It should come as no surprise that corporations fail to share the wealth with the workers who create it.
This summer, we’ve seen more and more headlines documenting a trend that should come as no surprise to our readers: Corporations are failing to share the wealth with the workers who create it. Indeed, even with the enormous corporate tax savings from last year’s Trump tax cut, wages for U.S. workers are, as Bloomberg reports, “dramatically deteriorating.”

What’s driving corporate pay scales so increasingly off kilter? A new report from the Economic Policy Institute can shed some light. Average CEO pay at America’s top 350 firms, the new EPI study finds, skyrocketed in 2017 to $18.9 million, increasing over the course of the year nearly 60 times faster than worker pay. We have details on the new EPI research — and lots more — in this week’s issue.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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The Taxi Workers Who Took on Uber and Won
Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have poured more than $1 million this year into lobbying New York City officials. But that influx of cash couldn’t compete with the dedication of the city’s cab drivers. After years of agitating for ride-sharing regulations to protect their livelihoods, New York cab drivers have finally won the first vehicle cap on ride-sharing companies in the United States. The win couldn’t have come soon enough. A recent spate of suicides among the city’s cab drivers has underscored the urgency of their fight. Negin Owliaei has more on the working conditions of New York’s cab drivers and the long struggle behind their landmark triumph.
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Says a Cable-TV Billionaire: No More Apologizing!
The 77-year-old billionaire John Malone, Bloomberg reports, is busy reflecting on his legacy. The pay-TV mogul seems to fancy himself a modern-day Otto von Bismarck. Back in the 19th century, old Otto unified feuding principalities into the modern German state. In the 20th century, Malone turned a fragmented cable TV industry into a virtually unregulated corporate oligopoly. That deed left him fabulously rich. Now he’s spending his fortune “as he pleases,” becoming, in the process, America’s largest landowner. Malone is enjoying himself royally “because it’s your money and you don’t have to apologize to the public, the shareholders, the media, or anybody.” Noticeably missing from Malone’s reflections: any ruminations of where his money came from. Malone’s cable-TV industry wrote the textbook on monopoly pricing and has been squeezing consumers at every turn for decades. Al Gore once compared him, at a Senate hearing, to “Darth Vader.” That label still fits.
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Excessive CEO Pay? The Market Made Them Do It
In 2017, notes a just-released new report from the Economic Policy Institute, CEOs of the 350 largest firms in the United States averaged $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6 percent hike over 2016. Worker pay, meanwhile, rose a mere 0.3 percent. What explains Corporate America’s continuing generosity to America’s top chief executives? Apologists for our contemporary over-the-top CEO compensation point to the market. co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of the just-published The Case for a Maximum Wage, points us to a more likely culprit.
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This Week On 

Tom Burgess, How We Can Make the Economy Work for All Stakeholders. “Social offsetting” could help us turn around an economic system where wealth gets created by the many, accumulated by just a precious few.

Jessicah Pierre, You’ve Heard of the Gender Pay Gap, but There’s More. It takes the typical black woman 20 months to earn what a white male worker earns in a single year.

Katie Parker, Amazon’s Worst Bargain Yet. The retail behemoth wants your local government's business, but there's a hidden cost to low prices: Local businesses get shut out.

Bob Lord, About Those Low CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios. This year’s historic new CEO-worker pay gap disclosures have revealed a handful of big companies with modest internal pay gaps. Should we be applauding?

Elsewhere on the web 

Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, The enemy between us: how inequality erodes our mental health, Open Democracy. An epidemic of distress is gripping some of the richest nations in the world.

William Wan, Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates, Washington Post. A compelling review of recent research.

Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano, and Stefanie Stantcheva, Misperceptions about immigration and support for redistribution, Vox. How stereotypes about immigration end up helping the rich avoid higher taxes.

Paul Street, Our ‘Rentier Capitalism’ Is One More Nail in Earth’s Coffin, Truthdig. Our plutocracy’s concentration of wealth and power into ever fewer hands has plunged ever more of us into the precariat.

Peter Walsh, Michael Peck, and Ibon Zugasti, Why the U.S. Needs More Worker-Owned Companies, Harvard Business Review. Worker buyouts are blossoming in industries with organized workers.
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