Wealth seems to be a popular topic of conversation this election year. Politicians love to point out that some people supposedly have wealth but you do not.

And electing them is the only way to reverse that injustice and right the boat in your favor.

But is that accurate thinking? What’s your definition of wealth?

Cash in the bank or the stuff that surrounds you wherever you happen to be?

Wealth In Dollars

If you want to talk about sheer dollars then you’re talking about professional athletes — not corporate CEOs.

The 27 highest paid baseball players all make in excess of $20 million a year in cold hard cash. The highest paid player takes home $32 million or just short of $3 million a month. I’ll let you break that down into an hourly rate.

This does not include additional dollars from commercial endorsements. That can be more than the salary for some athletes.

Why don’t we whine and cry about the pay of professional athletes?

According to many rating systems at least one third are overpaid for the player’s on field performance.

Boxers, tennis players, baseball, and golf are usually at the top of the athletic, salary food chain.

Wealth In Stuff

The rank and file CEO salary pales in comparison to those of professional athletes. A very small percentage of their pay is in dollars. And they rarely are able to sign multi-year contracts.

I don’t mean to imply they are getting near poverty wages, far from it.

The bulk of their compensation is on paper — not a pile of cash in the safe. Stock options or deferred bonuses are the order of the day.

The roller coaster stock price can make or break a CEO’s compensation package.

Yet we picket the homes of CEOs or their headquarters as though the have some cushy overpaid job.

Some Final Thoughts

I think the problem is that we don’t always know what the player is making when they step up to bat. And we can see that they are either a good or bad player.

We are not able to see what a CEO does in the boardroom. We don’t see a positive or negative effect in our lives that we can directly attribute to a CEO’s decisions.

We are just unhappy that he or she makes so much while the rest of us seem to make so little in comparison.

The CEO of Walmart started as a summer worker on their loading dock while going to college. Talk about working your way up from the minor leagues.

If given the choice, which would you choose — dollars or stuff?

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