“Populist” and “ill-considered” according to the Fin Review. “Provoked an angry backlash from the business sector,” says The Australian.

The Federal Government’s rather insipid response to excessive executive remuneration — giving shareholders even more power when they don’t use the power they have now, and launching yet another inquiry — apparently has the business community incandescent with rage.

Senior executives might like to talk to some people on average incomes — you know, the people who buy their stuff — before deciding how unfairly done by they are. People who have struggled to keep their real wages from falling, the people who were subject to business calls for “wage restraint” during the boom years. Then executives might see some real anger about how much they pay themselves.

It’s not “populism” to want to prevent the social compact that underpins capitalism from being dissolved by exorbitant executive salaries, or to understand that business hypocrisy breeds mistrust and resentment in the community which will eventually find its way into the public sphere. If left untended by governments unwilling to upset the business sector, eventually community outrage will be expressed in other, more damaging ways.