Friday, July 06, 2007

State of Divided Pay

About 70% of people surveyed feel income differences in the United States have grown too large. Eight in ten said the income differential worsened the last 25 years. It appears the public has been paying attention.

However the picture is somewhat cloudy for those looking for clear cut answers. Over 50% said the government should provide jobs for people who can't find private employment, increase federal training programs and redistribute money with high taxes on the wealthy. Yet two thirds felt it is not the government's responsibility to ease income differences.

So why might income differences be good? In the survey 58% said large pay differences help get people to work harder. The survey didn't say at which end of the scale the hard work would occur or even if it had to be ethical. Recall the widespread decade long stock option cheating at the rich end.

Yet 61% said large pay discrepancies are not needed for the country to prosper. For 25 years neither government nor business leaders have understood the concept of reducing variation and moving the distribution in the direction of goodness, yet over 60% of Americans get it...

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