Let me tell you why your salary sucks in one paragraph

I’m not going to keep you waiting. This isn’t some blogging blue balls deal here.

From here:

He cites the seminal research by economist William Lazonick, who studied S&P 500 companies from 2003 to 2012 and discovered that they routinely spend 54% of their earnings buying back their own stock (reducing the number of outstanding shares and driving up share prices) and 37% of their earnings on dividends — both of which benefit shareholders. That leaves just 9% of earnings for investment in their business and their people.

Sooooooo…. an enterprise company spends about 6x on shareholder benefit as their own people.

Sounds about right.

Every stat you hear about engagement, about how no one understands strategy, about how most companies are a tire fire? All those stats? (They’re all here.)

There’s a straight line from those stats back to this paragraph.

Why in ever-loving shit would I try to determine the strategy of where I work (hint: it’s actually an operational plan and not a strategy) if some already-rich white guys I’ve never met are getting six dollars every time I’m getting one?

Because work is virtue?


The global employee engagement rate is 15%, which is both pathetic and abysmal.

There’s definitely a tie to the above in there. Hard to deny that.

Oh, and if you want some other reasons your salary is a joke, here we go:

We good here?

For a slightly more positive bent about how to boost your individual earning potential, hit this target.


Ted Bauer


  1. Good morning Ted,

    As related in previous notes, I really enjoy your columns and the manner in which you present them. I’m an old geezer — 72 years of age — an received most of my adult education reading the commentary of others.

    Back when PC Magazine was a printed publication, as hefty as a mid-sized city phone book, and featured such straight talkers as John C. Dvorak and Jim Seymour (now deceased), I would read each edition from cover-to-cover, in an attempt to follow the Malcolm Forbes (also deceased) admonition “With all thy getting, get understanding!”. It is also how I learned all about, and became proficient with, the new phenomenon of “Personal Computing.”

    Although Dvorak is still around, the industry has become so one-dimensional that I have lost interest in following it or it’s commentators.

    Now I read your excellent work and the insight you and your contemporaries offer regarding business and the insidious maze of the modern workplace. Great work! Know that old dogs such as myself are learning from you and appreciate your insight.


    Lamar Green

    • I really appreciate this, man … was pretty depressed this morning on a host of things, and this helped a lot. Thank you.

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