Top earners

The tired old defence of fat cat pay has now become so familiar that it goes largely unchallenged (“Top earners: Why did the 1% get so rich?”). 

“Employers seek to attract… the very best,” says Brian Keeley, repeating it verbatim, as if the astonishing pay gaps seen in today’s labour market were an inevitable consequence of a large number of firms fighting over a small number of superhuman business leaders: a simple question of supply and demand. In practice, however, this law applies only to the CEO’s mates in the boardroom. At every other level, the organisation will revert instinctively to the axiomatic rule of economics that one attempts to get as much as possible in return for as little as possible. Any analysis of income inequality must expose the disingenuous excuses of interested parties for what they are if it is to be useful.

Yours faithfully,

Juliet Davies

Letter to the editor on “Top earners: Why did the 1% get so rich?”, from OECD Observer No 306 Q2 2016

©OECD Observer No 307 Q3 2016




Economic data

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Last update: 11 March 2020

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