The New Economics Foundation‘s blog posted this last Friday about creating a salary cap for everyone. Steady state policies would encourage a maximum and minimum wage in order to create a fair distribution of wealth.
Creating a wage cap changes the focus – another common theme in our discussions. We have seen the destruction created in the wake of profit maximization policies all around our recession-laded land. Instead of constantly trying to make more money (phantom wealth), we can worry about more important issues:
“an executive’s performance has to be judged against achievements other than personal accumulation. So, instead of status derived from higher incomes, the desire to excel can instead be directed toward the social contribution and environmental performance of the bank or company involved.”
This does not remove the ability for you to receive promotions and bonuses, or further your career. It is a matter of scale – it is unjust for a CEO to make 500 times their entry level employee, they are not actually worth 500 other employees.
“Distribution of wealth is about how we divide up the economic pie, and it’s critically important for a steady state economy in which the pie is not growing. Economic growth has been used as an excuse to avoid dealing with poverty. Without growth, there are no more excuses. People who are too poor tend not to care about sustainability. If daily life is a struggle for basic needs, there’s not much time or energy to consider the future. On the flipside, people who are excessively wealthy tend to consume unsustainably.
A key policy for ensuring fair distribution of wealth is to establish a cap on personal income. Such a cap would eliminate the worst cases of conspicuous consumption and curb overall throughput of resources in the economy. An income cap would also prevent the social unrest that comes from huge gaps between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.'” (Ecological Economics)