A reader pointed out a news item we missed, namely, that the new government in France is trying to implement a maximum wage for the employees of state-owned companies. From the Financial Times :
France’s new socialist government has launched a crackdown on excessive corporate pay by promising to slash the wages of chief executives at companies in which it owns a controlling stake, including EDF, the nuclear power group.
In a departure from the more boardroom-friendly approach of the previous right-of-centre administration, newly elected president François Hollande wants to cap the salary of company leaders at 20 times that of their lowest-paid worker.
According to Jean-Marc Ayrault, prime minister, the measure would be imposed on chief executives at groups such as EDF’s Henri Proglio and Luc Oursel at Areva, the nuclear engineering group. Their pay would fall about 70 per cent and 50 per cent respectively should the plan be cleared by lawyers and implemented in full…
France is unusual in that it still owns large stakes in many of its biggest global companies, ranging from GDF Suez, the gas utility; to Renault, the carmaker; and EADS, parent group of passenger jet maker Airbus.
Of course, in the US, we have companies feeding so heavily at the government trough that they hardly deserve the label of being private, but the idea that the public might legitimately have reason to want to rein in ever-rising executive pay is treated as a rabid radical idea.
In July 2011, Doug Smith proposed a maximum wage, using a 25 to one ratio, for any enterprise that used taxpayer funds. I’d be curious to learn how this idea developed in France, since it would be helpful to know who this idea developed and what experts/research they relied on. From Doug’s post :