The CEOs at the top Southwest Michigan companies make almost as much money every day as their employees earn in a year.

It used to be that jobs at the Kellogg plant, Whirlpool factory and Stryker labs were great jobs; a lot of money could be made and you could support your family by making cereal, assembling washers and dryers and building medical equipment. We know things are different today and, while these may still be good jobs, executive salaries far outweigh the average. Are these top CEOs worth it?

New filings required by the federal government show top executives at 12 of Michigan’s largest publicly traded companies earned, on average, 332 times as much as their median employees.

-Detroit News

Whirlpool head Mark Bitzer is the 2nd highest paid official of publicly traded Michigan companies when you compare his salary to the income of the average Whirpool worker: $20,485 v.s $11,847,762, a startling ratio of 578-1. Kellogg commander Steve Cahillane is paid $9,989,992 and the operators average $46,948 (213-1) and Stryker staffers earn a respectable $68,841 on average while skipper Kevin Lobo pockets almost $14 million each year.

Add the three executive salaries and you get $11,916,273, or $32,647/day, not far from the median income of $37,606 annually cited in the report. I'm no economist, businessman or accountant, I'm just the guy on the radio. Please, double-check my math and read the complete Detroit News story here with all top 12 Michigan companies.

Obviously, the person at the top of a corporation has many more responsibilities and an entirely different skill set from average wage-earners but is this too much? I'd bet companies would argue if they don't keep the right visionaries they will fall behind but there's got to be a way to narrow the gap.