In September 2011–in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement–I tried to start a groundswell for a Federal regulation requiring companies to restrict the payment of top executives to no more than forty times what the lowest paid employees in that company received. The rational for that amount came from the fact that the top official in the US Federal government–the President–currently receives a salary that is forty times higher than the lowest-level Federal entry position. (The highest paid Federal employees are actually the coaches of the Army and the Navy football teams in West Point and in Annapolis; the salary of those coaches, however, are paid for by alumni contributions, and these positions are thus not technically tax-payer funded.)
A wonderful student at the Key School in Annapolis MD, Fish Stark, created a website and blog to help advertise my quixotic quest. Alas, my plea fell upon deaf ears–if it fell upon any ears at all!
Yet economic inequality continues to grow exponentially. Similar attempts to institute governmental curbs on the excesses of uncurbed capitalism, such as mandates for a 8-hour work day and a 40-hour work week, or laws preventing child labor, took many decades to be realized. So perhaps the 40 X Rule is not yet a lost cause.
(We may want to change the name of this apparently stillborn movement, as the 40X Rule seems already be taken; in New York City, landlords are required to ascertain that their tenants have an annual salary that is forty times what they charge for a monthly rent.)
The 40 X Rule blog is still available: http://40xrule.blogspot.com