Sam Pizzigati argues in a Huffington Post op-ed that the middle class beat back the rich once and can do it again
November 30, 2012
Sam Pizzigati, a veteran labor journalist and the editor of Too Much, an online weekly on excess and inequality, has a new book that tells the story of how the middle class fought against the overwhelming power of the rich in the first half of the twentieth century-and won! The Rich Don’t Always Win offers inspiring ideas for today’s unbalanced society, here are a few “Plutocracy-Busting Ideas” that Pizzigati wrote about in the Huffington Post.
Two: Leverage the power of the public purse against excessive corporate executive pay. Congress can’t set direct limits on private corporate executive pay, yesterday’s progressives understood. But Congress could impose limits indirectly by denying federal government contracts and subsidies to corporations that lavished rewards on top executives.
In 1933, then-senator and later Supreme Court justice Hugo Black won congressional approval for legislation that denied federal air- and ocean-mail contracts to companies that paid their execs over $17,500, about $300,000 in today’s dollars.
But the New Deal never fully embraced the Hugo Black perspective. We could now, by denying federal contracts and tax breaks to any companies that pay their CEOs over 25 times what their workers are making.
Read the entire article here.