The Public Responce to Obscene Compensation
The extravagant compensations of some executive officers present a revolting spectacle to a large proportion of the public. Especially when these managers are only there in transition. We have all heard the argument that senior executives are paid according to the market. However, we must stress that many employees not only in Western countries, but around the World, have seen their wages and purchase power stagnate for the past 20 years. And we must also consider that we have entered an era of "full transparency" in which information on compensation of the board of directors and the senior management of a company is promptly leaked by the press. Having said that, it is hard to deny that excessive individual compensation reinforces the feeling of inequality across our societies. By contrast, however, in the public debate one seldom hears that remuneration for artists or athletes is too high. It is a fact that the stratospherical compensations of movie stars or sports stars are very rarely criticized by citizens or media. How do we explain this perception gap ? There is no clear answer to this question. How should we interprete this contradiction ? The following is one answer : artist and sport figures can make people dream. Senior managers seldom do. But obviously it is not as simple as that. Psychologists and sociologists must still work on this matter.