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Union members often sit idly by as their dues dollars are effectively transferred from collective bargaining to limousine rides and football tickets.
When the AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of labor unions, recently released its annual Executive Paywatch report, the goal was to expose the country’s “greedy CEOs.”
The report alleges that the average S&P 500 CEO earned $13.1 million in total compensation in 2016, while the typical U.S. rank-and-file worker made only $37,632. According to the union, this comes out to “a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 347 to one.”
Don’t believe the hype. Numerous fact-checkers — from The Washington Post to the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry — have questioned the math behind the AFL-CIO’s eye-catching figure. Perry rightly points out that the AFL-CIO’s metrics only take into account the highest-paid CEOs from the S&P 500, not the average pay of all chief executives in the United States — a more accurate indicator of executive pay. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), the average U.S. “chief executive” earned $194,350 in 2016. That’s a tidy sum, but a far cry from $13.1 million and a 347:1 CEO-to-worker pay gap.
Experts at the Annenberg Public Policy Center have found that “when all CEOs are included, the pay disparity is far smaller” than the AFL-CIO leads on. So…