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10 highest-paid billionaire CEOs

Stress levels may be high at the top, but so is the compensation. These chief executives netted the most total pay last year.

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219Comments
Apr 11, 2013 10:02AM
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Americans are getting what they deserve......we collectively permit this insanity to continue.

 

Back in the 50's, 60's, 70's when I was a kid mom stayed at home raising all of us while dad was the breadwinner.  His pay was fine, the benefits appropriate, the stress of the job was minimal, prices of goods and services were reasonable, dad's retirement was guaranteed, medical care was top notch and the doctor even made house calls.  And not surprisingly the CEO's of the companies lived in the same neighborhoods, they just had a bigger house, they were one of us (not some golden castle like they have now).

 

Then the 80's arrived and greed and power took over and a whole lot of propaganda was introduced to reshape our thinking, and we allowed it and that's what we now have. 

 

We know what we have to do reverse the course we are on, but we don't want to vote "our" Senator or Representative out of office, just the other guy.  We know we have to publically finance elections like European countries do so Politicians are not puppets to the Trans-National Corporations.  We see and feel the income disparity that exists but we say and do nothing about it.  We know we tend to listen to the "talking heads" and their propaganda too much and we are too lazy to research all sides of an issue for the truth.  We know we need to put our foot down when politicians want to wage war but we remain silent. 

We know what we must do.....we just don't want to get involved.

Apr 10, 2013 9:34PM
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Back in the day, companies took care of and appreciated there employees. Companies did not have to pay these CEOs such an outrageous amount of pay and options.  Companies now sh1t on employees and pay these idiots outrageous pay and stock options. 
Apr 10, 2013 9:57PM
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And we wonder what is wrong in this country !
Apr 11, 2013 3:01AM
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It is all about corporate greed.  It has always been about corporate greed.
Apr 10, 2013 11:52PM
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Sometimes I wonder why MSN runs these articles once every week or so:

 - is it to shove it in our face to make us feel inadequate?
 - is it to rile us up ? Just finding a job that pays a living wage is tough these days!
 - or is it just to show the reality of what has happened between the middle class and the highest income earners?

Personally I'm okay with people who are logically compensated for doing a great job - however, when they are compensated even though they tanked a company, that p*ses me off! And even worse are the ones who lay off a bunch of employees just to reduce their overhead costs and consider that a company "win"!

....but the saddest part of all of this is that there really are people who are starving in the USA, there are people who are really homeless, there are people who have been looking for a job for a few years now since the crash....and yet we have people who are mega-millionaires and billionaires, some of whom have advised our government to balance the budget by taking away a percentage of Social Security - of course this would only hurt the little people who have worked hard and paid into it all of their lives, while these big shots wouldn't miss it.

Apr 11, 2013 10:56AM
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Make good money for running a successful company...sure.  Make enough money to fund a third world country for a year...too much.
Apr 11, 2013 9:07AM
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Is anybody really worth that much??? Come on lets get real here people. Firemen, cops, our military, all put there lives on the line to protect us every day, and people like this make them make how much money ? How many Doctors made Forbe's list? Hell, the President of the United States of America makes a fraction of what these clowns make ! No I'm not suggesting that Mr. Obama should be paid more. He's already making too much also !
Apr 11, 2013 10:51AM
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It's easy to say that we all have opportunities and all it takes is initiative and hard work and we can become millionaires as well.

But that logic is very flawed.  There are some 300 million people in this country alone.  lets say tha tomorrow we all wake up ambitious and proceed to take initiative to become millionaires.  So who will serve us food in the restaurant, wash the dishes, fix our cars, do our landscaping, clean the toilets, etc... It is imposible for everyone to become a millionaire.

I am by no means rich, I make about 100K per year and am in my mid 50's.  I can tell you that when I was in my 20's and making 12K-15K a year I had more disposable cash and could afford to do more things then than I can now.  So, I feel for the people who do the menial jobs, someone has to, knowing that their quality of life just keeps spiraling down.  I do warn you though, we the middle class and lower class people are still the vast majority and one of these days we will wake up and say 'enough'

Apr 11, 2013 12:09AM
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See, and this is why so many CEOs are losing sight of making a company truly innovative and well-respected VS. only caring what investors and their boards of directors think....it's low level and short term thinking to put so much focus on the stock price and not enough on the company's vision and future.

QUOTE: "Stress levels may be high at the top, but so is the compensation." END QUOTE

Ha ha ha!
Are you implying that some of the common-folks don't have high stress levels at work?
But we still get paid average to low salaries....micro-fractions of what these guys get paid.

Doctors who save lives don't even get paid anywhere near what these guys get compensated with their stock gains and bonuses.
Apr 20, 2013 8:27PM
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these are probably the one's complaining about giving health benefits to their employees
Apr 11, 2013 3:23AM
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The answer to fixing the economy (and business success) is making sure all employees have real incentive by tying their success to that of the corporation as a whole.   Scary concept, I know, but  anything less creates an atmosphere of "us vs. them" between management and "workers". 

When everyone is truly on the same team - amazing things happen.  "Worker bees" start holding each other accountable and begin looking for ways to improve efficiency, and profit margins. Without being asked,  the janitor stays an extra 3 hours buffing the lobby floor to mirror shine the night before a potentially huge customer visits. Slackers are questioned by coworkers when production is running behind...   etc... etc....   

Unfortunately, when CEO's get multi-million severance packages for running a company into the ground - something is seriously wrong.   This is the "other" entitlement problem that the Republican party is unwilling to address, due to the greed/elitism that is at the core of the problem.   It is also the reason they failed in the last 2 elections.   

Companies aren't in business to "take care" of their employees.   However, if they are truly interested in success, they should be equally interested in "taking care" of ALL employees who ARE good for their business.  

But apparently, this idea is a bit too complicated for most Ivy league MBA's to process.  Much better to reward a fancy sheepskin and golfing/drinking/skirt-chasing abilities than actual job performance. Maybe the curriculum's behind those fancy business degrees skipped a few key history lessons like the French revolution,  Marxism, or the labor movement.

And here we are with today's current political climate (big surprise).





Apr 27, 2013 9:22PM
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The companies claim they need to hold pay raises at 3 % for employees to remain competitive.  Than as soon as the company is profitable the board awards the CEO the money / earned income that really was created by paying the employees under market value.  The 1 % has made untold billions while the workers who generated the value and wealth have seen their pay relative to market value decrease every year for the past 30 years....
Apr 10, 2013 9:27PM
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After reading this we should be outraged.I hear Republicans on Fox saying the minimum

wage should be dropped.Robber barrons could care less about the common man.Let

them eat cake.

Apr 11, 2013 11:20AM
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End the carried interest tax loophole for these CEOs and financial firms.
Apr 10, 2013 10:27PM
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It really is an insult to Adam Smith when we call this capitalism.
Apr 11, 2013 11:33AM
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Well duh- the biggest tax loophole ever. Investors pay the lowest percentage of taxes, while the rest of us fools have to pay the highest income tax in this nation's history (I blame both Dems and Reps who claim if they tax investment returns, people will stop investing and that will somehow be bad. Not sure how, but it would be bad they say. Ok, I lied, I do know how- it will hurt their wallets since they are among the biggest investors). However, at least this way a CEO's "paycheck" is a derrivative of the company's well being (sort of). Granted they can lay off the entire workforce to create a larger bottom line, but that can only last so long. It does, however, promote outsourcing all those jobs to non-US companies who pay their employees dirt cheap (like manufacturing in China and call centers in India). Want to fix the economy? Lower income tax for all, increase investment return taxes (feel free to make them all the same- a Republican presidential-wannabe suggested 9% for all which isn't a bad idea in the least- too bad he couldn't have been honest about his sex life- wait, what business was that of ours again? Oh yeah, it would have fixed the economy and prevented politicians from raping us citizens further so we can't have that at all, now can we?), raise taxes on imports, and impose taxes on imported services.
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To answer the question of the absurd compensation defenders : "Why do people claim greed is the issue"?

Start by looking at the base pay and then the stock compensation.

This is simply a method of taking a benefit PURCHASED at the expense of our equality (tax loophole) to pay FAR LESS TAXES than the average man is ever going to be in a position to use EQUALLY! As in  35% for us peons and 12-16% for those in a position to THWART EQUALITY OF LAW!

If these big wig  and corporate bizarre and completely unfair loopholes were not in use over the last 2 decades our nation and our economy would be in a position that left far less feeling screwed!

Apr 11, 2013 5:06AM
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Why is Rupert Murdoch on the list? He should have been removed in the wake of the last scandal.

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