From the file marked "Good but could go bad," there’s this news. We already know that CEO pay has spiked alarmingly over the last decade or so, causing dangerous rifts as ordinary working people struggle to get by and watch their jobs go poof.
Well, the recently passed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act had as one of its strongest features the right for shareholders to vote on CEO pay for corporations for which they hold stock. Nice. That means real people that have worked their lives to set aside money for retirement—people with pension funds—would get to vote.
Naturally, corporate executives don’t like that. And they’re fighting back. The Chamber of Commerce and other big business groups are lobbying the US Securities and Exchange Commission to change the rules, allowing corporations more control over the voting system by which shareholders can express their opinions.
You can weigh in as well, but you’ve only got until October 20 to do so. And it’ll take a lot of public outrage to outweigh the unlimited amounts of cash that the Chamber of Commerce and other groups can spend.
For more on the Chamber of Commerce and how it does the bidding of big corporations at the expense of small businesses, keep an eye out for our new investigative series, "The Loaded Chamber." The first part comes out this week.
And in the meantime, don’t forget to speak up for your right to influence runaway executive pay.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.