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Mark Long

I have a problem with the concept that the work of one individual can be worth so much more than the work of another. A help desk technician in the US makes about $40K. It is a decent, professional job. He or she will be making about 2.3 times what someone on minimum wage would get for the same hours. Could the work of the technician be worth 2.7 times more than cleaning tables in a diner? Well, maybe. Probably not, but maybe.

A CEO of a large company could easily make $22 million. There are many that would not work for so little.

So, one CEO is worth 536 technicians or a little over 1466 cleaners.

Mark Zuckerberg was paid 2.27 billion dollars last year.

So 1 x Zuckerberg = 122 CEOs = 65836 technicians or 180000 minimum wage workers.

So, Mr Zuckerberg would need to be able to do more useful work than 180000 able bodied and willing people to justify that level of pay.

The hoover dam took 5 years to build and there were an average of 3500 men working each day. That is 14000 man years. That is an impressive amount of work. Lets us assume for the same of argument that the average salary was $27000 in modern money. It probably was lower than that because a lot of the workers would have been unskilled labour but let us call it a ball park figure. The total labour cost was around $378 million with those estimates.

So, one Mark Zuckerberg for a year would need to do 7.2 times the work done to build the Hoover Dam to make this fair and equitable.

Maybe I have chosen a poor example. A CEO works with his mind, not with his hands. How about we compare him to a high school teacher? They are subject matter experts. They shape the minds of a generation. That is probably more important in the grand scheme of things than a social media website. They make about $45000 a year.

One Zuckerberg is worth 60000 high school teachers which is enough for 3 average sized US states.

Ok, but Zuckerberg is clearly at the top of his field. How about we compare him to college professors. They are, after all, the ultimate SMEs. They average about $75K a year. He is only worth about 36000 of them.

His work would have to be worth more than the builders of 7 Hoover dams per year or 36000 college professors or 71000 US Army Privates on combat pay with family allowance (assuming 2 years service). His job pays better than that of 70000 people combined who are expected to get shot at on a regular basis. How rough can board meetings be?

Either this man is a genius greater than Leonardo Da Vinci who should be in charge of the entire world or something is very, very wrong with US society.

Of course, Zuckerberg is an extreme example. The average CEO only makes $780000 - well, there are a lot of companies with only a handful of staff. An average CEO is only paid 21 times as much as a front line soldier or 12 times what a college professor makes. Clearly, that is much fairer... um... right?

So, how long would Zuckerberg have to work to earn as much as a waiter does in a year? Let us assume that he works a 50 hour week because clearly a man of such talent would have a good work/life balance. That gives him an hourly rate of $1038462 - and you thought a plumber was expensive. So, Zuckerberg earns about the same as a minimum wage worker does per year in about 51 seconds.


Mark Long

It looks like my figures are about right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

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