The highest paid CEO in the world

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously proclaimed, "We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the economic arc of America, which bends to the will of the wealthy. Per a 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute, between 1978 and 2018, CEO compensation rose by 940 percent while the average worker only saw a 12 percent increase in earnings over that same 40-year period. This massive disparity didn't result from an ginormous jump in CEOs' productivity, but rather "because of their power to set pay." According to Forbes, in 2018, CEO compensation soared to 361 times the average worker's pay.

If it's any consolation for you non-CEOs, the billionaires running mega-rich companies technically pay higher taxes than you, though not by percentage of income. Business Insider reports that in 2018, billionaires paid just 23 percent of their income in taxes while the average American paid 28 percent. Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said in 2011 that he only paid 17.4 percent of his income in taxes while his employees paid a higher rate. This arguably backwards system of taxation and compensation may help explain why Bernie Sanders famously proclaimed, "I don't think that billionaires should exist." For the time being, they do exist. Here is the highest-paid CEO in existence.

Elon Musk comes out smelling like a rose

In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suffered an ugly setback when he had to step down as chairman of the company amid fraud charges because he said he said he'd "take the company private" but failed to put his money where his mouth was. However, he maintained his CEO status. In November 2019, Musk experienced a much more hilarious embarrassment courtesy of his Tesla Space Lego or Cybertruck or whatever that block of awkward is called. He described the windows as unbreakable, but much like his promise to go private, those windows broke.

However, Musk can take solace in knowing that even if he was completely broke before payday, his compensation in 2018 alone would have made him a billionaire. Investopedia reports that in 2018 he received $2.28 billion in compensation. So whether or not he's a laugh-magnet, the magnate has the last laugh. He can't bet his bottom dollar on that, though, because is dollars are basically bottomless.