The 80-20 rule, politicians and CEOs

20% of CEOs are bottom-feeders, yet control 80% of our politicians!

By Jack E. Lohman

Not all CEOs are bad guys. Easily 80% of them invested their own blood, sweat and tears starting their own company from scratch, risking everything they had and providing good jobs to the vast number of Americans. They should be admired, and deserve every bit of salary they can afford to give themselves.

But 20% of CEOs are bottom feeders — interlopers — and the 80% suffer because of it.  Some never started anything, yet gained their position because they became members of the good-old-boy network of CEOs that sit on each others’ Boards. They vote $10 million compensation packages for their buddies because the shareholders and taxpayers pay the bill, and they usually hire an outside “independent compensation consultant” to provide legal cover.

Nor are all politicians bad guys, but the ratio is reversed. Power and fame attracts them, though they claim otherwise. Easily 80% are bottom feeders seeking to expand their personal wealth over the best interests of the constituents they are supposed to serve.

The 20% of CEOs seek to own the 80% of politicians so they can implement and control, and they find that acquisition one of the easiest they’ve ever made. The Pols are glad to hop aboard because they share the booty they’ve made possible through their writing and voting for and against laws and deregulations… like the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall act that trashed the financial world and the nation’s economy, all to benefit the bankers.

Sorry, but this comparison is apt: Even 80% of our nation’s convicts look down upon the 20% who are child molesters and murderers — the bottom-feeders of that community.

It bears repeating:

“There is only so much growth that we can squeeze out of GDP to satisfy the Fat Cat appetites for further wealth. The rest must come from other people’s wealth; their houses, their jobs, their 401(k)’s and retirement plans, and their kids’ schooling.” (Source)

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Disclosure: Until retirement 6 years ago I was a CEO (I like to think in the 80% bracket). I started my 25-year-old business in my basement and grew it to $6M and 70 employees in four states, and I had only one shareholder to rip off. Me. I had my family house on the line and sometimes went without a paycheck to make payroll.

At one point I thought I’d lost it; I had to lay off a nurse, the only layoff in 25 years. But I was able to hire her back two weeks later and we kept growing.

Wow, what a difference from today’s dilemma.

So I’m critical of today’s 20% of CEO interlopers and the bankers who have ripped off the public, but more because they are stealing from my kids and grandkids than anything else. I *DO* understand personal motivation and I also understand unfettered greed. One of them I like.

But I wonder why the 80% of good CEOs tolerate the other 20% not only leaving the profession with a bad name, but also allowing them to help trash the economy as they have.

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