Just couldn’t resist responding to Mr. Mazzuca’s column painting me as some sort of anti-capitalist. In fact, I heartily endorse capitalism. As Pogo would say, I are one.
Our definitions differ. My definition of a capitalist is one who invests his own money, employs people and capital and makes a profit or suffers a loss. No one begrudges Bill Gates or Steve Jobs their immense fortunes. They invented, invested, took risks and are entitled to their profits. The past president of McDonald’s never invested 2 cents of his own money or took any risk of losing anything.
Years ago, management consultants such as Peter Drucker thought executive pay was getting out of line when the ratio of the chief executives pay reached 50 times that of the ordinary worker. He opined a ration of 25 to 1 was more appropriate.
A question then arises, how do the CEOs convince a board of directors to pay such salaries? That’s too long a discussion for this letter, but the short answer is bribery.
Mr. Mazzuca, the oracle of Omaha runs 20 separate companies with over 200,000 employees and his salary is $400,000 per year. He also owns a lot of stock.