As we discussed in class, this New York Times graphic is illuminating. We are able to see how the salary of the American CEO has outpaced the pay of the average worker over the past 60+ years.
Think of the questions that many of us asked. What's fair? What multiplier of CEO pay seems right to you? Does it really make a difference whether the CEO started with or founded the company?
Please make sure you click on the image and then, once you are taken to a new page, click on it again in order to see all of its detail.
UPDATE (October 10, 2011): The Washington Post, in a series of articles called "Breakaway Wealth", has created another "CEO vs Worker Pay" graphic that utilizes more recent statistics, including what happened during the recession, and the actual dollar amounts earned by CEOs at specific companies. Be sure to explore the other examples of income inequality on the site.
UPDATE (January, 2014): Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich recently released a film entitled, Inequality for All, which features, among other things, illustrative animations of the issues discussed above. Watch this clip regarding the growing gap between the average male worker and the 400 wealthiest Americans (you'll need to click through to the original site):
INEQUALITY FOR ALL - The Wealth of America from OAKES on Vimeo.