“The calculations show that earnings for company executives returning to work this Monday will pass the UK average salary of £27,200 by late afternoon on ‘fatcat Tuesday.’
“FTSE 100 Chief Executives are paid an average £4.72 million. The High Pay Centre found that even if CEOs are assumed to work long hours with very few holidays, this is equivalent to hourly pay of nearly £1,200.”
The rest of the article is on the High Pay Centre website.
Vox Political‘s attention was drawn to this by a tweet from Josie Long: “Have a look at this. It takes two days for the people at the top to surpass the average UK salary. Two days.”
According to Russell Brand’s book Revolution (which has a lot more in it than most reviewers want you to know), human beings and higher primates have an in-built sense of fairness and it seems clear that the pay of these FTSE100 bosses offends that sense.
Russell quotes a laboratory experiment in which “monkeys in adjacent cages… perform the same task for food. Monkey A does the task and gets a grape, delicious. Monkey B who can see Monkey A performs the same task and is given cucumber, yuck.
“Monkey B looks p***ed off but eats his cucumber anyway. The experiment is immediately repeated and you can see that Monkey B is agitated when his uptown, up-alphabet neighbour is again given a grape. This time when he is presented with the cucumber, he is f***ing furious; he throws it out the cage and rattles the bars. I got angry on his behalf and wanted to give the scientist a cucumber in a less amenable orifice. I also felt a bit p***ed off with Monkey A, the grape-guzzling little b*****d.”
Who can blame him? The figures from the High Pay Centre betray an even worse situation, if you think about it, because most people work a lot harder than FTSE100 executives, simply to survive. Why are they guzzling grapes while we have to cope with cucumber?
According to Russell (again), “studies show that [this inherent sense of fairness is] less pronounced in environments where people are exposed to a lot of marketing.”
So all that “Buy this – it’ll make you sexy” advertising is actually telling you that it’s okay to have more – and better – than the next person. If it’s okay for you, then you have to accept that it’s okay for someone else to have more – and better – than you. Right?
Well, is it?
And if it isn’t, what are you going to do about it? Bend over and wait for someone to stick a cucumber up your “less amenable orifice” – as usual?
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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