Q&O links my CEO pay post, noting:

As is the case in professional sports, more overall wealth and greater competition for that wealth produces a sort of salary/talent attenuation - the top-tier talents attract disproportionately more income, because the competition for that last little marginal edge in talent is so fierce. Michael Jordan wasn't 20 times better than a playing making $1.5m per year, but that marginal advantage he did have made him far more valuable than the rank and file NBA player.

But even the salaries of ordinary professional athletes have increased dramatically since the 1950's. Somehow, though, no one resorts to conspiracy theories about "captive owners", lax government regulation, or a grand cultural shift in the way we view those greedy bastards on the bball court. No, people are willing to pay a lot more to see professional sports than they used to, and so owners have more money with which to bit up the price of top talent.

Note that the lion's share of income inequality seems to be driven not by CEOs, but by compensation in the technology and financial services industry. Hedge fund managers may not, in some platonic sense, "deserve" what they get, but I guarantee you that none of the investors are giving them 2-and-20 because they're such good friends. Nor because they're brutal class warriors who throw largesse to financiers largely as a way to keep that cash out of the hands of the deserving poor.

It has gotten vastly more lucrative to be in certain kinds of professions, for reasons we don't entirely understand. But if your story involves a sudden increase in Net National Greed, I'm pretty skeptical.

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