75,000 an Hour

75000 An HourOne hundred times the speed of sound, 75,000 miles per hour is inconceivably fast. It’s more than twice the 36,373 mph of Nasa’s New Horizons as it hurtles towards Pluto. But I’m not writing about speed, I’m writing about dollars.

At $156 million a year, David Zaslav earns ten thousand times more per hour than ten million American workers working for the Federal minimum wage of $7.25. I can’t get my head around that figure so I took it down a notch. At forty hours a week, he’s pulling in $75,000 an hour. Whoa!

Okay, say he works eighty hours a week. That’s still $37,500 an hour, enough for me to pay off my mortgage in two hours. Enough to give everyone dear to me half a million dollars with one month’s pay.

According to the New York Post, “Cable network operator Discovery had the biggest pay gap. Its CEO, David Zaslav, was the highest-paid among S&P 500 companies last year, at $156 million. That was 1,951 times the amount paid to Discovery’s median worker.”

Things sure have changed since the sixties when the highest CEO salaries were only twenty times the average working wage. I can’t say as I like the direction they’re going. Sky high, as it were. Rocketing out of orbit. No one can be worth this kind of money, especially when fourteen out of every one hundred Americans are stuck below poverty level.

About that minimum wage, there’s been some progress. This year 29 States have adopted higher minimums, several reaching $10.50, with D.C. poised to bump their $10.50 to $11.50 mid-year. Yay!

So there you have it, a little bit of good news to sweeten a bitter pill. Income inequality continues to reach new heights in this country. Those clinging to the hope that the United States is still a democracy rather than an oligarchy aren’t paying attention. Something’s gotta give.


By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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