Thursday, May 9, 2013

Greetings from the Land of Greed - Or The Rich Get Richer

We haven’t heard from the 99% in a while Occupying Wall Street, LaSalle Street, or any other street and I’m wondering why. On Tuesday, May 7th, the Chicago Tribune reported that the average multiple of CEOs’ salaries at the top 100 U.S.A. firms is 204 times their average worker’s combined salary and benefit package. Even though this sounds outrageous, it may not even be accurate. For example, at JC Penney’s, the CEO Ronald Johnson is listed as making 1,795 X his average worker who makes $29,688 combined wages and benefits. Nevertheless, there are so many people working in retail part-time who don’t receive any benefits. Maybe the Tribune was just taking their full-time employees into account. (In case you’re curious, Ronald Johnson makes $53.5 million in one year.)

You may be thinking that this is the way it has always been. We can’t fight City Hall. Nevertheless, this isn’t the way it always was. As recently as four years ago in 2009, the average top companies’ CEOs had a multiple that was 20% less than it is now. In other words, they made a paltry 160X times their average worker’s combined salary and benefits. In 1980, when a study was done, it showed a ratio of top CEOs making an average of 40X their average worker.

According to numerous articles I read, this trend is occurring in England, Western Europe, and Canada although to a lesser extent. I don’t know what the answer is to stop this trend from continuing, but I hope that someone out there has a suggestion. I’d love to hear it.

In the meantime, many people struggle to maintain a basic standard of living. We still have homeless and people who are food and/or housing insecure. So per usual, I am sharing a low cost, healthy recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious. It serves two and preparation time is about 20 minutes. If you use it as a side dish, it can serve four.


                                                Baked Stuffed Eggplant

1 eggplant
½ green pepper diced
½ onion diced
1 Tsp minced garlic
3 Tsp olive oil
¼ cup uncooked white rice
¼ cup quinoa
1 cup water
4 Tsp tomato sauce
allspice, cumin, cinnamon, and parsley to taste

Combine the rice and quinoa in a pot with the water and cook.
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit (200° Centigrade).
Cut the eggplant in half. Then scoop out the meat from it. Put in a pot and steam to get soft for about 10 minutes.
In a small skillet, sauté the green pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil.
When the eggplant is soft, drain the pot. Add the vegetables, tomato sauce, and seasoning.
Put the rice/quinoa mixture in the eggplant shell. Put the eggplant mixture on top of that. Bake for about 30 minutes.
It’s good with Greek salad.

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