What happens when two cherished Democratic wedge issues, the War on Women and income inequality, collide? Hillary Clinton is about to find out.
Just prior to her campaign unveiling, Clinton attempted to demonstrate her progressive bona fides by paying lip service to the left’s cause de jour; the scourge of “income inequality,” otherwise known as the disparity of outcomes that has been a feature of human existence since our ancestors climbed down from the canopy.
“I think it’s fair to say that as you look across the country, the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And there’s something wrong with that. There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker,” said the presidential candidate who charges $300,000 per speech.
Of course, the tip of her hat to Democratic Party’s liberal wing, delivered at virtual gunpoint, was met with wild praise from Clinton’s dispirited left flank. They want nothing more than clear consciences when they are compelled by the scarcity of alternatives to pull the lever for the former secretary of state either in the primary or the general election next year.
But Clinton’s attempt to offer the left a panacea in the form of good, old-fashioned Marxism has encountered an unexpected obstacle: Victory. It seems as though the liberal crusade to secure equal pay, or even better pay, for women has borne fruit. At least, it has for the very highest income brackets.
A report published last week in USA Today (flagged by The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff) has identified a troubling trend, from a Democratic perspective. The war on CEO pay cannot be waged without also engaging in regrettably gendered attacks on women.
So far, 21 of the 22 current female CEOs in the Standard & Poor’s 500 have reported their latest compensation, including Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer, defense contractor Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) Marillyn Hewson and CEO Carol Meyrowitz of retailer TJX (TJX), and they were paid an average of $18.8 million during their latest fiscal years, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ and Bespoke Investment Group. That far exceeds the average $12.7 million paid to the 455 current male CEOs in the S&P 500 that have reported compensation data for the same time period.
The compensation awarded to female CEOs, on average, also outstrips the $14.3 million average paid to all the CEOs of the 100 largest publicly held companies that had reported through early April, according to pay tracker Equilar and compensation consultant Towers Watson.
Now’s the time investors pay particularly close attention to what they’re paying the CEO as corporate filings – called proxy statements – are in from nearly all S&P 500 companies. Women have a long way to go to match or even rival men in the CEO office in terms of numbers, but they’ve made strong strides in size of pay. Total pay for this analysis was calculated using the Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidelines, which includes salary and the present value of options and stock grants.
One imagines the left reconciling their cognitive dissonance like a primitive robot from a Roddenberry novel; sputtering, sparking, wheeling in all directions as it struggles to compute, and finally bursting into flames.
Suddenly, a certified victim class has joined ranks with the oppressors. To address this and to seek to correct for it is to put the lie to the notion that the left’s highest aspiration is to build women up. To acknowledge this inconvenient truth is to expose that the left’s agenda isn’t helping women realize their full potential but limiting the capability of others. That’s why you won’t read about this one in Mother Jones.