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New Government Retirement Rules May Have Unintended Consequences

Unintended consequences are the unexpected—and often negative—effects of a decision that was meant to be positive in nature.

For example, the SEC attempted to mitigate complaints about exorbitant CEO salaries by requiring that CEO salaries be publicly disclosed. From 1976 to today, however, CEO salaries increased approximately ten-fold from 36 times the average worker pay to 300 times the average worker pay. Unintended consequence: the new rule encouraged CEOs to demand higher pay because they now knew what other CEOs earned.

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