After forty years of rising income and wealth inequality, some of America's rich seem worried that maybe things have gone too far. In a recent New York Times Op Ed (August 9), for example, Peter Georgescu, CEO emeritus of the multinational public relations firm, Young and Rubicon, wrote that he is "scared" of a backlash that might lead to social unrest or "oppressive taxes."
The Times was so impressed with such enlightened views from this prominent capitalist that a few days later they devoted another long article with his answers to questions submitted by readers.
We should, I suppose, be grateful that Georgescu seems to understand that the gap between the rising value of what American workers produce and the stagnation of their wages has channeled the benefits of economic growth to shareholders (and, he might have added, but didn't, corporate CEOs). But if you are waiting for him and other members of his class to get serious about the problem, don't hold your breath.
Georgescu writes that he would like to see corporations pay their workers a fair wage. But with few exceptions, they don't. He doesn't tell us why, but the reason is obvious -- paying workers less has made their owners and top executives rich.
So, what to do?More ...