Paper Chase: You See What A College Degree Means?
Consumer spending slowed as retail sales were flat in April. This is important because consumers make up 2/3 of the economy.
Verizon has bought AOL for 4.4 billion dollars looking to pull in ad revenue from their online and mobile presence. In 2000, AOL and Time Warner merged for 350 billion.
Get Your Degree
Printing and publishing companies had the least educated S&P 500 CEOs. Only 91% held bachelor degrees. It’s obvious that, should you choose to work for a company and aspire to rise through its ranks instead of working for yourself, you will need a college degree.
It certainly can’t be argued that the rules concerning the economy have been “shifted” to benefit the top as opposed to (some would say at the expense of) the middle and the bottom. Pay for the top has gone through the roof while pay for the middle and bottom has only slowly, moderately risen. Income for the typical worker has declined since 1989. Minimum wage is not going up, workers wages haven’t gone up, all while CEOs benefit from rules ensuring they profit whether the company does well or not.
When you include all CEOs, they make on average 80 times what their workers make. All executives make on average four times what non-executive workers make.
It can be argued that median household income is up 40% since 1980, but most can agree an 80 to 1 ratio is too high. While compliant boards, lack of unionization, and minimum wage are all to blame, technology and globalization are the biggest culprit in my opinion. We have bigger, global companies where highly educated CEOs can leverage their skills to compete across the world.
Other countries, such as Australia, Canada, and Sweden do a better job of sustaining higher income gains for workers. On the other hand we allow CEOs “performance” pay (which are not performance based at all but simply backdating stock options) which allows the companies themselves to take advantage of tax breaks.
Damaging To The Economy
Now, the very wealthy have disproportionate political power so they can, for example, cut taxes for themselves instead of invest in infrastructure or education. This policy has dramatically affected demand. Ordinary citizens with stagnant incomes went into great deals of debt to buy houses, yet another middle class item that is now unaffordable for the middle class. The change in income distribution has contributed greatly to the stagnation of the middle class.
This can only be combatted by a highly educated workforce, creating startups and new products. American citizens must prepare themselves to compete in a market that is now global, while simultaneously rising to run companies that treat there workers fairly and equitably. Both paths are augmented by graduating from college.