|Source: AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch|
Last year a security guard was trampled in a suburban New York Wal-Mart by frenzied shoppers, this year there's a new twist to the shopping game. Some woman pepper sprayed fellow shoppers over an Xbox at a suburban Los Angeles Wal-Mart. Really!? She must have really, really wanted that X-box.
When I hear crazy stories like this, it makes me wonder if there is some kind of medical diagnoses for people who camp out in front of stores for days or who get up at 3 am to shop the Black Friday sales. If I can't buy it during regular store hours, I don't really need it. People lose their minds around the holidays; they are meaner, more aggressive. I won't be going out until after the New Year, it's much safer and pleasant once the holidays are over.
I'm not much of a shopper but I am proud to say I have not shopped at a Wal-Mart in more than ten years. Sure the low prices are very seductive especially in these economic times but they still aren't enough of an inducement for me to shop there. From hiring illegal workers to discrimination lawsuits, Wal-Mart is the best of the worst.
I remember back in the day when Sam Walton was alive they used to tout American made goods now all they do is sell cheap goods made at some factory/prison in China. Not much gets made in America these days. The cost of American labor is too expensive and healthcare costs are prohibitive so they say but it's really all about profit. Exploiting the labor force to the fullest extent while maximizing pay and bonuses to CEOs.
The disparity between CEO salaries and worker salaries has never been wider. In 2010, CEO salaries increased by 27% while their companies earnings remained flat. CEO compensation isn't always linked to company performance or earnings. Pay increases for workers is usually tied to their performance unlike CEOs. Your company could be losing money, but you don't have to worry about getting a pay cut. It's a different world for CEOs. The average raise for workers is about 3% which is not even enough to keep up with inflation. Something is wrong with this picture.