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Thu May 31, 2012, 02:13 AM

France moves to cap executive pay at state firms

(Reuters) - France's new government will flesh out plans to cap the pay of top executives at state-controlled companies by mid-June, laying down a marker in a Europe-wide debate fuelled by waves of austerity and rising unemployment.

Elected this month promising to curb the privileges enjoyed by France's wealthy and powerful, Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during campaigning to limit senior executives' salaries to a maximum of 20 times that of their lowest-paid employee.

"We are working on plans for pay at public companies to be cut," Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told journalists on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. These would be ready in two weeks, he said.

High executive pay has become a hot topic on both sides of the Atlantic, with U.S. and European companies seeing a rise in AGM votes against remuneration packages...

complete piece: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/05/30/us-france-pay-idINBRE84T0XK20120530


Follow up activity questions:
So could we ever pass a law capping executive salaries in the United States?
We could but not right now. The government is currently too controlled by the wealthy special interests.

What would it take for the USA to pass a law like that?
We would have to do something to shake things up a little first, and then pass the law. Like the civil rights activists did in the 60s. And then they got the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed. Basically we have to flex some people-power muscles to counter the big money.

Does the US federal government even have the authority to set a maximum wage for executives at private companies?
Yes of course. If we can set a minimum wage then we can set a maximum wage.

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