Peter Georgescu went from a Soviet-style labor camp in Romania, to first-class education at Exeter, Princeton, and Stanford, and continued on to Young & Rubicam where he rose through the ranks to become Chairman and CEO. Peter is an author and speaker, devoted to income equality and opportunity for all Americans. His remarkable experiences of hardship and oppression, combined with his business career, give him a unique perspective on the challenges facing our society.
For the past four decades, capitalism has been slowly committing suicide. It's going on in plain view, though few recognize what's happening, because to most observers of the stock market, nothing looks amiss.
Despite the extraordinary rise in income and wealth for the top income quartile in America, the median household income today is less than one percent higher than it was in 1989. And since the 2008 financial crisis, 91 percent of income growth has gone to the top one percent. Flat wages have taken a serious bite out of far too many people’s standard of living.
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From his popular article in The New York Times comes this new book, where Peter vividly depicts the damage income inequality is doing and examines the trends and developments that have led to our current crisis. He examines the need to look beyond a single-minded focus on maximizing the short-term profits for shareholders demand and serve the interests of all their stakeholders—employees, customers, society, and the environment. This book offers solutions, which are deep, rich, and compelling.
Airlines have been cutting costs by keeping a cap on wages. Finally, this is changing. Last year, several airlines announced generous pay increases as a way of making up for so many years of neglecting their workers.
The McKinsey Global Institute’s recent study showed CEOs who defy shareholder activists (who press for immediate gratification) perform consistently better than those who can see only into the next quarter. Leaders need to Ignore short-term pressures and think primarily about future growth.
We can regain the values and rebuild the America I knew when I came here as an immigrant half a century ago, and much of the effort requires a shift in core values within the private sector itself.