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Disparity In America's Wealth

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Good morning Boston, Chicago to L.A. it’s another hectic drive to work and possibly today you are wondering is there an easier way to commute to work? Typically for those who may not be familiar with traffic jams the goal is to energetically chart your course through traffic at five miles per hour while you hold onto your choice of finely brewed coffee from your local drive through establishment. The ultimate goal here is to pass over the finish line in a timely manner, in this case your place of employment. Nevertheless the question remains is there a better way, fortunately for some the answer is yes and that’s aboard your own personal private jet.
While you and I sat back this weekend and possibly watched the game on TV chances are somewhere out there a select few were at the game or sipping margaritas on a private island beach well we mowed our lawns. By now you’re probably saying that poor #%^^@#. Nevertheless the commute to work can always be a boring and tedious one unless you have one of these well-appointed private jets at your disposal. Something that offers you exquisite comfort and un restricted access to your next destination at a moment’s notice. Something like a car does but better and takes you a little further by 7,000 miles on one fill up, not bad. So what you truly need is not an American Express Platinum or Black card to impress your friends or a fast car but something that exceeds the mile high club, your own private jet. The only problem is you’re going to need a really long driveway to come home to and that’s where the problem comes in, most American driveways just aren't long enough. However there are alternatives to overcome this small problem, airports and hangars! Now that we have that resolved that problem there is still the matter of obtaining your pilots license. It’s rather like getting a driver’s license for a car, but it cost a little more and does take a little longer to obtain, but were not interested in these trivial aspects either, our goal here is how to get on board a jet. Well fortunately for all of us there is the financing option and the simple onetime payment plan cash or check upon delivery, how convenient is that. The least preferred and obviously less impressive option is the lease program. However the lease program does solves a lot of problems for those who need to fly right now and just might be a little bit tight on cash. For a nominal fee you can book your own private jet to New York from LA for around $100K, still too pricey you say well there is always the option of traveling on the dreaded passenger airlines jet and under standard commuter flight regulations you have to typically remove your shoes. If you own your own private jet or lease it you simply role up to your plane, board it then depart, how good is that?

Now that have your own jet you fly overhead with ease casually noting below the congested weekly on rush of commuter traffic which is now moving less than a snail pace. While all this absurd jostling for what would seem to be the correct place in line for some unknown finish line, you easily pass over state lines towards your final destination. As you do so you may enjoy a comfortably shower, change your attire and leisurely have breakfast, all while you anticipate which markets will profit you further. However eventually everything that goes up must come down and you with it, upon landing your reach your private hangar and waiting inside are possibly your McLaren MP4-12C Spider to finish the final aspect of your commute which fortunately for you is just another mile or two and by that time most of the traffic has subsided as well.
So what the point of this article anyway, obviously I can’t afford a jet and probably most of the readers out there cannot either, but before we get to the point let’s look at who typically owns these over the top pampered jets? Less than one percent of one percent of the world population, being Princes, Kings, CEO’s, Celebrities and of course your local dictator or two.

One of the most notable publicly owned private jets is Air Force One and probably one of the most technologically advanced jets. However when compared to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, jet valued at a mere $500 million, his plane offers some notable features. They are but not limited to stables for his prize camels and horses, two car garage for his cars, rotating prayer room design to constantly face Mecca and of course the its own throne room to efficiently serve his people while in flight.

However America is not to be out done that easily by one outrageous jet, it turns out that Americans overwhelming own the most private jets in the world. While countries like South America, The Middle East and Asia own roughly 11% each of all private jets America’s private jet ownership club accounts for roughly 50% of all the private jets in the world.

So what’s the point? Since the late 70’s the average American worker has seen the value of their pay check decline as CEO’s of companies pay have exponential exploded. This is in part as a result of globalization, the recent recession and relatively new tax laws that favor higher pay checks for corporate officers. What is concerning here is during the recession while companies were receiving government bailouts and still paying their top employees ridicules numbers Americans were losing their homes. However, fortunately for some that’s all behind us now, but what isn't is the disparity in affordable wages paid to the average American worker. To keep down wages paid out to American employees big business has waged a propaganda campaign destined to mislead the general public. To be clear here this campaign has impacted both the private and public sector.

By corporate America telling the general public they cannot afford to pay their employees more in wages because we as a country are now permanently engaged in a globalized economy they seemingly justify their position to hold the line on pay increases to their employees. Corporate America is not just suggesting this to be true but stating by raising the minimum wage or even offering to raise an employee’s wage it could in fact undo the entire fragile economy. Nevertheless the economy is not built solely on jets or one person. It is built literally on the backs of the middle class who by their spending habits when given disposable income create jobs to fill the need for other goods to be produced. Something the rich just don’t do as they squander their money away in banks. The other problem here however is much more complex than it seems maybe you have noticed that we seem to be in an economy of little growth, or in other words things just seem to be going along out of necessity. The reason for this is the middle class, not the rich are cash strapped which reduces demand for other products while reducing overall revenues both in the private as well as public sector. The concern here is big business not the general public has the financial ability to lobby congress the best; as such the general public quickly becomes the minority in being fairly represented. If you don’t think this is true then I ask you then to justify the following numbers and as you do provide a comment….

Ticker Company CEO Name Year Compensation ($)
ORCL ORACLE CORP Lawrence J. Ellison 2012 $96,160,696
TSLA TESLA MOTORS INC Elon Musk 2012 $78,150,010
GBL GAMCO INVESTORS INC Mario J. Gabelli 2012 $68,970,486
ATVI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC Robert A. Kotick 2012 $64,942,306
CBS CBS CORP Leslie Moonves 2012 $62,157,026
LNG CHENIERE ENERGY INC Charif Souki 2012 $57,518,332
CACC CREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP Brett A. Roberts 2012 $54,282,500
MCK MCKESSON CORP John H. Hammergren 2013 $51,744,999
DISCA DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC David M. Zaslav 2012 $49,932,867
HCA HCA HOLDINGS INC Richard M. Bracken 2012 $46,359,246
LINTA LIBERTY INTERACTIVE CORP Gregory B. Maffei 2012 $45,302,040
JEF JEFFERIES GROUP LLC Richard B. Handler 2012 $45,182,239
LVLT LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC James Q. Crowe 2012 $40,708,970
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP R. W. Tillerson 2012 $40,266,501
DIS DISNEY (WALT) CO Robert A. Iger 2012 $40,227,848
NUAN NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC Paul A. Ricci 2012 $37,077,679
YHOO YAHOO INC Marissa A. Mayer 2012 $36,615,404
RL RALPH LAUREN CORP Ralph Lauren 2012 $36,325,782
NKE NIKE INC Mark G. Parker 2012 $35,212,678
PLL PALL CORP Lawrence Kingsley 2012 $33,862,509
VIAB VIACOM INC Philippe P. Dauman 2012 $33,450,824
HON HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC David M. Cote 2012 $33,247,178
CVX CHEVRON CORP J. S. Watson 2012 $32,227,122
NLY ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT,Michael A.J. Farrell 2012 $32,016,284
WRB BERKLEY (W R) CORP William R. Berkley 2012 $31,296,780
PRU PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL INC John R. Strangfeld Jr. 2012 $30,693,655
TYC TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Edward D. Breen 2012 $30,552,734
KO COCA-COLA CO Muhtar Kent 2012 $30,460,186
PM PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL Louis C. Camilleri 2012 $30,304,091
REGN REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALSLeonard S. Schleifer M.D., Ph.D. 2012 $30,047,097
NWSA NEWS CORP K. Rupert Murdoch 2012 $30,022,292
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON William C. Weldon 2012 $29,838,259
EBAY EBAY INC John J. Donahoe 2012 $29,705,081
CMCSA COMCAST CORP Brian L. Roberts 2012 $29,124,014
SBUX STARBUCKS CORP Howard Schultz 2012 $28,909,773
MDLZ MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC Irene Rosenfeld 2012 $28,811,314
DUK DUKE ENERGY CORP William D. Johnson 2012 $28,655,920
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP Stephen I. Chazen 2012 $28,519,053
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS C K. I. Chenault 2012 $28,491,734
LYV LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT Michael Rapino 2012 $28,479,535
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP James A. Skinner 2012 $27,741,408
UTX UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP Louis Ch?nevert 2012 $27,562,325
LMT LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP Robert J. Stevens 2012 $27,549,444
BA BOEING CO W. James McNerney Jr. 2012 $27,484,138
DVA DAVITA HEALTHCARE PARTNERS Kent J. Thiry 2012 $26,799,121
TRW TRW AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS CORP John C. Plant 2012 $26,203,477
TWX TIME WARNER INC Jeffrey L. Bewkes 2012 $25,889,823
GE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO Jeffrey R. Immelt 2012 $25,806,352
PFE PFIZER INC Ian C. Read 2012 $25,634,136
ABT ABBOTT LABORATORIES Miles D. White 2012 $25,118,836
MDT MEDTRONIC INC Omar Ishrak 2012 $25,025,639
GPS GAP INC Glenn Murphy 2012 $24,627,812
BLMN BLOOMIN' BRANDS INC Elizabeth A. Smith 2012 $24,450,233
NOC NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP Wesley G. Bush 2012 $24,411,853
KRC KILROY REALTY CORP John B. Kilroy Jr. 2012 $23,804,530
EXC EXELON CORP John W. Rowe 2012 $23,483,442
FE FIRSTENERGY CORP Anthony J. Alexander 2012 $23,310,829
DG DOLLAR GENERAL CORP Richard W. Dreiling 2012 $23,160,197
DOW DOW CHEMICAL Andrew N. Liveris 2012 $22,989,668
WFC WELLS FARGO & CO John G. Stumpf 2012 $22,873,085
POST POST HOLDINGS INC William P. Stiritz 2012 $22,744,428
AXS AXIS CAPITAL HOLDINGS LTD Albert A. Benchimol 2012 $22,674,021
COF CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP Richard D. Fairbank 2012 $22,605,374
DF DEAN FOODS CO Gregg L. Engles 2012 $22,533,094
CAT CATERPILLAR INC Douglas R. Oberhelman 2012 $22,374,744
T AT&T INC R. Stephenson 2012 $22,234,703
DHR DANAHER CORP H. Lawrence Culp Jr. 2012 $21,898,728
TJX TJX COMPANIES INC Carol Meyrowitz 2013 $21,768,800
JCI JOHNSON CONTROLS INC Stephen A. Roell 2012 $21,382,876
LYB LYONDELLBASELL INDUSTRIES NV,James L. Gallogly 2012 $21,242,927
AGN ALLERGAN INC David E.I. Pyott 2012 $21,164,198
CBE COOPER INDUSTRIES PLC Kirk S. Hachigian 2011 $21,128,672
F FORD MOTOR CO Alan Mulally 2012 $20,955,806
CSC COMPUTER SCIENCES CORP Michael W. Laphen 2012 $20,859,081
SD SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC Tom L. Ward 2012 $20,764,622
FSL FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR LTD Gregg Lowe 2012 $20,745,087
QCOM QUALCOMM INC Paul E. Jacobs 2012 $20,730,873
WMT WAL-MART STORES INC Michael T. Duke 2013 $20,693,545
TGT TARGET CORP Gregg W. Steinhafel 2012 $20,647,464
WLP WELLPOINT INC Angela F. Braly 2012 $20,590,781
BEE STRATEGIC HOTELS & RESORTS Laurence S. Geller 2012 $20,559,749
MPC MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP Gary R. Heminger 2012 $20,398,168
CVS CVS CAREMARK CORP Larry J. Merlo 2012 $20,330,097
BLK BLACKROCK INC Laurence D. Fink 2012 $20,231,401
AMG AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC, Sean M. Healey 2012 $19,800,156
CMG CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC Steve Ells 2012 $19,741,296
NBR NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD Anthony G. Petrello 2012 $19,734,569
APC ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP R A. Walker 2012 $19,664,885
MRX MEDICIS PHARMACEUT CP Jonah Shacknai 2011 $19,636,817
BBY BEST BUY CO INC Hubert Joly 2013 $19,550,692
COP CONOCOPHILLIPS R. M. Lance 2012 $19,287,218
LTD L BRANDS INC Leslie H. Wexner 2012 $19,232,970
UNP UNION PACIFIC CORP James R. Young 2012 $19,114,972
VPRT VISTAPRINT NV Robert S. Keane 2012 $19,043,339
DE DEERE & CO Samuel R. Allen 2012 $19,031,943
RTN RAYTHEON CO William H. Swanson 2012 $19,024,036
INTC INTEL CORP Paul S. Otellini 2012 $18,991,300
FDML FEDERAL-MOGUL CORP Jos? Maria Alapont 2012 $18,988,692
PNR PENTAIR LTD Randall J. Hogan 2012 $18,772,054
PIR PIER 1 IMPORTS INC Alexander W. Smith 2013 $18,755,923

Information showing pay scales was provided by, http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs

On a foot note;

In comparing the aviation industries strides to the automobile industry its hard to believe since the first flight of the Wright Brothers on December 17, 1903 is how far man has developed his ability and comfort to fly compared to the automobile. In comparison the automobile industry that dates back to 1769 – being primarily a steam power vehicle at the time and recognized by the British Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Club de France as the first automobile is how the automobile has been restricted by its own success. The results being that the automobiles technological advancements have been limited by what is considered to be a cheap and plentiful fuel supply. This not to say jets or commercial airliners do not have the same Achilles heel as the automobile industry does, which they do, but given the time difference between each development one would assume the automobile should be more technology advanced than it is except for having the ability to fly.

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