Let’s look at what has happened to wages over the last 35 years. In 1975 the average business paid their CEO about 9 per cent of their total payroll and the other 91 percent was paid to their employees. Visualize it this way, in 1975 if a company had  100 employees, and its payroll was \$10,000,000, the CEO got 9 percent (\$900,000) and the other 91 percent went to the other 99 employees for an average of \$92,000 each. In 2010 a company that had a payroll of \$10,000,000 paid their CEO 20 percent (\$2,000,000) instead of 9 percent. This leaves 80 percent for the rest of the employees, so the average salary became \$89,000.

Let’s look at what has happened to wages over the last 35 years. In 1975 the average business paid their CEO about 9 per cent of their total payroll and the other 91 percent was paid to their employees. Visualize it this way, in 1975 if a company had  100 employees, and its payroll was \$10,000,000, the CEO got 9 percent (\$900,000) and the other 91 percent went to the other 99 employees for an average of \$92,000 each. In 2010 a company that had a payroll of \$10,000,000 paid their CEO 20 percent (\$2,000,000) instead of 9 percent. This leaves 80 percent for the rest of the employees, so the average salary became \$89,000.
The Bush recession and less that stellar management resulted in companies like this one facing huge debts so they begin cutting costs and eliminating pension and health insurance for the workers but leaving the CEO’s benefits untouched.
This fictitious company seems to be the model for our nation. The richest one percent now get 20 percent of total national income, compared to the 9 percent they received in the 70s. Even though our income has dropped, wrong-way Republicans in Congress and state legislatures are bent on making sure American working people get an even smaller percentage of that pie.
Balancing the budget solely on the backs of American workers is wrong. They did not pocket the money from the investment and housing scams that have depleted the pension funds and increased our national debt. Not only are the real culprits getting to keep their ill gotten gains, thanks to the Republicans the Bush tax cuts for the rich were handed out to them again.
How any legislator can vote to lower pension and salary benefits for our public employees who provide so many necessary services is also beyond me. This is happening because public employees are easy targets not because the financial mess we are in was in anyway caused by their salaries and benefits. Republicans repeatedly say public employees make more money than private workers. This tactic is a blatant attempt to create jealousy and divide working people so they will work against each other instead of the people who actually caused the problem. That’s immoral in my book.

Jo Davis,
Shawnee