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2011 was another bumper crop for CEO pay and golden parachutes

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Of course the earnings were great. We are in one of the worst economic periods since the 1930's so should we expect anything else? Wait, what?

Among other big paydays: Apple's Tim Cook — $378 million, including $376 million in restricted stock after replacing the late Steve Jobs. Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs — $50.6 million, including $28.9 million from stock options. Tyco International's Ed Breen — $68.9 million, including stock and option gains worth $52.4 million. J.C. Penney's Ron Johnson — $51.5 million, including $50 million in restricted shares after signing on in November. Exit packages are even more lucrative. Nabors Industries will pay Chairman Gene Isenberg $126 million when he steps down, while Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha and Temple-Inlad CEO Doyle Simons are due more than $60 million once merger deals are finalized.
As a society, why do we continue to glorify these people and tolerate this garbage? It's not sustainable to keep squeezing everyone in the middle while a few - often underachievers in terms of actual corporate value - cash in like this. What's especially wrong is that companies like Apple, JC Penney and Motorola are selling to consumers, who are being squeezed. Apple makes no bones about abandoning US production and focusing on profit, but who will they sell to when there's no middle class left? Everyone gets that businesses are there to make a profit, but at the same time, if you are too focused on profit alone while killing your target market, don't be surprised when that catches up with your hunt for profits. There are limits to everything.

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