Executive Pay: What do curbs on excessive pay really mean?

Class warfare shirt
Class warfare shirt 2 W
hat do the pay cuts for top executives at bailed-out firms mean? Is it really about values—an offense to a sense of fairness or equity or propriety?
   

The U.S. Treasury Department is halving the compensation of top executives at firms that were bailed out, as I described yesterday. (Scroll down to see Monday’s post.) The Federal Reserve is considering measures that will affect many more firms.

Some critics think the curbs on excessive pay are just meant to appease angry taxpayers. They only serve to divert attention away from the lack of real progress on deep reform of the financial system.

How about class warfare and the erosion of American liberty? Ideas like that are popping up in various corners of our cultural landscape, again. It’s not just on T-shirts. Here’s what the blog “The Real Revo” argued:

You know what offends my values? A … president wallowing around in the sewer of class warfare. It won’t affect my life one iota if these executives continue to get their big paychecks. Here is what will affect my life: A government that fans the flames of petty jealousy of the ignorant in order to gain even more power over the private sector. Don’t believe for a second that the insatiable will be satisfied controlling the wages of those who work for firms that took public money. Oh no, that is just the start. They believe their power to be limitless and they are never going to stop consuming liberty.” (Read the entire post here.)

What do you think?

Is all the concern about excessive pay just papering over the real issues?

Another case of government meddling in the market?

Or even class warfare?

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