Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Big Money Earners in Minnesota

The widening gap between the filthy rich and the rest of us keeps getting wider.
by Charlie Leck

What was it Jesus said? “The rich will always be with us!” Anyway, it was something like that.

New reports came out in the last few days detailing the big compensation earners in Minnesota in 2010. Some business execs made HUGE amounts. How do I feel about it? Well, it makes me wonder why we need to cut back on the amounts we spend in our state on education, health care and services to those at the bottom of life’s pit.

How can the chief executive of a health care provider earn nearly 49 million dollars? That’s not a typo! Stephen Hemsley was has the helm at United Health Care Group earned $48,830,094 last year. The poor guy only earned half what he did in 2009 ($101,959,866). Now that really makes me sick!

The CEO at Target Corp took home over 25 million in 2010, which was three times what he earned in 2009. He gave a pot load of money to Michel Bachmann in 2008.

Now wait! Aren’t they telling us the economy is miserable shape and sales are off and jobs can’t be found for the ten percent of Americans who are unemployed? Something is very strident with this sound! Target’s chief triples his earnings last year. Oh, my!

George Buckley, over at 3M, took down more than 23 million. When I see that the CEO over at Xcel Energy made over 11 million dollars last year I know why my electric bill is so high.

Yet, the legislature and the governor are locked in negotiations about how to meet Minnesota’s budget without chopping away at services in our state. Honest to God, isn’t there something wrong with this music?

2011 Top Earners in Minnesota

Stephen Hemsley

United Health


Gregg Steinhafel

Target Corp


George Buckley



James Cracchiolo

American Finan


John Wiehoff

C.H. Robinson


Richard Kelly

Xcel Energy


Randall Hogan



Douglas Baker

Eco Lab

$ 8,495,955

Jim Prokopanko

Mosaic Co

$ 7,580,165

Richard Davis

US Bancorp

$ 7,315,476

Daniel Starks

St Jude Medical

$ 6,520,270

William McLaughlin

Select Comfort

$ 6,495,989

Kendall Powell

General Mills

$ 5,903,904

Jeffrey Ettinger

Hormel Foods

$ 5,626,937

Michele Volpi

HB Fuller

$ 5,620,890

William Hawkins


$ 5,592,228

Above are your top 16 earners in Minnesota companies. There are another 33 who made over a million dollars last year while the country is in tough times.

This is only a fraction of the list of Minnesota’s wealthiest people who are earning big money from salary, investments, trusts or a combination of all these sources. Their willingness to pay a couple percent more in income taxes over the next two or three years would set Minnesota straight again and not cause us to reduce funds to education and health care in our state.

Oh, my!


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1 comment:

  1. A comment came in from ANONYMOUS and I don't publish those in 99% of the cases. The comment was basically that I, the writer of the above blog, sound jealous and it is time to admit that I've failed. How silly! When I call for higher taxes on higher income people, I know it is going to include myself. I talk regularly with other people who will also be impacted by such taxes as many, many of them are willing to pay higher income taxes if it will preserve better services here in MN and in the nation. Chas Leck