Abigail Disney finds Bob Iger's pay absurd

Posted Monday, April 22, 2019 6:33 PM | Contributed by BrettV

From the article:

“Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates of our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince,” Disney wrote. She argued that it was not enough simply to pay above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 — a figure, she said, that is “too low to live on.”

Read more from The Washington Post.

Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:02 PM

Jeff said:

I'm not misconstruing anything...

I disagree.

  1. Why is the spread immoral? You haven't given us a reason, but you're unwilling to respond to everyone else's suggestion that a difference in skill is indicative of a difference in compensation.

I find coasterbuzz a difficult forum for outlining moral theories and find myself ill-equipped to do so here. With that, i provided an example above as to how income inequality might be perceived as moral concern.

  1. Literally no one is dehumanizing "many people" for either how little they make or how much someone else makes. No one disputes that you, me, Bob, all crap the same way. If you believe that someone who makes less money is worth less as a human being, that's a decision that you're making, not everyone else.

Fair enough. I guess we disagree.


tall and fast but not much upside down

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:49 PM

If you are looking for the government to provide rational checks and balances, I think you are likely to be disappointed. "Rational" isn't a word used often to describe anything having to do with government. Most rational thing about it is politicians will say and do whatever they believe is necessary to get into, and hold onto, power. And its seems odd to me to decry our markets as irrational because they rely heavily on psychological manipulation but then look to the government (which does all of the same things and more) as a solution.

And this may be the first time I have seen anyone cite the Heritage Foundation in an argument against income inequality. From what I have read, the Heritage Foundation tends to believe that the magnitude of income inequality is overstated, the importance of the issue to voters is overstated and its a tool used to manipulate. A couple of their articles:

https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/how-talk-about-income-inequality

https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/defending-the-dream-why-income-inequality-doesnt-threaten-opportunity

https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality

I haven't read the article you quoted with respect to inter-generational social contract, but I think its likely, based on what I have seen from the Heritage Foundation, to be about government deficits and debt. They tend to talk a lot about government spending and deficits/debt. And the idea that what we are doing now is living above our means, putting the deficit on a credit card and leaving it for our kids and grand kids (and really their kids and grand kids) to pay. If anything, I think that is what the Heritage Foundation views as immoral. Not income inequality.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:56 PM

I agree that the federal government certainly doesn’t inject much confidence right now. But, that’s a different issue. I’m happy you read my quote closely enough to realize the irony. Alas, when “googling” for a quick quote on the theory of a “social contract” it was the first article that came up.


tall and fast but not much upside down

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 11:57 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Hmm. I skipped the last 1/3 of this thread, but the government does step in to ensure a minimum wage. I don't think some ratio cap or other cap or "maximum wage" regulation is a huge step from there, though I personally find it a harder pill to swallow.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, July 19, 2019 9:10 AM

No doubt government could set maximum wages. Question is would whatever way it is done be rational and would it be effective. Or would it just be pandering. If I had to bet, I know where I would put my money.

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Friday, July 19, 2019 11:56 AM

There are two different questions here: what you *earn* and what you are *worth*.Earnings are what they are, totally dependent on the market. By definition, you earn what you earn.However, unlike some (most?) here on CBuzz, I don't believe that what you earn defines what you are worth. Instead, I believe there is some real value in the idea that as a collection of humans, we owe it to each other to see that we don't suffer unnecessarily, that we take care of one another. And, that's not because "it could happen to me" or anything like that. It's just because each individual on the planet is awesome and deserving of shared dignity.

Yes, even the dirty bums with no marketable economic skill or talent. I've spent a lot of time with those dirty bums in the last two years. They saved my life, and helped me in ways that "good people" never would or could.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Friday, July 19, 2019 11:56 AM
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Friday, July 19, 2019 12:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think anyone here believes that your earnings define your worth. I don't think any of us are 1%'ers, as far as I know, and if we were, we wouldn't think we were more or less valuable than other people.

But here's the thing, looking out for each other and believing the market pays what it pays based on your skills are not mutually exclusive arrangements. I don't know anyone well-off that doesn't also contribute to things that improve and value humans in one way or another. And to bring it full circle, I'm sure Bob Iger gives fairly generously. His company sure does... Disney is a fairly decent corporate citizen in these parts.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Saturday, July 20, 2019 2:15 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

This got a bit long, but I feel it stands. The TL:DR is the first sentence below.

You guys are all wrong. You don't "earn what you are worth," You earn what you negotiate.

Bob Iger negotiated his package deal before accepting the position. Tom Hanks, or his agent, will negotiate how much he gets paid for Toy Story: Beyond Infinity. Our own Jeff probably negotiated his 6 figure salary package when he took his job. I work for a wage and under a set of work rules that my labor union negotiated on our behalf even though I voted no. The grocers union negotiates what the bag boys and cart wranglers make, and believe it or not, the McDonald's and Walmart employees indirectly negotiate their salaries by continuing to flood the market with applications.

In a perfectly just world, the guy who empties port-a-potties after Burning Man should be the highest paid worker on the planet, as not only does he have the crappiest (get it?) job, but deals with the hottest desert temperature crap. Or maybe that honor should go to the teachers who influence our youth. Or the police who keep the streets safe. I'm sure there are a few stay at home Mom's who throw around on their Instagram how they have "the hardest job in the world." Instead, "Cash Me Outside" girl makes more money that probably the rest of CoasterBuzz combined, because she negotiated a way to cash in on her 15 minutes of fame.

The majority of the people that get worked up about this are the people at the bottom of the gap. It's easy to be dismissive of them if you're not one of them. It's easy for me to say "I worked at Burger King in high school, but now I have a better job." Personally, I deal with minimum wage workers every day at my job, and I do my best to treat them with dignity and respect. That being said, some of them do a terrible job and I wonder how they got hired in the first place. Would they do a better job if they got paid more? I don't know, but perhaps if the position paid more, it would attract better workers.

Okay, at this point I'm rambling...

But I'm still not voting for Bernie.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019 4:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But you can still only negotiate what someone thinks a fair value of your skills/contribution is.

So regardless of how you get there, you get paid what someone thinks whatever it is you do is worth.

Life (and income especially) is really no more complicated than that. Want to make more money? Be more useful to someone's agenda.


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Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:03 PM
Dale K's avatar

How do you even negotiate pay with zero skills? Wouldn't you just take what they give you to get your foot in the door and earn a paycheck and experience?

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Saturday, July 20, 2019 7:26 PM
Jeff's avatar

The negotiation thing depends on the industry. I've hired quite a few people in the last few years, and it's a seller's market in our line of work. You make a good offer up front or lose the candidate.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019 4:05 PM
LostKause's avatar

I saw the entire Abigail Disney interview, and while I think she is well-intentioned, I also think she, or the employees she spoke with, are exaggerating. Come on! Disney employees who make at least $15 an hour aren't eating out of garbage cans.

I make less, and while I have don't have a lot of money left over after paying all my bills, I can still afford to eat. I still make it.

But I do agree with her that a CEO of any company should be paid 1000X what their lowest earner makes. That's insane! If any particular company thinks that their CEO is that valuable, their front line employees should be considered more valuable also. The pay for all their employees should follow.

Feel the Bern 2020!


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Tuesday, July 23, 2019 5:52 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't get this disconnect. The decisions a CEO makes in this case can have billion dollar consequences. Over time, Iger's decisions have had trillion dollar implications.

What happens when a guy selling churros makes a bad decision?

(The answer is nothing... so why is it so hard to understand the difference in pay?)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019 6:01 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I will say one thing I don't get is why failed CEO's seem to get big paydays on the way out AND also managed to get rehired for huge salaries.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:43 PM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, that's totally ridiculous, but stupid boards who don't hold their CEO's accountable is a different problem. It doesn't diminish the value of what successful CEO's do. It would be awfully hard to make a case that Iger has been anything but successful.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11:21 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

But I have to believe they're somewhat related. Like "That idiot is making $20M? You better give me $30."


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019 6:28 AM

Not very far off at all. In the business world, there is an entire consulting industry to justify it, called executive compensation analysis.

It's pretty similar to sports. The Detroit Lions made Matthew Stafford the highest-paid player in the NFL in August 2017. The next free agent in line said, my stats are way better than his, so pay up. Within 12 months, he was only the 3rd highest-paid quarterback in their division.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019 6:53 AM

LostKause said:

Feel the Bern 2020!

As someone who pays way too much attention to the Horse Race, you'd be well-advised to hitch your wagon to basically anyone else. Warren is probably your best bet, as far as ideology goes. Sanders ain't doin' so hot in the primary.


Brandon | Facebook

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:21 AM

LostKause said:

I make less, and while I have don't have a lot of money left over after paying all my bills, I can still afford to eat. I still make it.

https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/huntington-wv/orlando-fl/31200

A salary of $31,200 in Huntington, West Virginia should increase to $45,309 in Orlando, Florida (assumptions include Homeowner, no Child Care, and Taxes are not considered.)

Comparison Highlights
- Overall, Orlando, Florida is 45.2% more expensive than Huntington, West Virginia
- Median Home Cost is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
- Median Home Cost is 204% more expensive in Orlando.

Roughly $22/hour in Orlando is equal to $15/hour in the town listed in your profile. On the flip-side, making $15/hour in Orlando is about the same as making $10.50 in your town.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019 11:30 AM

Abigail was talking about Disneyland, right? Cost of living is higher in Anaheim I believe than Orlando. So numbers above would be even worse compared with WVa.

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