He takes public transportation, shares an office with co-workers, stands in line to eat at the cafeteria. When things got tough in the recession, Haruka cut all his corporate perks, and cut his own salary — making less than his pilots. He felt he needed to share their own pain, and struggle to figure out things like how to fix a water heater that breaks. In his own words, “Relating to what his employees experience” is key to his own survival. When asked about CEOs that make 400 times their workers, he laughed contagiously, and said, “I can’t imagine… Businesses that pursue money first fail.” He went on to say this is a very basic ethic that much of the corporate world has forgotten – people come before profits.
In 1965 the average U.S. worker made $7.52 per hour while the average CEO made $330.38 per hour. A few years ago that study was done again, and the average worker wage slumped to $7.39 – the average CEO wage skyrocketed to $1, 566.68 per hour. Some CEO’s are making as much as $16, 000 per hour… more than their workers make in an entire year.
Shane Claiborne is a prominent author, speaker, activist, and founding member of the Simple Way. He is one of the compilers of Common Prayer, a new resource to unite people in prayer and action. Shane is also helping develop a network called Friends Without Borders which creates opportunities for folks to come together and work together for justice from around the world.