CEOs call for wage increases for workers! What's the catch?

Peter Georgescu has a message he wants America's corporate and political elites to hear: "I'm scared," he said in a recent New York Times" op-ed.

Peter Georgescu has a message he wants America’s corporate and political elites to hear: “I’m scared,” he said in a recent New York Times” op-ed.

He adds that Paul Tudor Jones is scared, too, as is Ken Langone, and they’re trying to get the Powers That Be to pay attention to their urgent concerns. But wait – these three are Powers That Be. Georgescu is former head of Young& Rubicam, one of the worlds largest PR and advertising firms; Jones is a quadruple-billionaire hedge fund operator; and Langone is a founder of Home Depot.

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What is scaring these powerful peers of the corporate plutocracy? Inequality. Yes, amazingly, these actual occupiers of Wall Street say they share Occupy Wall Street’s critical analysis of America’s widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us. “We are creating a caste system from which its almost impossible to escape,” Georgescu wrote, not only trapping the poor, but also “those on the higher end of the middle class.”

Of course, their concern is not driven by moral outrage, but by self-interest: “We are concerned where income inequality will lead,” he said. Specifically, he warned that the present path will lead to social unrest or, (horror of horrors) “oppressive taxes” on the superrich.

Motivation aside, Georgescu does comprehend that society must “Invest in the actual value creators – the employees.” How? With “a wage that enables employees to share amply in productivity increases and creative innovations.” He adds that nearly all corporate chieftains agree on the need to compensate employees better.

Great! So they’ll just do it, right? Uh… no. The CEOs say that to get them to pay more to workers they need the government to – guess what? – give tax breaks to their corporations to subsidize any wage increases. Good grief – these guys put the “sin” in cynical.

“Capitalists, Arise: We Need To Deal With Income Inequality,” The New York Times, August 7, 2015.

“How to Help the Middle Class: To The Editor,” The New York Times, August 17, 2015.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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