The New York Times has an editorial this morning supporting a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial "reform" legislation that requires companies to report a ratio of their CEO's pay to that of a typical employee.
"Without company-specific data, however, it is impossible to measure and judge the effect of pay structures on companies and the broader economy," the Times editorial says. "How does the pay gap between the boss and the workers figure into performance? Are companies efficiently providing goods and services or are they being run for the enrichment of the few? Disclosure of the gap could help provide answers."
There's one company, of course, for which those responsible for the Times editorial already have "company-specific data" — that is the New York Times Company itself, where Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s overall compensation as chairman of the New York Times Company more than doubled to $6 million in 2009, in a year when many Times reporters and editors, who make about $100,000 a year, were subjected to a 5% pay cut, and reporters at the Globe, who make less than those at the Times, took a 5.9% pay cut.
If the Times editorialists are really curious about how the pay gap figures into performance and about whether companies are "efficiently providing goods and services" or whether they are "being run for the enrichment of the few" — well, no need to wait for the implementation of Dodd-Frank to get that company-specific data. Just take a stroll around the office.