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Why some think it’s fair to pay top CEOs 184 times the average worker salary

Edwin Locke, the world-renowned industrial organizational psychologist, says those who take issue with the large salaries of top CEOs, especially when compared to the earnings of an average worker, are motivated by one thing: envy.

“There’ s no objective method for determining the correct ratio between the top and the bottom,” said Locke, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “There’s no way to do it. It’s just completely subjective, based on emotion.”

Locke was responding to a recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that calculated in 2014, the top 100 CEOs in Canada made, on average, $9 million (including salary and stock options)  — compared to the almost $49,000 in average annual earnings across the Canadian population for someone working full time.


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