The Washington Post article by Peter Whoriskey talks about how the gap between the “have’s” and the “have not’s” has grown in the past 40 years. The main target in this article being CEO’s and how much they are compensated in both salary and incentives. One part that struck me the most in the article was that one of the reasons behind the huge percentage increase in compensation was that society no longer deems greed as bad. I think this is a crucial part of the problem.
If we take a look at our society, what do we see? Athletes are making millions of dollars to play sports. Movie stars are buying $20 million homes. CEO’s are taking private jets to travel the world. Paris Hilton is spending tens of thousands of dollars on clothing alone. How does all of this effect our society? I think people have gotten used to seeing excess on TV and out in the world. So much so, that we don’t even think twice when someone buys a car for $250k…and it’s their third. I think people see all of this wealth and become desensitized. People still think it’s unfair, but because they are surrounded by it they don’t think to challenge the system besides for a few grumbles.
If we are to fix the wealth disparity in America, we need to fix society’s view on wealth. Having reality TV shows showing wealthy families buying whatever they want and not caring about the cost is just not sending the right message. Before we can start pointing fingers at CEO’s and their salaries, we need to look at ourselves and how we have allowed society to get to the point it has.