Then how am I supposed to make a rational decision about my line of work? All compensation for all positions for all companies should be freely available, so I know that if I sign on as a developer with shop A I'm getting a worse deal than if I signed on with shop B.
Companies advertise how much they want to pay for particular jobs all the time. Just go look at any job hunting website or newspaper. You can also reference industry surveys that may give you a suggestion as to the value of a particular skill set. But in the end, you earn what you earn, I earn what I earn, presumably based on merit.
If we have the same job and you do better than me, you should earn more than me. If I do better than you, I should earn more than you. If one company values your work more than another company and wants to pay you more, go work for that company. If no one is paying you what you want to earn, maybe your need to re-evaluate what your skills are worth. And if you can convince someone to pay you a million dollars to push some papers around on your desk while your surf the internet and do nothing, good for you. It's none of my business and I congratulate you on your accomplishment.
So what does your compensation have to do with mine or anyone else's? And what does that have to do with your career decisions? If you want to choose a job simply based on pay scale, that's fine, go ahead. But when you lose that job because you suck at it, please don't come whining to the rest of us. Perhaps instead you should choose a job that both fits your skills *and* pays something reasonable. And if you can't find such a job, tough luck. Improve your skills, get new skills, find a new job market, become an entrepreneur, whatever. Just because someone is good at checkers and wants to make $150k a year, doesn't mean such a job has to exist to satisfy them. And if someone does find a job paying $150k for playing checkers, great, let them. Why should anyone stop them? Someone apparently thinks that's worth $150k. The fact that anyone other than their employer may not agree amounts to jack squat.
Frankly, you just need to worry about yourself and how much you're getting paid. Worrying about how much other people get paid is a waste of time and leads to immature whining on the Internet.
All compensation for all positions for all companies should be freely available, so I know that if I sign on as a developer with shop A I'm getting a worse deal than if I signed on with shop B.
Quit being lazy. If you're not going to do the work to find the best jobs, why should you get the best jobs?
I should also be able to see exactly how many zeroes there are in every executive's paycheck, bonuses and stock options so I can make an informed decision about whether or not to invest in a given company.
You already can. Publicly traded companies publish such things publicly. Privately held companies have no obligation to do so, but money is a great motivator. If you want to see and they don't want to show you, don't give them your money. If such a private company really wants your investment, just ask, maybe they'll show you to get your money.
No real loss, except for the opportunity cost of all that extra money going into improving the CEO's bankroll instead of into improving the company.
And what's the opportunity cost of losing said CEO to your competitor?