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08/17/2015

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Good point Dan. Thanks for reminding us how complex the issue is.

And equally to the point, once you get past the F500, there's a steep decline in CEO pay.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, the median annual wage for Chief Executives is $173,320.

Agree with all those points but the details get muddy. Believe the BLS OES survey referenced by Tony doesn't specify the precise number paid by any employer but instead only asks for headcounts by category bracket, per http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/st070010_figures.pdf. Note the top bracket is $70/hr. The estimates BLS makes from the surveyed sample do not include size-dimensioned results, either. Think their CEO median is a guess based on a projection from a sample counting those earning over ~$150,000. Unless I'm wrong, of course...

Regardless, precision is pretty irrelevant anyway to those only seeking an emotional sound bite about relative "unfairness."

"I hope people stop distracting the public with false solutions."

Sadly, false solutions are often what get politicians elected, and more importantly (to them), re-elected. A few minutes of pandering to base emotions can easily undo hours of logical examination of the facts.

I don't have a perfect solution, either. As a country we do a poor job of teaching basic economics in the public schools. Lessening the general economic ignorance of the citizenry will take decades of improved education in order to make it much harder to distract the public. But that's probably a good place to start.

"Think their CEO median is a guess based on a projection from a sample counting those earning over ~$150,000."

Jim - are you (GASP/feebly reaches for smelling salts) implying that we can't trust the government?

Oh, they are quite honest and forthcoming in their detailed statistical methodology, Tony. The Technical Notes include details about such interesting approaches as "hot deck" estimate imputation. About 25% of enterprises surveyed do not respond, so they routinely insert another copy of a "nearest neighbor" response to create a fake submission to meet their required statistical quota.

BLS is very open about the fudging, but who reads statistical notes? Reporters sure don't.

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