Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison said the idea of government regulating the pay of CEOs and other employees is “a very good idea.”
During an appearance on Bloomberg on Wednesday, Ellison said the government should “start talking about” regulating pay disparities between CEO and other employees.
Ellison discussed a report he prepared with his staff called “Rewarding or Hoarding: An Examination of Pay Ratios Revealed by Dodd-Frank.” The report claims that CEOs make an average of 339 times as much as the median employee.
“We found that CEOs are paid exorbitant amounts of money compared to the workers, but how bad and extreme it was, really was even shocking to me,” Ellison said.
“Other companies come back and say, ‘Well, what about our workers overseas? They have a lower cost of living,’” he continued. “That just means you are offshoring to places where the wages are low, the environmental protections are low, the workers’ rights are low, the human rights are low, so you can make a lot of money.”
Bloomberg host David Westin asked Ellison if he believe the report’s findings should prompt government intervention.
“Is it enough to just get disclosure? Because I think that’s what you’re advocating,” Westin said. “This is not a big secret to shareholders. It’s not a big secret to board directors. Don’t you need direct government intervention?”
“Are you favoring the government actually regulating the relationship between CEO pay and the average worker?” Westin asked.
“I think it’s a very good idea,” Ellison replied. “And I think we should start talking about it.”
“This is a broad conversation that needs to, of course, take in policymakers like me,” he said. “But shareholders and investors need to be worried about this too because I don’t think this leads to the overall health of the company. I think it takes care of a few people at the tip-top.”
See the interview below:
As a Democrat congressman and Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair, Ellison has made his socialist sympathies clear.
In an interview with The Politic in January, Ellison was asked, “Since January 20, 2017, organizations outside of the Democratic Party, notably Indivisible and Democratic Socialists of America, have expanded in numbers and mobilizing power. What role will growing organizations such as these play in the trajectory of the ‘Resistance,’ as it might be called, and what implications would you say that this bears for the Democratic Party’s leadership?”
“How does it affect the Democratic Party? Well, it enhances us, because it means that more people are engaged, more people are involved,” Ellison responded. “So, no matter who’s organizing who, as long as the folks are organizing for an agenda of a fair economy and an inclusive society, it’s going to benefit the Democratic Party.”
Ellison is also a stanch opponent of President Donald Trump, saying in February last year that “Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment.”
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