Britain’s top bosses have already pocketed more money in 2014 than the average UK worker will take home this year, according estimations by the think tank High Pay Centre. On average, chief executives in the Financial Times Stock Exchange index of Britain’s 100 biggest public companies earn a total pay package of £4.3million a year, including their salary and bonus while the average worker with a full-time job earns £26,500.
It calculates the boss is earning around £1,100 per hour, based on ‘generous’ assumptions that they work 12-hour days, work three in four weekends and take only 10 days’ holiday a year.
Greedy Bosses are Insensitive to Wage Inequality
The figures suggest that there is no sign that the recent financial crisis has restrained the gold-plated excesses of the boardrooms. In fact, while ordinary workers have seen their incomes squeezed, FTSE 100 company bosses have seen their salaries rise by around 75% over the past decade.
After just two days’ back at their desk following their Christmas holiday (that is on Wednesday 8 of January), Britain’s elite band of chief executives have earned more money than a typical British worker earns in a year. The High Pay Centre think tank has dubbed this pay landmark "Fatcat Wednesday" to draw attention to the gap in earnings where company leaders routinely earn 160 times more than the average employee.
Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, argued that “Fat Cat Wednesday highlights how insensitive big company executives have become…When top bosses take home more in two and a half days than the average worker earns in a year, there is clearly something wrong with the way pay is set for both bosses and workers”.
How Can Someone Justify Their Salary?
So what does the ratio 160:1 for top to average employees imply? Is it because these people work 160 times harder than us, average workers? We mere mortals only work 35 hours a week, but these people work 160 times more hours. And they are 160 times smarter than us. But I think it unlikely that they possess such superhuman gifts.
It is easy to critisise the rewards of those with greater responsibilities without acknowledging the real charisma that differentiates them from others. According to Mashable, CEO’s are a different breed of leader. CEO’s are most likely to be constructively tough-minded, efficient readers of people and calculated risk takers. A Telegraph article has revealed that one in 10 UK CEOs has over 20 years’ experience in the role, which can justify why they earn so much.
Meanwhile, there are always people who earn more than others. In the current capitalist system envying or hating the super-rich is stupid. Being rich is what all rational beings aspire to become. Who is dreaming of working at McDonald’s for the rest of his life? We should aim to move up, getting promotions and earning a load of money. And as soon as we become rich others will be struggling to reach our level and resenting us. Welcome to capitalism’s vicious but somewhat wonderful cycle!