He was funny. He was not being clever.
It was one of those shining moments where the truth came crashing in, never to leave. The peculiar nature of the Employer/Employee relationship suddenly presented itself in all its one sided glory.
If you are the CEO of a corporation and you work your employees hard, supervise them closely, and dump them whenever you can get away with it...and you reward all of that hard work and job insecurity by paying them as little as you can get away with, you will be described in business circles as a good business manager. They will say wonderful things about you in the Wall Street Journal and your company's stock will no doubt reach stratospheric heights.
Now let's look at it from the employee's point of view.
As an employee you decide to follow the example of your boss by demanding as much pay and benefits as you can get away with. You join a labor union that manages to consistently extract high wages and generous benefits from your employer. In return for all those goodies, you decide to work as little as possible, take as much sick time as you can get away with, read novels in the bathroom, and generally save your energy for more enjoyable pursuits, you will be described as an asshole who never did a day's work.
This is one of the more obvious double standards you'll encounter in a capitalist economy, yet almost no one is willing to admit that something's wrong with it. In fact, it's very common to encounter people who look upon corporate executives not as professional business managers to be rewarded for competently managing a business, but as deities to be worshipped. A CEO who's annual compensation is $23,000,000 is the equivalent of $11,000 per hour based on a 40 hour week. And you can bet that every CEO in America is wringing his hands and whining about having to pay someone $15 per hour. Mentioning this insanity to the average republican is like walking into church in the Bible Belt and questioning why God is so powerful and humans are so powerless. Bu..bbbut...but...he's the CEO!!
Here's my solution for better or worse.
Pass a federal law that requires corporations to limit the total compensation of their highest paid employee to no more than 20 times the total compensation of their lowest paid employee.
I can almost hear Ann Coulter puking from here.