In the US, the average income of the wealthiest 10 percent of the population is 15.9 times that of the poorest 10 percent. By contrast, in Japan the difference is only 4.5 times - one of the lowest ratios in the world, according to Keiko Hirata and Mark Warschauer in their book "Japan, The Paradox of Harmony". There is much less conspicuous consumption among corporate tycoons in Japan than in the US, and business leaders are often embarrassed to be paid too much. Hmm, maybe the disgraceful minister in the prime minister's office should read the book.
Going against the vein, CEO Dan Price of Seattle payment processing firm Gravity Payments took a 90% pay cut so he could give his employees a raise after coming across a study about happiness. The happiness research came from a Angus Deaton and Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. They found that emotional well-being — defined as “the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience, the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant” — rises with income, but only to a point. And that point turns out to be about US$75,000 a year. David Marshall, who served as Singapore's first Chief Minister from 1955 to 1956, has a simpler explanation - how much can you really eat?
Try explaining that to the mercenaries who said that only a million dollars can give a politician confidence to clink champagne glasses with a businessman. The same horrible people who say the Gini coefficient does not matter. Price is not the only one willing to step forward to address the disparity between the soaring pay of top dogs and that of their lowly employees, he's heard from almost 100 other CEOs via email and text who say they support his initiative. To quote Chinese philosopher Laozi, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (千里之行，始於足下).