Well worth it?

According to figures compiled by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left-leaning think-tank, the 100 highest-paid chief executives whose companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange made an average of $8.38 million in 2010—a 27 percent increase from the $6.6 million compensation for the top 100 CEOs in 2009.
All the while as regular Canadians, after adjusting for inflation, saw their average wages actually fall in 2010.
But there’s something else wrong with this picture. While the so-called “99 percent” berate the outrageous salaries and benefits that flood the boardroom, we keep silent as professional athletes continue to ink jaw-dropping contracts simply to hit a baseball, catch a football, shoot a puck, or sink a basket.
Just yesterday, the Detroit Tigers signed free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214-million (U.S.) deal, which, using rudimentary math, works out to an average of $23.77 million per season—high above the $13.8 million Richard Waugh pulled in for overseeing the Bank of Nova Scotia, which, obviously, doesn’t compare to hitting a home run.
Nor is it just athletes raking in the big dough. Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, reportedly makes $77 million a year, Johnny Depp $50 million, and George Clooney a paltry $19 million. Ryan Seacrest? Some $61 million a year. Then there’s the queen of daytime, Oprah Winfrey, whose annual earnings reportedly are pegged at $290 million.
Michael Bublé reportedly is worth $104 million/year, topping Elton John ($102 million). Or how about $67 million for Justin Bieber—not bad for a 17-year-old from Stratford, Ont. Not to mention Rihanna ($90 million), Britney Spears ($68 million), and Lady Gaga ($63 million).
It certainly puts CEO pay to shame. But don’t expect to see “Occupy” movements crop up outside sports stadiums, concert halls, and movie and TV studios. After all, keeping the masses entertained (and, by extension, distracted) is a very important job and worth every penny, right?