Remove the Blinkers

Cape Times (South Africa), August 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Remove the Blinkers


The thrust of MG Warburg's argument (August 15), in response to my article, "The growing wage gap will be our next battlefield" (August 13), seems to be that it is alright for the highly paid to get as much out of the free market system as possible without concern for the needs of the unemployed, and that those in lower- paid jobs should make sacrifices and suppress their needs in favour of those of the unemployed.

Why this should be the case is an unsubstantiated claim that CEOs are paid what they are worth due to the "shortage of top-level internationally marketable skills". The free market, however, does not decide the salaries of executives and CEOs. They do. And they do so in closed board meetings as much as they decide costs of employment of millions of workers in our economy. Some far-sighted business analysts also see the exponential rise of executive pay as a problem for our economy.

Trade unions are showing their readiness to tackle unfair practices and will, sooner or later, develop specific corporate governance models of how they can have a say in issues of remuneration - not only for their members but for executives as well. …

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