Today is May 1st, a date that has a long history for being a time of celebration and of the rallying together of workers.
The New York Times reports that in Europe, the crowds of workers out today are frustrated and angry about their loss of jobs and retirement savings while at the same time corporate executive make out like bandits.
Yes, I said bandits. A 2008 report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy found the following:
CEOs in the United States, despite our current hard economic times, continue to pocket outlandishly large pay packages. S&P 500 CEOs last year averaged $10.5 million, 344 times the pay of typical American workers.Compensation levels for private investment fund managers soared even further out into the pay stratosphere. Last year, the top 50 hedge and private equity fund managers averaged $588 million each, more than 19,000 times as much as typical U.S.workers earned.Given the distortions in the economy, it is only fair that President Obama's agenda is implemented: tax cuts for the middle class, health care reform, help for folks who want to attend college, and so on.
Solidarity! and don't forget on this May Day to celebrate the end of winter and our turning towards warm and sunny weather.