Here's a stark contrast: think of the gap between a minimum wage worker and a guy like Jerald Fishman, chief executive of Analog Device who just picked up a payday worth $144.7 million (that's not a typo).
While the greed of a few executives is continuing unabated, here's what's happening to millions of minimum wage workers. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, "In 2005, minimum wage workers earned only 32% of the average hourly wage. Barring a minimum wage increase, we are poised to break a record in 2006 for the greatest inequality between minimum wage and average wage workers since the end of World War II.
"The minimum wage reached a peak of 56% of the average wage in 1950 and remained near 50% throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The decline in the minimum wage relative to the average wage since 1969 has resulted from continuous increases in average wages while Congress has raised the minimum wage only modestly and sporadically. In January 2006, the average hourly wage was $16.41. To reach 50% of the average wage—the level experienced in the 1950s and 1960s—the minimum wage (currently at $5.15) would need to be raised to $8.20."