Obama, CEOs discuss wages, regulations

December 9, 2014 By    

President Barack Obama covered a range of topics during a business roundtable with more than 100 executives of U.S. companies, including wages and government regulations.

According to The Associated Press, Obama said his greatest concern with the economy is the disparity between corporate profits and employee wages.

“Although corporate profits are at the highest levels in 60 years [and the] stock market is up 150 percent, wages and incomes still haven’t gone up significantly,” Obama said. “That’s part of what’s causing disquiet in the general public, even though the aggregate numbers look good.”

One CEO, Caterpillar‘s Doug Oberhelman challenged Obama on wages, arguing that areas like infrastructure, immigration, tax and trade need to be more business friendly for wage growth to occur.

“Any one or any combination or all of them would lead to economic growth, job creation, and everyone in here wants to grow and everyone wants to add jobs and we all want to raise pay, believe it or not,” Oberhelman said. “It’s what we want to do.”

Obama also defended government regulations but said businesses “are actually about 25 percent right when it comes to regulatory burden.” In addition, the president encouraged those at the roundtable to come up with a list of regulations that bother them the most.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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