So I make a very ordinary salary as a software engineer, but could probably raise it by 25% by changing jobs but not venturing too far outside my comfort zone.
However, I've got friends who went from earning roughly as much as I did, to quadrupling what I'm making, simply because they play fast and loose: lying about past salaries, standing job offers, etc, to get raises; and taking jobs they're not always qualified for, simply because they're good at bullshit.
What this is REALLY saying, is that they're doing well because the free market values liars and bullshitters. The people who are the most profitable to employers however, are the people whose personalities and personal moral code precludes them from earning too much, allowing employers to get a bigger spread between 1) what they pay employees, and 2) what those employees contribute to their bottom line.
The reality is a bit more complex than I make out (bad directors persist, because big institutional investors want stability and don't want to rock the boat; nepotism (sometimes a good thing!!); information asymmetries everywhere, etc., etc.). Simply put, being a slimy, lying cunt pays -- and not everybody can be a director, because not everybody has the stomach to do what they need to do to get there.
I am tempted to declare this, one of the best posts in Slashdot's history.