Monday, April 7, 2014

Memo To Me: Fact-Check First, Then Post

source is questionable
On a recent blog on "Should the Present U.S. Economy Survive?" I included a pay ratio chart that a friend of mine pointed out was based on outdated information and less than stellar research. The visual had apparently gone viral on the Internet and was widely accepted as legitimate, but the fact-checking website considers it false, leading me to remove it from my earlier post.

In their October 10, 2011, analysis PolitiFact admits the numbers may have been true in 2005 (now nearly a decade ago) depending on which CEO's were included and what benefits were considered as a part of their wage package. They also say the reputable Institute for Policy Studies cited even higher disparities in 1999 (516 to 1) and 2000 (525 to 1), but that their more recent (2009) number is 325 to 1. The Economic Policy Institute, using a different methodology, came up with a 185-to-1 figure in 2009.

While I regret using less than accurate numbers above, even the 185-to-1 ratio to me does not represent anything close to moral or Biblical justice. It means that a worker must put in a full year's labor for what his or her CEO earns in less than two days.

Meanwhile I've become increasingly interested in not only corporation pay scales, but in how faith-based non-profits are compensating their employees. I've learned that it isn't unusual for CEO's of some charitable and church-run agencies to earn in excess of $200,000 in annual salaries and benefits while some of their low-level employees make do with 10-20% of that.

Is that how Jesus would run an organization? I welcome your feedback.
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