Then later I looked it up and learned that admirals’ salaries top out at $ 200,000 a year. No one in the Navy gets paid more than that per year. So they call this the pay differential, it’s sometimes expressed as a ratio from lowest pay to highest. That ratio for the Navy is about one to eight. For one of the most respected and well-run organizations on Earth. Sometimes this gets called wage parity or economic democracy, but let’s just call it fairness, effectiveness, esprit de corps. One to eight. No wonder those admirals seemed so normal—they were! Whereas in the corporate world I’ve read the average wage ratio is like one to five hundred. Actually that was the median; one to 1,500 happens pretty often. The top executives in these companies earn in ten minutes what it takes their starting employees all year to earn.
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