Let’s talk about the great divide in America between the very rich and the very poor. We all work hard for a living but why do some make unbelievable amounts of money and others don’t? In America today we have the top one percent of citizens making 85 percent of the nation’s wealth and they aren’t sharing anything. How did society allow this to happen? Well for one reason, our top lawmakers in Congress are all multi-millionaires. They simply protect themselves. Some weird democracy we live in.
Let’s look at one sweet deal that was given to the new CEO of Ford. The stock has always remained steady no matter what happened to the economy. So, this guy isn’t even among the biggest shots around big shots making a lot of American’s hard earned money. His name is Mark Fields who was greeted at the door with a 13% raise, lots of stock in the company and millions in incentives. And he hasn’t even done anything yet. Most of us could only dream of that type of attention. And who did he do to get such a sweet deal?
On the very first day on the job he also gets to use a private jet for personal travel. Even the elitist population of folks get to travel in private jets and land in private areas of airports as well. Fields salary will go from the $1.54 Million he was getting as Chief Operating Officer to $1.75 Million dollars as CEO, according to documents filed with federal regulators. What are they regulating anyway? Certainly not any caps on how much money a single person could make. If all goals are met, Fields is also eligible for $3.5 Million in performance incentives this year, making his 2014 package worth $5.25 Million, not including additional options that vest each year. Performance incentives sounds like something a circus clown has to do.
The board also granted Fields 710,227 Ford shares that are vested over three years and can be exercised over ten years. At $17.21 a share the current value would be $12.2 Million. Really? He needs that too? How about giving the employees some shares too? He can afford to buy his own shares and it would be a good faith gesture but no, upper one percent greed must flourish. Fields family lives in Florida so they determined for security reasons to give him a private jet to travel to work. Maybe this guy could get a home near where he works. Could the family sacrifice a little? Heck no.
Current CEO Alan Mulally who retired this week received $23.2 million for 2013, with a salary of $2 million, a $5.9 million cash bonus and $15.3 million in long term stock options. That is enough money to feed a small country for a year. If there is any hope for an entire population of good ideas to be heard, we must do more to share the wealth that large corporations earn.