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Executive pay in the UK has soared well above inflation as lowest-paid workers suffer a real terms cutReuters

There's something deeply anti-Karmic that on the day thousands of NHS workers go on strike to demand a mere 1% pay rise, a report shows FTSE 100 directors have seen a 21% increase in their multi-million pound earnings.

It gets worse. This handful of corporacrats earn around 120 times more than full time workers in the UK on average, according to employment research firm Incomes Data Service.

The IDS data shows that salary growth for FTSE 100 directors has been a modest 2.5%, in line with what many workers will be seeing. But this masks the real picture.

They make up the rest in bonuses and incentive awards, mostly in the form of stock, propelling them well above their staff as share prices soar.

It speaks to a broader message about the economic recovery in the UK, which will see GDP growth of over 3% in 2014 making it the fastest growing in the Western world: it's only being felt by the top.

Company executives are preaching pay moderation to their underlings, casting them the loaf's bottom as they take the upper crust. Unproductive and parasitic rent-seekers are extracting their wealth from hard-pressed debtors and tenants.

All the while, public sector workers are struggling through pay growth capped at below price inflation under the government's scattergun austerity programme to balance its finances.

And private sector workers, though now seeing pay growth of above inflation, are only now starting to make up for lost ground since the financial crisis, despite their bosses' pay profligacy.

The TUC calculates that workers' earnings have fallen by 8% in real terms over the past seven years. It's galling to watch a narrow elite of bosses do so well while everyone else struggles.

Do they expect us to believe that their input to a company is worth 120 times more than the average worker's?

This is a theme highlighted by Thomas Piketty in his bestselling economics tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It's worse in the US than the UK, but it's still a problem here: pay inequality driven by top executives effectively setting each other's pay.

There's only so far this inequality can stretch. If company bosses don't want to be hobbled with pay regulation by future populist governments, and if they want a free market capitalist system to survive in the longer term, they need to take a much more holistic, and far less selfish, view of things.

That means giving staff better pay packages and seriously moderating their own. Yes some people at the top of companies often have the experience, insight, ideas and responsibilities that demand substantially higher pay than employees further down the rungs.

But for the sake of staff morale if nothing else, pegging your earnings growth to what's happening to staff elsewhere in the company is a good place to start.

Moreover, making all employees bigger stakeholders in the company by giving them a slice of it. A hybrid co-operative/listed company is the best compromise.

It gives staff shares in the company and an even greater stake in its success, a big incentive to increase their own productivity. And it still allows the firm to access capital markets when it needs to, in turn rewarding any risk taken by investors.

The wealth of the top bosses can't keep growing at the expense of everyone else. As they float higher and higher, they need to let down some rope for the rest of us to grab onto so we can come with them.