Business has slowed, layoffs mount, but executive pay continues to roar-at least so far. Business Week's annual survey finds that chief executive officers (CEOs) at 365 0f the largest US companies got compensation last year averaging $3.1 million-up l.3 percent from 1994.
Why are the top bosses getting an estimated 485 times the pay of a typical factory worker? That is up from 475 times in 1999 and a mere 42 times in 1980. One reason may be what experts call the "Lake Wobegon effect". Corporate boards tend to reckon that "all CEOs are above average"-a play on Garrison Keillor's famous line in his public radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, that all the town's children arc "above average". Consultants provide boards with surveys of corporate CEO compensation. Since directors are reluctant to regard their CEOs as below average, the compensation committees of boards tend to set pay at an above-average level. The result; Pay levels get ratcheted up.
Defenders of lavish CEO pay argue there is such a strong demand for experienced CEOs that the free market forces their pay up. They further maintain most boards structure pay packages to reflect an executive's performance. They get paid more if their companies and their stock do well. So companies with high-paid CEOs generate great wealth for their shareholders.
But the supposed cream-of-the-crop executives did surprisingly poorly for their shareholders in 1999, says Scott Klinger, author of this report by a Bostonbased Organization United for a Fair Economy. If an investor had put $10,000 apiece at the end of 1999 into the stock of those companies with the 10 highest-paid CEOs, by year-end 2000 the investment would have shrunk to $8.132. If $10,000 had been put into the Standard & Poor's 500 stocks, it would have been worth $9,090. To Mr. Klinger, these findings suggest that the theory that one person, the CEO, is responsible for creating most of a corporation's value is dead wrong. "It takes many employees to make a corporation profitable."
With profits down, corporate boards may make more effort to tame executive compensation. And executives are making greater efforts to avoid pay cut. Since CEOs, seeing their options "under water" or worthless because of falling stock prices, are seeking more pay in cash or in restricted stock.
1.Which of the following statements is true about Garrison Keillor?
A) His idea on the CEOs was recognized by cor[,orate boards.
B) One of his lines had been modified to describe the CEOs.
C) His play pointed out that "all CEOs are above average".
D) His radio program aroused the "Lake Wobegon effect".
2.According to the second paragraph. CEOs' pay keeps soaring mainly because___________.
A) surveys indicate that CEOs deserve higher pay
B) consultants tend to believe CEOs are above average
C) directors' belief greatly influences the pay standard
D) compensation committees seldom evaluate the CEOs' ability
3.Scott Klinger most probably tends to agree Chat____________.
A) most people lose money in the investment into the stocks
B) the CEOs performance can't be reflected by the value of stocks
C) the CEOs are not the only factor that prospers a corporation
D) the pay of the CEOs greatly influences the profit of' a company
4."Cream-of-the-crop" is closest in meaning to____________.
5.Which of the following is the biggest concern of the corporate boards?
A)The free market.
B)The CEOs’ performance.
C) The corporations' profit.
D)The CEOs’ pay.
[B]原文第2段第4句中的破折号后的内存表明“all CEOs are above average”这一说法是对Garrison Keillor的某句台词的修改，故选项B为本题答案。
[C]第2段最后两句的Since... The result...表明这两句之问存在着因果关系，由倒数第2句可以推断CEOs报酬不断上涨主要是因为受到董事们的想法的影响，选项C提到了董事们的想法，为本题答案。
[C]原文第4段倒数第2句中的...is dead wrong表明选项C符合Klinger对CEOs的看法，因此选项C为本题答案。
[A]从原文第4段首句中cream-of-the-crop之前的supposed以及But,did surprisingly poorly可以推断cream-of-the-crop应该与poor的意思相反，而该段主要讨论CEOs的能力，因此cream-of-the-crop应表示CEOs被认为“能力卓著”，因此选项A为本题答案。