“Wages for the richest 1% in the U.S. have soared 160% over the past four decades while the share of wages for the bottom 90% has shrunk, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute. While there has been plenty of research on worsening economic inequality in the U.S., the new EPI analysis paints a clearer picture. The new findings are based on W-2 earnings, which include realized stock options and vested stock awards – forms of compensation not typically offered to the bottom 90% of earners.”
Source: Wage inequality gets worse
The standard definition of wages: “a payment usually of money for labor or services usually according to contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis —often used in plural”
Stock options and stock awards are forms of compensation at risk. It is paid over many years. There is no guarantee that options will produce an actual reward. Stock awards typically come with performance incentives, restrictions and the ultimate value is based on the price of the stock. That is why executives receive the bulk of their compensation in other than cash. IN SHORT, they are not wages.
The cost of such compensation is carried by shareholders, not taxpayers.
The large numbers often involved may produce envy and cry’s of inequality, but they have no impact on the wages of average Americans who I suspect are unwilling to change their form of compensation.