Special Report: Vermont hospital CEOs average $500K a year

Editor’s note: Please see the end of this special report for graphics featuring information about hospital revenue and administrative compensation.

Hospital administrators in Vermont make six-figure salaries, and many earn more than a half-million dollars per year. Most get raises annually, and some receive large bonuses.

In 2013, the average chief executive officer at Vermont’s 14 hospitals and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire made $514,977. The median total compensation package was $355,326. The numbers include base salaries, bonuses, retirement benefits and other compensation.

The data show that hospital CEO pay is more than double what CEOs in other industries in Vermont make each year. The average CEO compensation was $162,210 in 2013, and the median was $141,050 that year, according to data from the Vermont Department of Labor.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service collects hospital pay information on a federal tax form called a 990. Hospitals, which are nonprofit organizations that don’t pay taxes, file the form every year and must list the salaries of top administrators and highest-paid employees. The most recent tax filings available for Vermont hospitals are from 2013.

John Brumsted

John Brumsted, CEO of the University of Vermont Health Network, details the hospital group’s budget plans for 2016 before the Green Mountain Care Board. File photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

Many of Vermont’s top-paid administrators are at the state’s largest hospital, the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care. The medical center had 15 administrators listed in 2013 who were collectively paid more than $9 million. The chief executive officer of UVM Medical Center, Dr. John Brumsted, made $1.9 million. Nine others made more than $600,000.

The Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, which is part of the UVM health system, had nine administrators who made a total of $2.2 million. The chief executive officer, Dr. Judith Tarr Tartaglia, made $434,718 — a roughly $95,000 increase over the previous year, largely because of deferred bonuses that were reported in response to new IRS rules.

The Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington and the Rutland Regional Medical Center — which are the second and fourth-biggest hospitals in the state — both compensated CEOs more than $500,000 in 2013. However, those salaries are dwarfed by what many of Vermont’s orthopedic surgeons make.

In contrast, the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, a small critical access hospital in St. Johnsbury, has just two full-time administrators — the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer — who together make less than $600,000. Bob Hersey, the CFO, said administrators at the hospital thought they could handle management without spending money on a chief operating officer.

Ken Libertoff, the former director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health, said hospital salaries “have lacked transparency for some time” despite being part of the “rising tide” of health care expenses in Vermont.

According to a 2013 expenditure analysis from the Green Mountain Care Board, hospitals made up between 38 percent and 45 percent of health care dollars spent in Vermont. Health care expenditures represent 18.1 percent of Vermont’s economy versus 16.4 percent of the U.S. economy.

“It is the consumer who ultimately pays the bill,” Libertoff said. “Because Vermont’s health care system is not financially sustainable, further debate about the administrative costs of hospitals is not only important but it is essential.”

Tom Huebner

Thomas Huebner, CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center. Courtesy photo

Thomas Huebner, the CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, said hospitals are “very complicated organizations.”

“There are many management consultants who have said they’re the most complicated organizational structure there is,” Huebner said. “It’s not the only hard job in the world, because sure, there’s lots of hard jobs, but the responsibility of ensuring that a hospital is there for a community is a big deal.”

Setting CEO compensation

In many cases, hospital CEOs have no control over compensation. Boards of directors across the state typically work with outside consultants to put together a compensation package, which a CEO can either accept or reject.

Scottie Ginn, a retired engineer and vice president for IBM, is the chair of the compensation committee at UVM Medical Center, a subcommittee of local business people who work under the hospital’s board of directors and decide the CEO’s pay.

Each year, the committee hires a consultant to determine how much CEOs of academic hospitals make in other states. The committee aims to keep the CEO salary in the 50th percentile, Ginn says, and bonuses for the CEO can fall as high as the 65th percentile.

In 2013, the CEO of UVM Medical Center, Dr. John Brumsted, received $1.9 million in total compensation. That figure included Brumsted’s base salary of $790,219, incentive and bonus pay of $815,101, retirement benefits, and a payout for long-term bonuses because of a change to an IRS rule.

In 2012, Brumsted’s base pay was $760,698. Another $484,886 in bonuses and other benefits brought his pay to just under $1.5 million that year.

By comparison, in 2013, the CEO of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston made $2.7 million; the CEO of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic received $1.9 million in compensation; and the Yale-New Haven Health System in Connecticut paid its CEO $2.9 million. The CEO of Albany Medical Center made $1.3 million in 2012.

Ginn said the UVM Medical Center board decided to no longer use long-term bonuses, in part because the IRS rule change inflated Brumsted’s annual compensation in 2013. The board will instead stick with three short-term incentives: a financial goal, an operational goal, and a quality goal.

The level of bonus is based on how well the senior leadership meets the goals, she said. For each senior administrator to get the full bonus in a given year, they would have to “knock it out of the park,” so to speak, according to Ginn.

UVM Medical Center

UVM Medical Center’s main hospital campus in Burlington. Courtesy of the hospital.

The UVM Medical Center is ranked No. 16 out of 104 in nationwide quality rankings, and the financial goal could include meeting the budget the hospital promised to the Green Mountain Care Board. That was about $1.1 billion in 2016, or about half of the money patients spend in hospitals in Vermont.

Historically, members of the senior leadership team at UVM have only received raises when the hospital has had a good year — even though the hospital hasn’t had a bad year since the 1990s, according to spokesperson Mike Noble. And if a CEO didn’t meet a budget promised to regulators at the Green Mountain Care Board in a given year, he’d probably get fired anyway, Ginn said.

“I think that (compensation) is very reasonable especially considering how successful we have been,” Ginn said. She said Brumsted, a trained obstetrician and gynecologist, has “done sort of everything in this hospital” and would do the right thing for the organization even if he didn’t get bonuses.

“As a board, we monitor it very carefully, and again, we want to be mid-pack,” Ginn said. “We want to be competitive enough to keep the right people, but I don’t want to pay more than I have to.”

For UVM Medical Center, the only comparable hospital serving Vermonters is Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Forty percent of the hospital’s patients come from Vermont, and it is the closest teaching hospital to southern Vermont residents. The hospital’s annual revenue was $987.4 million in 2013. That year, CEO James Weinstein made $1,034,293 compared. In 2012, he received $892,733 in compensation.

A representative from Dartmouth-Hitchcock was not available for an interview. A spokesperson said the board of trustees compensation committee sets CEO pay. The total amount spent on administrators, according to tax forms, was $16.3 million in 2013 and $12.9 million in 2012.

Thomas Dee at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington is the third-highest paid Vermont hospital CEO and the 14th-highest paid Vermont hospital administrator. David Meiselman, chair of the board of trustees, said the hospital couldn’t replace the CEO for what they pay him.

In 2012, Dee’s base pay was $400,695. Another $81,000 in incentive pay and other benefits brought his total compensation to $554,898. In 2013, his base pay was $398,187, and he made $17,500 in incentive compensation. Other benefits brought the total to $522,673.

“I would venture to say that there are some CEOs that are overpaid at $200,000 and some CEOs that are underpaid at $400,000,” Meiselman said. He said that Dee joined Southwestern Vermont Medical Center around 2008, when the hospital was involved in a legal battle with its former CEO, and Dee helped turn the hospital’s image around.

“He could go two hours south and probably get two or three times what we’re paying him,” Meiselman said. “He could go to Boston and get two or three times what we’re paying him. He could go to Westchester County (New York) and get two or three times what we’re paying him.”


Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Photo by Sage Ross

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s has another seven people on its executive management team, according to Kevin Dailey, the vice president of human resources. Five other administrators were listed on the 2013 tax form, and they were paid between $200,000 and $300,000, with compensation set by the CEO.

In south-central Vermont, Michael Dick, the chair of the Rutland Regional Medical Center board of directors, said the board does a performance review and salary review for Thomas Huebner, the fourth-highest compensated Vermont hospital CEO, every year.

The board of directors requires the human resources department to collect market data on CEO pay at comparable hospitals, plus market pay rates for each job at the hospital. The board negotiates with the CEO, who then has broader authority to set others’ pay scales.

In 2012, Huebner’s base pay was $424,268, and benefits brought his total compensation to $491,000. His salary was $432,740, in 2013, and benefits brought the total to $507,483. But the total compensation numbers don’t include any bonuses or incentive pay because Dick said making more money on patients shouldn’t be an incentive.

“There should always be a little tension between management and the board,” Dick said. “They typically would want more, and we don’t want to pay for all that. We of course want all the goods and services but at a better cost. We’ve reduced our second-level administration by two positions just in the five years I’ve been on the board.”

In 2013, Rutland Regional Medical Center had 11 administrators, including eight vice presidents who made $190,000 to $384,000. The chief medical director is the second highest-paid administrator in Vermont because he also works as an orthopedic surgeon. The highest paid employees listed on the hospital’s 990s are other orthopedic surgeons and cardiologists who make from $664,000 to $914,000.

“Our whole staff tends to get raises every year,” Huebner said. “They’re generally in the 2 to 3 percent range. But it’s dictated by market. If the market wasn’t going up, our salaries wouldn’t be going up.”

Down in Brattleboro, the community is largely served by a Medicare-dependent hospital. Peter Carvell, the chair of the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital board of directors, said the board takes its fiduciary responsibility to the organization “very seriously.”

In 2012, Steve Gordon was the second-lowest-paid hospital CEO in Vermont. The board has since been working to increase Gordon’s pay to the 75th percentile of comparable hospitals nationwide — his total compensation went from $240,000 in 2011 to $347,000 in 2013. His pay is now in the mid-range among Vermont hospitals.

Cavell said Gordon has a performance review every year and either gets a pay raise or a bonus, but not both. That’s in part because the hospital is often reimbursed pennies on the dollar for Medicare services, while the volume of care it performs is decreasing and expenses are rising, according to Cavell.

“I don’t think necessarily that a bonus incents someone to work harder,” he said. “If our CEO doesn’t get a bonus, I don’t think it’s going to incent him either way to do a better job. I think he’s going to do a good job regardless.”

Salary oversight?

At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service has been monitoring for more than a decade whether 501(c)(3) organizations comply with federal laws regarding executive compensation.

The general rule is that compensation must be reasonable, and the executives cannot receive “improper personal gain” from the charity organization, according to the IRS. Compliance websites therefore recommend that nonprofits use market data and other resources to make sure the salaries they pay are “reasonable.”

In Vermont, the Green Mountain Care Board has regulated health insurance rates and hospital income from medical procedures for the past few years in order to rein in health care spending. But the board has no intention of telling hospitals how much they can pay administrators, doctors or nurses, according to Al Gobeille, chair of the board.

“What we’ve tried to do is work at a high level of overall growth and not micromanage the running of the hospitals,” Gobeille said. “I think that’d be a very dangerous path for the board to go down. I think that’s the role of the board of the hospital.”

“Whether they’re bank regulators or hospital regulators, there’s a proper role for regulation, and there’s a proper role for management, and you can’t confuse the two,” he said. “And that is not what people want to hear.”

Board chairs interviewed for this investigation generally agreed with Gobeille that the state should not be involved in setting hospital pay.

Erin Mansfield

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  • Harriet E. Cady

    I am appalled at the salaries of Non-Profit administrators and find it disgusting that the Boards running such non profits would pay more than the average of the states private sector. BUT more importantly that they seem to think that Non Profits should not be giving to the community and are constantly asking for donations while they recklessly expend the assets of the hospitals and in fact hide the expenditures where few people look. Most citizens do not know that charities like Goodwill also pay a huge sum to their CEO, Planned Parenthood pays over $200,000 to its CEO, etc. Yet the poor will willingly work at various charitable events to raise money for these Non Profits. Where are their consciences??/

    • James Rude

      Harriet, your comment that “I am appalled at the salaries of Non-Profit administrators and find it disgusting that the Boards running such non profits would pay more than the average of the states private sector.”, implies that the average average private sector jobs are with organizations of similar size and complexity when comparied our health care organizations. The fact is that most private sector employers in Vermont are small employers while hospitals tend to be the largest employers in their respective communities.

    • Neil Johnson

      People are under the false assumption that a non-profit is inherently better than a for profit organization. It’s just not true. Non-profits are often exceeding wasteful with your money, be it how it is raised, what you get for your money and how salaries are paid.

      The state and feds have allowed these organizations to be monopolies. They have no reason to compete for peoples services, there is no reason to reduce costs. It’s the same with higher education.

      With a monopoly, you just need to get permission from your friends in government. When you have competition, the people had better treat you fair and charge you fairly or they will go to another place.

  • Dave Bellini

    Like the NFL, can’t the GMCB impose salary caps?

  • Bruce S. Post

    Have you checked out the salaries for the staff at the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems? I would like to see what their top folks make. Thank you.

  • rosemarie jackowski

    Thanks for this article. I have been bringing up the problem of medical and educational salaries for years. We can’t let this topic go. Keep shining the light on it. It explains why health care and education costs are literally killing us.

    • Also building hospital and university campuses more like 5 star resorts in order to get a larger market share has helped make medical care and education in the U.S. the most expensive by far in the industrialized world.

  • Rick Cowan

    “Non-profit?!” These hospitals not only benefit from tax free status but also get big $ from VT taxpayers while enriching their executives. State of Vermont is facing a $40 million deficit as the Green Mountain Care board shovels money to these folks. Thanks for digging out this shocking information, Erin. Next time my hospital asks me to contribute, I’ll find another more deserving recipient for that money.

  • Tom Sullivan

    Regulate administrators salaries? or let the free market reign. If the former, where does it end? What should doctors make? Or shall we ask, What is the minimum a health care provider would accept before he or she relocates?

    • Walter Carpenter

      “let the free market reign.”

      Well, what are you going to do when the free market drives you out of health care altogether because of costs like these? Thanks much to the digger, to Ann and Erin, for doing this report.

      • James Rude

        As a retired HR executive and having worked 10 years as a compensation consultant in Health Care throughout the U.S., I see no major problems with these numbers. All organizations, whether they be private or public look at the market place to determine an appropriate level of pay that will attract and retain talent. UVM Medical Center”s process in setting CEO pay is the same one it uses in setting pay for RN’s, housekeeping and other technical jobs. It targets the market median rate of pay for similar sized organizations and jobs and sets the salary ranges accordingly. In this analysis, it also looks at all forms of remuneration/compensation paid, including benefits, retirement and bonuses. The non-profit status is a tax status. The talent required to run very complex organizations is in high demand.

        • Brent Miller

          Mr Rude has been and most likely will continue to be part and parcel of the problem of over-paying these bureaucrats.

        • It is people like Mr. Rude who have elevated executive salaries to the level of being obscene.. another overpaid consultant who is in the back pocket of excessive executive salaries.. shame on you…. Bill Guenther, Newfane

  • Hilary Cooke

    There has got to be a story behind the Adviser to the CEO at DHMC making more money than the CEO.
    I think the trouble began when administrators starting calling themselves “CEOs” instead of “Hospital Administrators”.

  • Stuart Friedman

    One minor change that could begin to change the environment on this is to make the meetings of these hospitals subject to Vermont’s Open Meeting Law; for sure, salaries are decided in some sort of “executive” session but having the public present would add an important layer of transparency.

    • Yes, since a large portion of a hospital’s income comes from Medicare, Medicaid, and other subsidies that are funded by tax payers, board meetings should be subject to VT.s Open Meeting laws.

    • DarylPIllsbury

      You are so right. As a legislator in Vermont,I tried without much success to get an open meeting law on hospitals.The Vermont Hospital association is very powerful.And well paid.

  • Mary Alice Bisbee

    Yes, Stuart, what a great idea! How about a little transparency in these not for profit organizations! Thank you, VTDIGGER, for doing your due diligence in letting the public know about these high rollers, and how they are robbing the poor and middle class of our ability to survive in this huge system of “income inequality”. We need Bernie more than ever!

  • Mark Keefe

    “The data show that hospital CEO pay is more than double what CEOs in other industries in Vermont make each year.” I am not sure who these other CEO’s are in our state, nor is it important to me. If this story compared our hospital CEO salaries to CEO pay in NH it would read “pay is less than 75% of other industries”; if it used national figures it would read “pay is less than 95% of other industries”.
    Vermont does not have a lot of large industry. After the hospitals, universities/colleges, human services organizations, and ski resorts – what’s left? The data about comparable pay in other locations would seem to suggest they could make more money elsewhere. Why do we want to “beat them up” because they choose Vermont as their home?

    • Mark Keefe says it very well. You get what you pay for and the market comparison is the Northeast hospitial chief administrators by size of hospital not Vermont other ceo salaries. Running a hospital in Vermont is a very complex business done well by very few. Boards work hard to balance the needs and standards of the communities they serve and the realities of the market from which they hire their executives.

  • Jeff Nichols

    The $1.9 Million paid to Dr. Brumsted at the UVM (Fletcher Allen) Center, and the small number of Hospital CEO’s in the State skews the “average” pay and makes the headline more sensational than accurate.

  • rosemarie jackowski

    Everyone needs to remember this the next time they vote. And every candidate should be asked about their position on excessive compensation in the medical system.

    Voting has consequences. Voters get what they deserve.

  • Alex Aldrich

    Because the first place we should cut should be pay of the people who take care of our bodies and minds when we eat/drink too much, don’t get enough exercise, smoke, or get in the way when the other driver smashes into us or we slip in our driveways and break a pelvis. C’mon people. These executives get paid what the market will bear. Just like any other field. I personally find it impossible to believe that professional baseball players get $19 million a year. But then I don’t pay $10 for a cup of watered-down Bud Lite in the nosebleed seats at Fenway either.

    Remember the comment that Neil Armstrong (or some other astronaut) was alleged to have said to Buzz Aldrin as they awaited the launch of Apollo 11? Great, we’re sitting on top of a multi-billion dollar, highly explosive missile that was built in multiple parts by hundreds of contractors each one of whom was the lowest bidder. Is that the kind of medical establishment we want? I sure don’t.

    • Chris Greene

      A few thoughts:
      While we certainly have a shortage pf physicians in Vermont, we certainly have no shortage of administrators or those who wish to become administrators.
      I’m guessing that the combined income of the four pediatricians who are leaving Franklin county (VTDIgger 12/12) is less than that of many of the administrators listed in this article. Perhaps Tom Sullivan should contact the docs of Mousetrap Pediatrics to find the answer to his question “What is the minimum a health care provider would accept before he or she relocates?”
      It’s interesting that the Green Mountain Care Board advocates single payer health care in order to decrease the administrative costs associated with private insurers, yet is not concerned with the administrative costs of Vermont hospitals.
      Mr. Rude’s comments tell it like it is—the median pay of administrators is skyrocketing in keeping pace with the pay of CEO’s and other “one-percenters” in private industry while that of nurses, housekeepers, and technical staff trends with the flat or decreasing median pay of the vanishing middle class.
      Mr. Rude is also correct to remind us that “non-profit” is only a tax status. Vermont is filled with many non-profits who generously compensate their employees. Should we pass laws that limit executive compensation of non-profits to what we pay the President of the United States? It’s hard to argue that there are many organizations that are more complex or have bigger budgets!
      Many of these administrators have a seat on the board of directors of their own hospital and/or other hospitals or related non-profit health-care organizations.
      Mr. Aldrich, I have no problem with the high salaries commanded by athletes or actors. These people are the ultimate risk takers, whose salaries ultimately depend on people willingly parting with their money for the sake of entertainment. They have somehow used their talents to succeed in industries where many thousands if not millions of others have failed. People don’t choose to become sick, and no matter what role they played in the etiology of their illness, they usually don’t want to pay the entire cost of returning back to health. Health care is a very different market with very different methods of compensation. And didn’t Apollo 11 successfully land on the moon?

  • It’s great to see the numbers, thanks. I’m impressed at how moderate they are compared to other big organizations, like the United Way, around the Country. I do not agree with Thom Hubner that it’s appropriate compensation. I am certain there are people making under $100,000 at the Rutland Regional Medical Center who could do the CEO’s job. I also think it’s absurd to complain about such salaries over and over. Let’s change the tax code instead of whining about injustice. There are plenty of CEOs, like the ones who provide our cell service, who you and I are paying 25 to 30 million dollars a year – our system – the United States, is founded and is governed by the wealthy, in order to protect the wealthy. Let’s revert to the tax structure we had in the ’40s!

    • Walter Carpenter

      “Let’s change the tax code instead of whining about injustice.”

      Agreed, but is this whining? The tax codes do need changing. They have for too long favored the upper income brackets. It is we the people/patients who are paying these compensations while our premiums and our taxes go up to cover them.

      • Tom Sullivan

        It’s whining.

        Go ahead, raise taxes on upper and middle class Vermonters and business owners. They’ll threaten to relocate their business out of state, and we’ll have to bribe them to stay because we can’t control spending and had to raise taxes.

        • walter carpenter

          “Go ahead, raise taxes on upper and middle class Vermonters and business owners.”

          So we in the lower and middle income brackets should pay more so that they will stay here?

      • Hi Walter, thanks for responding. I guess it’s not really whining, but it so often seems like it’s misguided vitriol. It’s not very satisfying getting angry at a seemingly horrendously complicated tax code, but it sure is easier to get mad at Thom Hubner when he says he’s worth the half million dollar salary. Indeed, it is we the people who are paying those salaries. Too bad we so vociferously protect the culture of the corporation that keeps telling us “Being a CEO is hard work.”

        • walter carpenter

          “It’s not very satisfying getting angry at a seemingly horrendously complicated tax code, but it sure is easier to get mad at Thom Hubner when he says he’s worth the half million dollar salary.”

          Thanks, Steve. Well, I do not know Mr. Hubner so I will not comment on whether he is worth what he says he is in this article. I am sure that he is a very good person who works hard, but, for that matter, why is it just him? Why are not you and I worth that or close to it for what we do? Why is it that the director of Medicare (or at least one of the top people), Sean Cavanaugh, for the entire country only makes $179,700.00 per year and Mr. Hubner makes $500.000 for one non-profit hospital in Vermont? I am sure that, in our unimaginably complicated system, each is as complex as the other, with its own special problems, but why such a vast difference? Now, to that tax code..:)


  • chuck drake


    Some people may think costs weren’t being controlled very well for the benefit of the community then.

  • Keith Stern

    My wife is refusing to pay her bill at Springfield hospital because, for one thing, she was charged $185.00 for a Tylenol. And there it seems the CEO’s salary isn’t too outrageous compared to the state Springfield is in. Most of the upper level management are paid much more than the governor of Vermont? A little perspective here.

  • Michelle Salvador

    And they say we don’t have income inequality in Vermont…..Time to start talking about tax fairness! Time for Montpelier to stop protecting wealth, time for the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share.

  • Gary “Wit” Davis

    It would seem the people who hold these jobs are in a class by themselves, medical rock stars. We know most hospital boards who approve such salaries are populated by millionaires and persons who do not represent those people who pay, the public. The payments can be through private insurance or public means.

    But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Has anyone examined CEO pay schedules at UVM?
    Can we recall Daniel Fogel’s leave to remediate his wife’s dalliance? It was 17 months at in excess of 400,000 a year. Later the board was asking for substantial tuition hikes.

    The common threat here, we need more public board members where executive and other salaries are worked out with these “rock stars”.

  • Jason Kelley

    If the complexity of the job justified these egregious salaries, as suggested by one of the CEOs, then why does the director of the White River Junction VA Medical Center earn “only” $155,000 for running a facility with 1200 employees, a branch office of the National Center for Patient Safety, the National Center for PTSD, and a multimillion dollar research operation? It may have something to do with the fact that she works for us, the taxpayers and more specifically our Veterans, rather than a board of millionaires. It really ain’t about complexity, folks.

  • Christopher Weakley

    The President of the United States makes 400k per year. I guess his job must be easier than managing a regional hospital in one of the least populous states of the union.

  • I wonder how this compares the our Colleges and Universities? It’s easy to poke the CEO’s of the Health Industry for screwing the public at large with the large compensation packages. Let’s look at the huge compensation packages given to UVM and other Colleges and Universities. How about State employees that are working for a particular dept then jump to the private and/or non-profit organization they were regulating.

  • At some point in time “the people” will have had enough of these outrageous compensation packages paid to individuals in ALL the industries ( including sports) My question would be how money is enough for 1 person to live comfortably on? Although it is slow in coming there will be a revolt pitting the poor, middle class and disenfranchised against the 1% who have their fancy cars, mcmansions, 2nd homes and all the other unnecessary luxuries. It’s blowin’ in the wind.

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