Originally Posted by 4togo
People get paid what other people think that they are worth.
Good footballers get paid silly amounts because their clubs believe that they will provide a good return on that cost through increased prize money, sponsorship and ticket returns.
Good CEOs get paid silly amounts by their shareholders because their shareholders believe that the CEO will be able to get the company to outperform its competition and provide them with a better return on the investment than if a cheaper CEO were chosen (and most CEO salaries aren't that high for their skills and hours of work - it is their bonuses and share options that provide the headline figures and they only get these if they beat the performance goals set by the shareholders).
I'm worth $120k a year as I have skills and experience that others do not have. In order to get this money I am pretty much "on call" all the time and occassionally need to put in the hours for no additional reward (a few months ago I had 6 weeks of 70/80 hours a week when my contract states 40). I hope, in time, to enhance and expand the skills and experience that I have and therefore greatly increase the amount that I earn to well over the $500k mark; but at all times I know that I am only going to be paid what my bosses believe me to be worth to them.