {read on} 

Mr Conover misses the point.  It’s not about redistributing those dollars among the tens of thousands of workers out there.  It's about distributing that money back into the healthcare system and making health care job one.  Something that is decidedly not the case under our current self-interested corporate leadership and the awful system they have created for us.  

There’s more to this than objection to that sense of entitlement among corporate executes.  There’s the problem of how they manage to justify those excessive bonus packages.  

They justify them by squeezing every ounce of profit, no matter how amoral the means of achieving those savings and extra profits, out of their systems.

Let me spell it out: It's the absolutely self-interested and amoral corporate mentality that's problem one! 

Your profits obsessed CEO mind-set is killing us down here.  

We object not just to executive's obscene incomes but to their entire myopic self-interested approach to health care!  

That’s why so many are working to get Colorado's ColoradoCare Amendment 69 passed.  Yes it is a “socialist” plan in a sense.  So what?  After all, we humans are social animals, so get over it!  

We The People have the right to demand that the money we spend on health care goes into providing quality compassionate health care - and not paying for minds that are constantly scheming on how to take more for themselves.


I was astounded at the claim that the average American wage was over $25.00/hr.  So I looked into it.  That figure represents "employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector."  But it's funny what can be done with numbers.

Here's what I would call a more realistic review of average American incomes:


A majority of Americans make less than $20 per hour
By Steve Goldstein | Published: Nov 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Where do you fit on the earnings scale?
According to data compiled by Goldman Sachs, most American workers earn below $20 per hour. Goldman Sachs economists David Mericle and Chris Mischaikow crunched Labor Department data that is used to generate the monthly jobs report that the market closely watches, in particular from the survey of employers.

The chart, shown above, shows that 19% of workers make less than $12.50 per hour, 32% of workers make between $12.50 and $20 per hour, 30% make between $20 and $30 an hour, 14% make between $30 and $45 per hour, and 5% make over $45 an hour. …

Who makes less than $15 per hour? An explainer in 3 charts
by  Claire Zillman @clairezillman APRIL 13, 2015

Who makes minimum wage?

How much does the Average American Make? Breaking Down the U.S. Household Income Numbers.

“only 34% make more than $65,000”

Guess who's making $16.81 an hour?

(MoneyWatch) If you're wondering why so many young college graduates are living at home, you only have to look at the kind of salaries that they are earning.
These college graduates (ages 21-24) are making an average hourly wage of $16.81 per hour, which equals a yearly salary of roughly $35,000, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.
Current wages are worse for women. Even though women tend to graduate from college in higher numbers, women graduates are earning hourly wages ($15) that are 13.9% less than men ($18.29).

Wages stink at America's most common jobs
by Tami Luhby  |  April 1, 2013

Workers in seven of the 10 largest occupations typically earn less than $30,000 a year, according to new data published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's a far cry from the nation's average annual pay of $45,790.

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