Tax Day study: U.S. has largest pay gap in world


The new executive pay watch, prepared by the AFL-CIO, was released on Tax Day and shows that the world’s largest pay gap exists in the United States, where CEOsof the largest companies made 354 times the average income of the average rank-and-file worker.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said the pay gap is by far the widest in the world. In 2012, CEOs received on average $12.3 million while the average rank-and-file worker took home around $34,645, according to Trumka, who said the new data confirms CEO-to-worker pay disparities have increased dramatically over the past several decades.

Thirty years ago, CEOs were paid 42 times that of rank-and-file workers in the U.S.

For Wisconsin, the AFL-CIO survey shows:

• The average CEO pay was $4,907,639 in 2012.

• Average worker pay in 2012 in Wisconsin was $38,869.

The union’s Executive PayWatch is the most comprehensive searchable online database that tracks CEO pay at S&P 500 companies.

In addition to the new data, Trumka said PayWatch explores how CEO-backed groups such as the Business Roundtable and Fix the Debt are “drumming up a deficit scare to conceal their efforts to get more tax cuts for corporations, while hacking at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits for working people.”

Trumka said, “American chief executives continued to do very well for themselves last year, while workers struggle to make ends meet. We are calling out the hypocrisy of rich CEOs who have the gall to ask for corporate tax cuts to be paid for by squeezing the retirement security of working America. The American public deserves to know the truth about their self-serving agenda.”

Closing a corporate tax loophole that allows U.S. multinational companies to avoid taxation on overseas profits would raise $42 billion in new revenue in 2013 alone, according to the AFL-CIO.

PayWatch also contains a Mutual Fund Votes Survey, which examines votes cast by the largest mutual fund families regarding CEO pay to help investors compare how mutual fund families voted on compensation issues, and a map that allows users to compare and contrast CEO pay ratios of top executives.

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