Where has all the surplus gone?* Well, a good chunk of it in 2010 has gone to pay Chief Executive Officers of major companies.
According to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch,
U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. But they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs. Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash—except when it comes to their own paychecks.
In 2010, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation. Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs.
To give a sense of the magnitude of that number consider that the combined pay of 299 CEOs could support 102,325 workers earning the median wage. Or, if you take just the average pay, consider the following:
* With apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary.