After reading the Oct. 4 front-page story “The ‘Lake Wobegon effect’ lifts CEOs’ pay,” I’m led to believe that the “talent” of chief executives is more about rubbing elbows with the “right crowd” than about creating ideas for spurring corporate growth and keeping employees working.
In contrast, Lake Wobegon illustrates the grass-roots belief that together we can make something larger than us — not just “what’s in it for me.” There, top dogs are sure to be reminded of their place in the community and that they didn’t get where they are all alone. At bottom, it’s about working together and making the community stronger.
These chief executives wouldn’t stand a chance at Lake Wobegon.
Sher Blair, Alexandria
This story was infuriating in light of the plight facing so many Americans today. Most workers are paid based on performance. If they are not performing well, they get fired. They don’t get raises. And even if they are performing at the highest levels, they certainly don’t get 37 percent raises.
This ever-increasing upward compensation spiral is reminiscent of the upward spiral of bad mortgages, and we all know how that turned out.
Marsha S. Liebl, North Potomac
Here is a fair way to deal with wildly excessive executive compensation: Prohibit business tax deductions for salaries in excess of 25 times the salary of the lowest-paid employee in the same organization, as then-Rep. Martin Olav Sabo (D-Minn.) proposed in his 1991 Income Disparities Act. Such limits would give a chief executive an incentive to increase the pay of his lowest-paid employees in order to increase his own salary.
Morton Mintz, Washington