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Where has all the surplus gone?

Summary:
From David Ruccio Where did all the capitalist surplus in the United States go last year? Well, as in recent years, a large portion was paid to the Chief Executive Officers of the nation’s largest corporations, the ones that make up the S&P 500. According to the Wall Street Journal, median pay of the CEOs of those corporations reached an astronomical .1 million, setting a new record for the fifth year in a row. Most S&P 500 CEOs got raises of 8 percent or better during the year—compared to the increase in median household income of only 3.34 percent. The top 10 list goes from Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts’s .4 million (where median employee pay was .9 thousand) to Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai’s 0.6 million (where employee pay was 8.7 thousand). For purposes of comparison,

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from David Ruccio

Where has all the surplus gone?

Where did all the capitalist surplus in the United States go last year?

Well, as in recent years, a large portion was paid to the Chief Executive Officers of the nation’s largest corporations, the ones that make up the S&P 500.

According to the Wall Street Journal, median pay of the CEOs of those corporations reached an astronomical $13.1 million, setting a new record for the fifth year in a row. Most S&P 500 CEOs got raises of 8 percent or better during the year—compared to the increase in median household income of only 3.34 percent.

The top 10 list goes from Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts’s $36.4 million (where median employee pay was $78.9 thousand) to Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai’s $280.6 million (where employee pay was $258.7 thousand).

For purposes of comparison, the American workers who produced that surplus took home, on average, only $40,437.20 in 2019.

The ratio of CEO to worker pay ratio last year was therefore an astounding 324 to 1.

David F. Ruccio
I am now Professor of Economics “at large” as well as a member of the Higgins Labor Studies Program and Faculty Fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. I was the editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism from 1997 to 2009. My Notre Dame page contains more information. Here is the link to my Twitter page.

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