Tax reformers and economists usually hate tax breaks. The way they see it is like this: Unprincipled politicians can’t resist giving away goodies. So our tax code is littered with complications designed to channel subsidies to the well-connected. This makes a mess of the free market.
When deciding how much to pay their senior executives, the directors at Jarden Corp.—the owner of brands including Yankee Candle, Rawlings sports equipment, and Bicycle playing cards—use what might seem to be an unlikely measuring stick: the top managers at Oracle Corp., the world’s largest data-base maker.