I was listening to a commercial (in Texas) the other day, and I'd swear that I heard Obama state that "there are CEOs in this country that make more in a minute than a working person does in a year". It seems that the commercial has been corrected.. it now says "ten minutes". I have such a problem with these statements. It's all about class envy, and the thought that "somebody owes me something".

If you take a standard min-wage job working full time, that's 40*52*$5.85 = $12,168. Extend that by ten minutes and then a year, and you get a pay rate that CEOs would have to make more than $151,856,640 per year for this statement to be true. This of course, is using the minimum wage, rather than the average wage (which would mean the CEOs would have to make three times as much for the statement to be true). (Average wage is $17.75/hour)

If you take the Forbes Top 100 list of CEO compensation, only SEVEN CEOs make more than $151m/year. It's almost humorous that the CEO at the top of the list is none other than Steve Jobs. You'd think that Jobs would have an issue with what his man Obama is saying.

If you were to somehow completely ignore the concept of capitalism and enact a rule that a CEO can make no more than $1mil per year, and that the difference had to be given as payroll increases to "the working man", you'd generate some $5B of extra revenue that you could then distribute.

With 150m workers in America, that'd work out to around $33 extra per worker per year. Nice pay raise.. Thanks Obama! I can't wait!

Now, tell me again.. how many pro football/basketball players are being paid more than $1m per year? I'd bet it's more than just seven. Maybe we should demonize them for a while?

Jan 2008 Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

First posted 2/25/2008