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Are you in favor of government-imposed caps on executives' salary packages?

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Background info please, what is this question is relation too?

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Ridiculous notion. Impossible to enforce. Knee jerk reaction. Don't we have enough rules in our lives?

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if you are talking about the japanese govt. i would say no. the salaries here are nothing like the packages they get in the u.s.a. america needs a cap for sure.

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The decision should be left to the shareholders, If a company is turning a profit, rewards should be given. However recent events in the USA have shown that the majority of CEO's lack discipline and feel entitled even when their companies are failing miserably. Reward for success, not failure.

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Liberals certainly do.

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I'm only for government-imposed caps when the companies involved have received government funds. So, caps on TARP recipients? Definitely yes.

More importantly, though, I think the world needs to wake up and realize that executives are not worth what they're being paid. It's that simple.

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It is a completely ridiculous idea to have government caps on pay - the markets don't work if you do that.

If you cap, how do you distinguish between good and top performances? How do you compete with other countries who don't cap?

Let the shareholders decide executive pay based on their experience of coporate and executive performance. Government - keep you nose out.

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I voted Yes, but I don't mean that governments should actually dictate executive salaries. Let them be paid as much as the shareholders think they're worth, or as much as they can milk from the system. But there should be a very heavy income tax that makes ridiculously high packages meaningless in terms of individuals piling up stacks of money they're never going to have the time to spend even if they live to be 250. A hefty, graded income tax benefits everyone; the execs still get the glory of being worth huge amounts, and the country gets extra income to spend on the less well-off, or on society as a whole. If you earn say five times more than you need to lead a life of luxury, upping that to six times more or seven times more or ten times more is meaningless. Let that extra money be put to good use.

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Good post cleo. I voted no, however, I do agree with cleo. I think a just wage is a better approach and would help a lot more people. Why go to temps so a business doesn't have to pay health insurance and other benefits which the government has to pick up. The stock holders may like it because they get a greater return. But woe to the bottom of the ladder.

I like a flat percentage tax across the board with the same social benefits for all. temps should not be penalize and should contribute to the social from which they will benefit via givernment subsidies.

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...contribute to the social programs from which they will benefit via government subsidies.

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Cleo and One fo All. You seem to be favoring communism in your posts. How about we have motivated and an unmotivated workforce. The motived ones get paid the same as the unmotivated ones. What is too much salary? If I own the company I am the only shareholder and I have the right to decide what I give myself in returns. If I am not profitable I go out of business it is my risk. If I am profitable the government wants to tax me 40%. I think about the business 24/7 and then what ever I make extra and have sacrificed for 10 years over sweat and the sacrifice of not seeing friends because I have put everything I have and had back into the business you now say that a government should dictate to me what I am entitled to when they have done absolutely nothing to help my business and help it grow and have only taken from me so I can provide back to the society with their pork barrel spending? Additionally I have given people jobs and they don't have the passion that I do for the business. I pay them why is suited for their skill and if their skill is exceptional I shall pay them what I freely want to also. Therefore why should any government dictate to me as the owner of a company what they believe is a reasonable salary when that salary and the profits of the company contribute to society? Business makes money for governments that contribute to society. Not the opposite.

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Let the share holders decide. There should also be a regulation that makes institutional share holders that have a business interest (such as banking, loans, etc.) abstain from voting about salary.

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DJJapan - Yes, if the ruler is just, all is OK. Money and power go hand in hand. The rule of law is needed to try to make everyone get a fair piece of the pie. The free market is OK as long as it is not like "tiny Tim" in scrooge. Unions came about as a result of the greed of the master. I agree hard work should be rewarded and not robbed by the government. It sounds like you are building a find business and may the wind be always behind you.

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Gosh I hope DJJapan isn't an English teacher. (ultradodgy, you are very cruel and I hereby award you a cyber lollipop) :-)

As for favouring communism - No. There's a huge difference between everyone being paid the exact same, just-enough-to-get-by-on-if-that salary in a failing, state-run business regardless of the quality and/or importance of the work they do and the enthusiasm they bring to it, and people with astronomical salaries being expected to shoulder a commensurate tax burden.

If you own your own company (are you a plumber, I wonder?) you don't get a salary, you make a profit. It's up to you how many hours you spend working and thinking about work: it's up to you what pleasures and friendships you are prepared to sacrifice in order to make those huge profits. If you already have three times more money than you can possibly spend in a couple of lifetimes, it's no hardship to you if society gets 40% (or 50%, or 60%) of your surplus. No one is talking about taxing you out of your house and onto the street. (Unless you're an investment banker.)

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Cleo and One fo All. You seem to be favoring communism in your posts. How about we have motivated and an unmotivated workforce. The motived ones get paid the same as the unmotivated ones. What is too much salary? If I own the company I am the only shareholder and I have the right to decide what I give myself in returns. If I am not profitable I go out of business it is my risk. If I am profitable the government wants to tax me 40%. I think about the business 24/7 and then what ever I make extra and have sacrificed for 10 years over sweat and the sacrifice of not seeing friends because I have put everything I have and had back into the business you now say that a government should dictate to me what I am entitled to when they have done absolutely nothing to help my business and help it grow and have only taken from me so I can provide back to the society with their pork barrel spending? Additionally I have given people jobs and they don't have the passion that I do for the business. I pay them why is suited for their skill and if their skill is exceptional I shall pay them what I freely want to also. Therefore why should any government dictate to me as the owner of a company what they believe is a reasonable salary when that salary and the profits of the company contribute to society? Business makes money for governments that contribute to society. Not the opposite.

the assumption you are making is that individual profiteering is the only reason for running a business. how about providing some kind of product or service that is genuinely profitable to society at large? people will sniff at this, but it's happening all the time. just look at all the programmers making freeware on the internet for a good example. at the end of the day i'm sure most of these guys would be happy to continue doing what they do for the benefit for the people around them, but sadly they have bills to pay; ie. if it weren't for others running business for profit their time would be freed for the benefit of others

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with regards to the question, i'm not sure what to answer. i would say no if i believed that shareholders were thoughtful enough to sit between the executive and the rest of the company and objectively pay what was warranted. however, we've seen all too much in recent years that they are incapable of doing this for various reasons.

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if the government is going to target CEO pay, the why stop there. Professional athletes, entertainers, litigation attorneys all make huge sums of money but you don't see the silly democrats targeting these groups.

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Cleo: I'm not an English teach or a Plumber. So no point trying to stereotype me. What is enough of a salary for several lifetimes also? And why should I be taxed 40%, 50 or 60% for working my arse off? Because I can afford to? Sounds like a bit of the tall poppy coming from you there. If I am successful in my business I pay tax and am not against it. Why should I be taxed more in percentage for making more though? If I get the opportunity to make more and am smart enough to do so then the tax department will overall probably mak more money from me than trying to tax the hell out of me as it is going to promote further stimulation of my business. I don't agree with the fact that some executives get paid a lot of money to run a company into the ground and make a fortune out of it, but I don't agree with government interference into private enterprise, unless the government gets placed in the position of being the majority shareholder in that business. In such a case they are in business, but when they are the receiver of that enterprise they should make the best attempts to put the books back in order and get that enterprise back up and running to be sold off again. When they are in receivership they can control the salaries as the workers are civil servants. When it becomes a private enterprise again they should have no say in it. It goes against what our economies were established for in the first place. What about the executives and CEO's who perform well? In the news we have seen a small percentage of the overall companies where the CEO's make crazy amounts of money. Should a government decide the other 99% of companies salaries also? Absolutely NO! VOR: You are absolutely right. First it is the CEO's then who? But the only thing is that you are specifically referring to the U.S. This discussion I believe covers all the world.

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And why should I be taxed 40%, 50 or 60% for working my arse off?

Why not? If you were on a low income you would be paying that much tax if not more on your disposable income (People on low incomes spend a larger proportion of their income on just getting by, and a lot of them also work their arses off.) Why should poor people - who can't afford it - pay proportionally more than the fat cats, which is what happens if you have a one-size-fits-all flat rate? They are presently the ones being taxed 'the hell' out of.

And I wouldn't limit higher tax rates to executives; that wouldn't be fair. Anyone with a ridiculously high salary, including professional athletes, entertainers and the rest, should be expected to pay a proportionally fair share. Exactly what that proportion would be, and at what level of income it would kick in, are points to be debated by the experts.

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"if the government is going to target CEO pay, the why stop there. Professional athletes, entertainers, litigation attorneys all make huge sums of money but you don't see the silly democrats targeting these groups."

Professional athletes and entertainers are paid based on "performance". Attorneys probably contribute too much money to politicians, for the democrats to target.Anyway attorneys have been problematic since Shakespeare's day.

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"But there should be a very heavy income tax that makes ridiculously high packages meaningless in terms of individuals piling up stacks of money they're never going to have the time to spend even if they live to be 250."

Maybe in Japan ! But in North America it is extremely common, for those in the upper teirs to give millions away to charity every year. Bill Gates is a perfect example. Dude made billions, now he's giving it all away before he dies. Americans are the largest individual providers of charity and donations in the world. No need to take away these salarys, instead lets prod the rest of the planets rich, especially the Japanese, into giving more !

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Bill Gates, Warren Buffet etc.. They are Billionaires. They are the exception to the rule. Most of these CEO's aren't as philanthropic. They are selfish and short sighted. But I do agree with your sentiment.

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in North America it is extremely common, for those in the upper teirs to give millions away to charity every year.

And very commendable that is too. No reason why every cent/yen/penny given to charity/used in recognised Good Works can't be deducted from the income before tax is calculated. If you gave away so much you were left with no more than the average filthy-rich dude instead of the ridiculously filthy rich dude, you could be given preferable tax treatment. Then you'd have the pleasure of still being filthy rich plus the glory of being a Good Person. A win-win situation.

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Utopian ideals have been tried in history with horrible results. Communism, Fascism, unbridled Capitalism are just a few examples. Cuba's central planning does not seem to deliver on the Utopian ideals. Capping an executives pay for no reason except that they make a lot of money serves noone. We need wealth to create wealth as long as the wealth is created honestly. Regulated Capitalism seems to be the best system. Putting the wealth of a country into the hands of a few is a mistake as in the case of Chavez. Food shortages are common because Chavez's government has capped food prices. What do people think will happen if government starts controlling CEO's wages? A shortage of jobs? People need to work to make wealth. Education is extremely important as is freedom to start enterprises that produce wealth. Wealth that is not taken by the government for handouts. Everyone feels better working for a living and there is so much to do. All should contribute to the well being of the human community through work and those that have the ideas to create wealth. More power to them.

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...those that have the ideas to create wealth should not have their returns capped.

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Smells like central planning to me by government bureaucrats who can't even balance their own books and unable to manage their agencies with any efficiency. These people have no idea what it takes to be successful in business and that is why they sponge off the rest of us as public serpents (sic). The problems we face today have less to do with what CEO's get paid and everything to do with the ineptitude of our bloated and ever increasing domineering government.

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Congressmen who are all for capping CEO bonuses are making millions off the public taxpayers through their corruption and swindling. Its supposed to be a free market economy, and those CEO's that make million dollar bonuses employ thousands, hundreds of thousands and some of them millions of people directly and indirectly, but what the hey, lets screw them over untill they take their talent to another country.

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