As the wage gap worsens, corporations continue to deny its existence
While using lobbying and human resources to continue holding up corporate executive pay and shareholder payouts
Conversations about the wage gap, the gap between how much women make and how much men make continue to fill the headlines everywhere.
Study: Wage gap in tech persists, with women of color and LGBTQ women most affected
The gender wage gap in the U.S. has been slowly shrinking over the past decades, but in tech and other industries the…
In tech, the wage gender gap worsens for women over time, and it's worst for black women
According to a new study involving more than 120,000 job offers transacted on Hired, a jobs marketplace for tech…
Google hit with revised gender pay lawsuit
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If we were being honest, not expecting corporations to steal from its workers would be ridiculous premise. How do you think we’ve been getting this record profitability and executive pay to happen every year while employee pay has flattened or even declined?
Surely no comment is to be expected here in the bastions of corporate leadership, where we all know the rules of engagement are pay people as little as we can get away with.
The Washington Post talks about this at length:
For years, lawmakers and regulators have struggled with how to rein in the multimillion-dollar pay packages earned by corporate America’s top executives. Despite legislation signed in the 1990s attempting to cap C-suite pay, average salaries have more than doubled over the past 20 years.
One provision in the massive tax overhaul Congress passed late last year attempts to place new curbs on pay. Under the measure, companies that dole out millions in performance bonuses to top executives could face a heftier tax bill.
Already, Netflix has responded by raising the salaries of three of its top executives and dumping a short-lived program that tied their pay to company performance. Corporate boards nationwide are considering whether to do the same, executive compensation experts say.
How companies, particularly on Wall Street, pay their top executives has been thorny issue for years. President Bill Clinton campaigned against excessive pay for chief executives and pushed a measure to cap at $1 million the amount that corporations could deduct from their tax bill for top executives’ compensation. But the law included a compromise: Companies could still deduct pay over $1 million if it was “performance-based.”
Instead of stopping the growth of executive pay, the law helped supercharge it, according to academics who have studied the issue. Companies that paid their chief executives less than $1 million a year often boosted their salary and many began looking for ways to take advantage of the loophole for deducting the cost of “performance-based” pay, they said. In 1989, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, the median value of annual CEO compensation was $2.7 million. By 1995 it was $6.6 million, and it reached $13 million in 2016.
Women are already second class citizens in society, so surely in the corporate space we certainly shouldn’t expect them to get paid as well as the 75% of the men who make up the leadership AND the rank and file at these big corporations. Judging from the executive decisions to rollback laws protecting women from such wage shenanigans, its approved all the way to the White House.
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Nope. I would not expect anyone here to stand up against the standards of corporate America draining the lifeblood from its workforce. A workforce that is under-engaged, over-worked, often doing the jobs of former employees they have watched being sacked, further demoralizing them.
If we are being honest, corporations look at profitability and think employees are the only thing holding companies back from fifty percent of the earnings they could be making. Because employee pay tends to be directed toward fifty percent of what a company can earn. Imagine what would happen if we could just get rid of that most expensive of resources: low level employees.
The U.S. is the Most Overworked Nation in the World
We, as Americans, work too many hours. If you don't believe so, check out the following data points that compare us to…
It’s a good thing robots, algorithmic interactions and intelligent software are going to cut back on workers in the next two decades, most corporations think, but don’t talk about publicly. We might be able to get rid of one third of the people taking up space in our offices.
Uber for example, while throwing millions of dollars into the technology needed to automate cars, says they have no intention of replacing their workforce with automated vehicles in the next decade. Because the reality is, it will be another decade before all of the bugs in automated cars will be effectively ironed out. They are smart enough to realize the last thing they should say in the public is: “You are just a low-paid, low-quality, outsourced contractor, who is holding a place until we can get automated robotic cars to take your place.”
Do you think anyone would work for them if they kept it THAT real? Should anyone believe them considering their track record of making money but disenfranchising their drivers…er contractors?
Uber CEO says self-driving cars won't replace human drivers in the near term
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says his company's efforts to automate vehicles is an "existential" decision to be able to…
I wonder how much that would save them? Conservative estimates of their drivers in 2015 were anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 worldwide.)
The Numbers Behind Uber's Exploding Driver Force
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If the goal is to ultimately replace truck drivers and cab drivers across the world with machines capable of doing the job, then it makes perfectly good sense to tell people what they want to hear (you have a job for the foreseeable future) until they don’t.
Who keeps Uber in the black if they all leave, right?
While we’re at it:
- Let’s go ahead and have those same overworked and demoralized staff members putting in longer hours,
- With less vacation than anywhere else in the world,
- So fearful of even taking a sick day because they have been made to feel more expendable than the furniture they are sitting on,
- while at the same time, sending in college graduates who have no training in management or leadership to micromanage and further de-incentivize this dispirited and downtrodden rabble,
- creating the most stressful workplace since the creation of OSHA.
- This, of course, assumes they can get a full time job in the first place.
Temp work and part-time work offer less benefits and less expenses for corporations, a benefit so tempting that more than thirty percent of the workforce is now a contractor of one sort or another. Let’s face it, US businesses have been maximizing workforce exploitation since the early 1500s. It is expected within the next four or five years, there will be over 40% of the modern workforce will be contractors, freelancers, or part-time workers who will be denied benefits through corporate tax exemptions and loopholes, empowering and enriching corporations while disenfranchising their workforce.
40% of America's workforce will be freelancers by 2020
The debate over telecommuting that Yahoo has spurred raises an important issue, but it's not simply about workplace…
The Cult of Work
Unfortunately, when the workforce isn’t being exploited outright, as we have talked about thus far, the other extreme is just as jarring. The modern workspace has become more of a cult mentality than the workspaces of yore.
The modern startup spends money and time bringing amenities to work under the pretense of creating perks for their workers when what they are doing is isolating their intentionally young, family-less workers with incentives to STAY AT WORK; pools, showers, sleeping accommodations, food services, paid cell phones and other perks keep the workforce, working, 24/7/356.
The other curse of this workforce is the over-engagement of workers, keeping them constantly at work, increasing the company’s access to these people’s time at work, usually to the company’s increased productivity but to the workers inexorably incremental detriment leading to a host of other issues, including increased workplace stress, decrease productivity, decreased effectiveness, and increased medical challenges and psychological burnout.
The Dark Side of High Employee Engagement
Although employee engagement has become something of an HR fad, it would be hard to deny that it matters. In fact…
With these issues plaguing corporations, I don’t see anyone in an executive role having much to say about the deplorable state of the workforce today.
Why? Because when businesses do anything other than the status quo, they are excoriated and shamed into compliance with the order of the day.
The modern workforce is becoming a form of neo-feudal revival where only the upper management get fabulously rich while the rest of the peasants wallow in their education-induced debt, fighting over the crumbs that fall from the tables of their predatory masters feasting on the tender marrow of whichever industry falls next in their frenzy of corporate vampirism gone wild.
There’s too much money to be had and too few people capable of speaking up to say anything about it without having to resort to a lawsuit (which inevitably rules against them because they can’t afford the caliber of lawyers most companies can) or waiting for companies to bow to social pressures when they are taken to task via social media campaigns which can be effective but only if a company is concerned with their corporate image. Only the largest ever consider the pressures of social media, and generally, only if they interact with the public directly.
Since most corporations depend very little on social interaction, they do what they want until someone can replace them effectively. Which can take years, if it ever comes. As much as people are reporting and repeating #DeleteFacebook, Zuckerberg’s company is sitting comfortably no matter what they do to the public because they are a monopoly and can alter the deals of your contract with them in an instant.
Facebook realizes what so many of you have not. Where are you going to go to get functionality of Facebook?
Facebook hasn’t left you many options, have they? I assure you, this isn’t an accident.
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Ultimately, tech industry giants as well as almost every other industry recognizes they have to pay their investors and those investors are demanding a larger slice of the pie. This means unless you, the workers, start to recognize your value and start demanding it, you will always make less money than you should, and will continue to make less money because corporations coordinate their efforts to reduce your choices. All of the industries are doing it. Some, more than others.
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding.
As a prolific writer of speculative fiction, scientific, technical and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California, Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.
Thaddeus works as a writer and editor for two magazines, the Good Men Project, a social men’s magazine as well as for Krypton Radio, a sci-fi enthusiast media station and website. He is also a freelance journalist for Polygon.com and Panel & Frame magazine. Thaddeus is the co-founder of Futura Science Fiction Magazine and one of the founding members of the Afrosurreal Writers Workshop in Oakland.