Bibbidi Bobbidi Watch Abigail Disney And Maxine Waters Eat The Rich BOO!
Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt's brother Roy (the one with business sense), is scheduled to testify this morning at 10:00 Eastern on CEO compensation and income inequality before the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Maxine Waters. You should tune in! Or whatever the -in verb is for watching a webcast.
Ms. Disney isn't at all uncomfortable about trading on her famous name to draw attention to what she happily calls the "insane" gap between executive pay and average worker compensation. She's even called out the pay package for Disney CEO Bob Iger, who got $65 million last year in pay and bonuses -- she says she likes Iger just fine as a human being, but come on, nobodyneeds that much money.
In a Washington Post op-ed in April, Disney -- who's careful to point out that she speaks only for herself, #NotAllDisneys -- said she had to "speak out about the naked indecency of chief executive Robert Iger's pay" in a Twitter thread that went viral -- probably because her last name is Disney, "not Proctor or Gamble." As she points out, the Disney brand is "powered by emotion and sentiment and, yes, something as fundamental as the difference between right and wrong."
So instead of looking like the corporate villains who want to tear up the beloved city park, wouldn't it make more sense for Disney to "lead the way, if its leaders so chose, to a more decent, humane way of doing business"? Unfortunately, says Disney, that's not currently the case:
According to Equilar, Iger took home more than $65 million in 2018. That's 1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker. To put that gap in context, in 1978, the average CEO made about 30 times a typical worker's salary. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 937 percent, while the pay of an average worker grew just 11.2 percent.
This growth in inequality has affected every corner of American life. We are increasingly a lopsided, barbell nation, where the middle class is shrinking, a very few, very affluent people own a great deal and the majority have relatively little. What is more, as their wealth has grown, the super-rich have invested heavily in politicians, policies and social messaging to pad their already grotesque advantages.
And in the company that made her a very wealthy woman, the response to 2017's Big Fat Tax Cuts For Rich Fuckwads was much the same as in the rest of corporate America. Sure, she notes, The Mouse gave thousand-dollar bonuses to 125,000 employees, and isn't that nice? $125 million is a lot of money, how generous! But beyond that nice window dressing, the real money went elsewhere: The corporation plowed $3.6 billion into stock buybacks, to increase the share price for its investors. And in the meantime, many of the company's lowest-paid workers have trouble making ends meet -- Disney (the corp, not the lady) likes to point out it pays more than the minimum wage, but its parks are located in places with a high cost of living. Abigail Disney also notes that the corporation quietly bankrolled opposition to a $15 minimum wage law in Anaheim, California. The law passed anyway.
Instead of piracy, how about some fairness, she suggested. Taking half of Disney execs' bonuses and giving the money to the lowest-paid 10 percent of Disney workers would vastly improve those workers' lives, and have no discernible impact on the executives' quality of life -- they might have to settle for a smaller yacht, maybe.
Disney will testify at 10 a.m. Eastern as part of a hearing on income inequality; watch it here. Hell, we can't imagine the committee's Republicans can be any more clueless and rude than the idiots on this CNBC panel in March, who constantly interrupted her and tried to imply she's crazy for wanting to tax the rich. How can you be such a terrible class traitor, Ms. Disney?
The US must make structural changes by taxing the wealthy, says Disney Heiresswww.youtube.com
And yes, they seriously asked her, if she's so worried about income inequality, why doesn't she give most of her wealth to charity. Fortunately, she knows what structural inequality is, and pointed out,
If your CEO salary is at the 700, 600, 500 times your median workers' pay, there is nobody on Earth, Jesus Christ himself isn't worth 500 times his median workers' pay.
She'll do fine with a bunch of congresspeople.
[WaPo / CNBC / House Committee on Financial Services]
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