• August 10, 2022
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      Steven P. Vairma

      Steve Vairma's Column:

      The Economy:  Time to change the rules

      Statistics show that the American economy is out of whack, giving the wizards of Wall Street and corporate predators inordinate power over the working class of men and women.

      This is not new.  The lopsided economy has been with us for many decades, perhaps even before Robin Hood, who robbed the rich and gave to the poor, was dead and gone.

      A current example, though, starts with a question:  How much did you get out of our besmirched former president's tax cut?

      Certainly not much compared to the president himself and other billionaires who pocked about 80 percent of the reduction, and most of them don't pay U.S. taxes in the first place.

      Many workers believed the legislative tax relief would make a big difference in their weekly paycheck.  It didn't.  But, by the time they entered the voting booth, some had forgotten the president's sorry record of cheating working men and women.

      The AFL-CIO's Executive Pay Watch tracks the financial disparity between bosses and workers.

      In 2020, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $15.5 million in total compensation.  The average S&P 500 company CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 299-to-1.

      The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is important.  A higher pay ratio could be a sign that companies suffer from a winner-take-all philosophy where executives reap the lion's share of compensation.  A lower pay ratio could indicate the companies are dedicated to creating high wages.

      But, as Executive Pay Watch says:

      "We cannot allow corporate greed to grow unchecked.  We cannot allow the interests of the rich and powerful to dictate policies that have such profound effects on working families.

      "American workers for years stood on the sidelines, left out of the government's economic plans, while Wall Street and the corporations lined their pockets with our labor and ensuring the rules were written to favor them.  We cannot allow corporate greed to grow unchecked.

      Organized labor believes increased accountability and responsibility must be required of corporations and our capital markets.  Unions will continue to campaign for increased corporate accountablity.

      Interests of the rich and powerful shouldn't be allowed to dictate policies that have such profound effects on working families.  America's working people deserve a voice in the rules of our economy.

      Given the statistics, it's hard to believe any worker would argue with that.

      Teamsters Joint Council No. 3 Truck loading up... Water, Diapers, Texas Aid

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