No fence sitting.

“Average CEO pay 2011 nearly $10 million at public companies: AP study” – Christian Rexrode and Bernard Condon (Huffington Post)

And the award for “Most Awkward Article Title” goes to this one!

But, in more serious news, over the past thirty years worker wages have remained stagnant, barely keeping up with inflation, while CEO and executive salaries have climbed into the stratosphere. Major corporations are sitting on billions in uninvested capital and refusing to hire anyone, even though corporate profits have returned to pre-2008 levels.

Bank Of America, which has been riddled with scandals, is hemorrhaging customers, and seemingly constantly teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, dished out $7.5 million to CEO Brian Moynihan. His previous salary: $1.3 million.

And in a bit of personal history, a company I once interned for, Simon Property Group, took home the prize for Highest CEO Salary at $137 million to CEO David Simon. David’s father and uncle, as mentioned, also co-owned the Indiana Pacers until Mel Simon’s death in 2009. Apple’s CEO David Cook technically earned $378 million, but was not included in the survey.

I don’t begrudge the wealthy their success by any means, but I take offense to CEOs of publicly traded companies that make 250 times their average worker salary. They are not 250 times more valuable. They are not 250 times more productive. One CEO is not worth 250 average workers.

Without workers, CEOs have no one to make the goods to sell in stores to pay their obscene salaries. There’s a reason workers are the base of the pyramid; without them, the whole thing collapses.

“Chuck Schumer denounces Eduardo Saverin defenders, Nazi comparisons as “appalling”” – Michael McAuliff (Huffington Post)

I’m just gonna leave this here:

“No one gets rich in America on their own,” Schumer said. “And when people do well in America, they should do well by America. I believe the vast majority of Americans believe this too.”

And this too:

“At the end of the day, we should tax income one time at one rate,” he said. “Capital gains tax should be zero. That’s the Republican Party position for some time. It’s where [Rep. Paul] Ryan’s road map takes you to. We tax income at one time at one rate. You earn a dollar, they steal some, you go away.”

Asked if he really meant that levying taxes equaled stealing, Norquist amended, “OK, taking it. Taking by force.”

While we’re on the subject, let’s get Mitt Romney’s thoughts on deficit reduction:

Romney: Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%.  That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.

“Led by Walker, Republicans winning Wisconsin ad spending battle” – Sean Sullivan (National Journal)

Scott Walker has a single digit lead, and thanks to wealthy right wing benefactors is crushing Barrett in fundraising.

Scott Walker’s biggest fundraiser? Friends of Scott Walker.

“Obama and Roberts: the view from 2005” – James Fallows (The Atlantic)

In which Future President Obama correctly deduces that Future Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts is an idealogue hell bent on reshaping American democracy through a conservative activist Supreme Court.

“”Political Greek God”: Even Republicans Think Carmona Has a Chance in Arizona” – Pema Levy (TPM)

If Arizona doesn’t elect this guy, I think it’ll be time to see if we can erect a fence around Arizona instead of along the Mexican border.

“Newark Mayor Cory Booker declares Drug War “a failure”, endorses medical marijuana” – Judd Legum (ThinkProgress)

I know I slammed Booker for the Bain stuff earlier, but he deserves praise for saying the right things here.

I think the next three big social issues to get worked out are gonna be gay marriage, immigration, and marijuana. The demographics for all three trend strongly in liberal directions. Abortion is a different story entirely, despite being the only one of the three to actually be firmly settled by the Supreme Court.

“Prominent Islamophobes identified as “Heading up the radical right”” – Eli Clifton (ThinkProgress)

The irony is that the reason so much of the Muslim world hates America is because of people like this.

Also too, drones.

“Tomgram: Barbara Ehrenreich, looting the lives of the poor” – Barbara Ehrenreich (TomDispatch)

A reader contribution from GI.

I’ve never been homeless. I’ve never had to work two jobs to survive, or wonder where my next meal is coming from. But, I’ve been pretty broke. I know what it’s like to get a parking ticket or an overdraft fee or any one of a hundred other ways business and government extort money out of everyday citizens when you’re barely getting by.

Frankly, I’d love to see government fees scale by income. 100% of the fee is set at the average income for the state, city, etc. As you exceed the fee or fine, you pay more to ensure it still has the same impact. For example, a $100 parking ticket means a lot to someone making $16,000 a year, but it means nothing to someone making $160,000 a year. At the same time, as your income decreases below the average, so do fees and fines.

There will always be rich and poor in every society. Some people are just gifted with certain advantages, be they physical, mental, or familial, that will make their path to success much easier than it would be for someone else. But in a truly just society, those that have much would give some so that those that have little can have more.