RE: `capitalist' character values --> CEO salaries

From: Reason (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 04:02:41 MDT

> >> Ahem, I'm not getting the idea across. Choosing with
> >> 'dollar-votes' is libertarian-speak for free choice
> >> made through purchasing power.
> >
> > But before people go shopping with their wads of money grasped firmly in
> > their fists, somebody, somewhere decides CEOs' salaries. Somebody,
> > somewhere decides that sanitation workers (who perform an
> important function
> > for our society) receive a lot less money than physicians (who
> also perform
> > an important function for our society).
> The CEOs' salaries are determined by the board of directors,
> composed of people acting in their own self-interest. The
> salaries of sanitation workers should be decided by the
> market, in the sense that the jobs should be offered to
> whatever people competant to take them who'll work for the
> least. (That's how my job is; if I'd asked for too much
> money, my job would instead have gone to someone almost as
> competant, but who'd work for less.) Now labor unions do
> complicate things: they get a lock on jobs, and won't let
> other potential workers come in who'd do the job for less.
> Physician salaries are also market driven, except that the
> doctors have gotten together and used the power of government
> (force, remember) to prevent anyone from practicing medicine
> that they don't approve of.

There's a good article in a recent Fortune on this topic:

It all comes back to the old basic thing: there are regulations in place
that create an artificial market that can be manipulated in certain ways. A
bit to do with secrets, a bit to do with human nature, a bit to do with
regulatory stupidity. That and people with power will always be people with
power. No great shock.


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