The final figures show that the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009. The earlier study had put the median pay at a none-too-shabby $9.6 million, up 12 percent.
Total C.E.O. pay hasn’t quite returned to its heady, prerecession levels — but it certainly seems headed there. Despite the soft economy, weak home prices and persistently high unemployment, some top executives are already making more than they were before the economy soured.
They can afford a tax increase. They can live with one less Cessna, one less expensive painting, one less diamond earring, one less big-screen LCD tv, one less Ferrari. They can afford it.
Our democracy can’t afford giving them even more breaks. Not anymore.