This statistic raises two issues.

First, the minimum wage: owners argue that raising the minimum wage deprives a company of profits, and costs jobs in the long run. This position becomes indefensible upon discovery that executives have increased their take of the corporate profits from 22 to 61 percent. In the end, CEOs are compensated workers just like everyone else, so raising their pay should have the same effects as raising the minimum wage of employees. Reducing the executive take to normal levels would free up the funds necessary for raising the minimum wage. Perhaps the most enlightened approach to this issue is the one adopted by Ben and Jerry's, Inc. There, executives who seek to raise their own salaries are contractually obligated to raise everyone's pay in the company by the same percentage. The wave of the future?

Second, this statistic refutes one of the claims of supply-side theory. The supply-siders claimed that reducing taxes would give entrepreneurs more to invest, which would create jobs and raise productivity, allowing them to pay more taxes even at lower rates. However, this statistic shows that executives over the decades have chosen simply to pocket the money rather than invest it. If they were true supply-siders, they would cut the percentage of their own compensation, which would create jobs and raise productivity, allowing them to receive more compensation even at lower rates, etc. The fact that executives fail to do this proves that they really do not believe in the supply-side idea, or at least do not respond to liberated profits in the way that supply-siders imagine. One thing is virtually certain. If the government had increased its take of corporate profits from 22 to 61 percent, executives would decry this raid on the corporate till as "anti-business." Apparently, however, the practice is acceptable when it is executives who are doing the raiding.

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