Corporate greed is real, but whether you are a victim of corporate greed depends upon you.

The term "corporate greed" is used freely by everyone from hourly wage earners who want and probably deserve more money, to those who feel priced out of a particular marketplace, to politicians looking for a bogey man to campaign against. Corporate greed is real. It always has been. But are we truly victims of it?

Michael Rock/Townsquare Media
Michael Rock/Townsquare Media

A perfect example of corporate greed is The Walt Disney Company. Walt's great-niece Abigail Disney, granddaughter of company co-founder Roy O. Disney, says the $65.5 million total compensation payout to chairman and CEO Bob Iger for the company's 2018 fiscal year was "insane." She is right. says Abigail calculates Iger could have given a 15 percent raise to every Disneyland employee and still pocketed $10 million. Now that's greed.

The Disney company is notorious for being tight-fisted but in recent years has improved it's commitment to employee wages, health care, and education benefits due to increasing pressure by its workers and threats to cancel tax breaks offered by officials in California. Corporate greed?

Anyone who has attempted to take a family vacation to one of the Disney theme parks might suggest that they are victims of corporate greed.

Corporate greed exists and it will always exist but government regulation is not the answer to the problem. You are the answer. If an employer pays less than you feel you are worth, work elsewhere. If a business (or theme park) charges outrageous prices, go elsewhere.

In a free market economy, the consumer decides winners and losers, not the government. When an employer can't fill positions, it will offer better pay and incentives in order to be competitive. If a business suffers a decline in sales or attendance, it will lower its prices.

Bob Iger earned 1,424 times the compensation of the average Disney employee last year. That is staggering to think about. Disney certainly has a pay equity issue but it's an issue that must be worked out internally and not through government intervention. The government cannot and should not tell a private company what to pay its executives, but you can play a role in that process by determining whether the company's business practices are worthy of your support.

When Disney's theme parks got too expensive for my liking, I discovered the National Park system.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420