The same goes with "Truth". There seem to be many different versions, and usually the ones claiming to be "true" are more distant from reality.
A friend and teacher passed on a comparison of CEO to Worker salaries across multiple countries. It painted the US in pretty poor light. Most countries were shown in the 11 to 22x range, but the US was 457x.
There were no qualifiers, sources, etc were includes, and i wanted to know if this was for all CEOs, or just a subset. So, what do do? Research, of course.
It looked like it was for more than the 100, but less than the total in the US.
CEO #100's total compensation is 541x the average worker. If you include only raw pay, and not deferred compensation (options, etc), the top 100 are still well above 100x the average worker.
Note that the average worker pay is roughly 15% lower than the average full-time worker, which is probably a better comparison (CEOs work more than full-time).
It's not as bleak as it looks from this. The median income for a CEO is around $225k (6.5x), and the mean income is around $550k (16x). http://www.statisticbrain.com/ceo-statistics/
Though, the mean had a little SWAG to it, and it may be higher as per http://www1.salary.com/Chief-Executive-Officer-Salary.html
There are around 6 million CEOs in the US (assuming all companies with employees have a CEO, and all companies without employees don't have a CEO). http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html
Breakdown of compensation for the top 100 are at http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs
Personal notes: Being a CEO in reality takes special skills and experience, which become more important as the company size grows. A big part of this is having your shit together, and not sabotaging yourself - surprisingly difficult in reality. If you had more than a marginal chance to make a Fortune 1000 company 5% more efficient, then why aren't you? How much of this is jealousy? Why is it okay to be hostile towards over 6 million people because a few hundred of them were able to convince a group of directors that they were worth so much deferred income (stock options, etc).?