Big salaries are interesting.

That is why they are in the news so often - be it MPs' ten per cent pay rises or the £35,000 England football captain Wayne Rooney earns each day.

It is a natural human reaction to see a story about a certain group of people earning a lot more than the average.

News of exorbitant wages, fees or bonuses transport most people to a world of intrigue where a Lamborghini store is a place to shop, not to take selfies.

But the truth is, it is a novelty. The top one per cent earn a lot of money because they are the top one per cent.

Today, the Post reveals that chief executives of stock market-listed companies in the West Midlands earn about 50 times that of the average full-time worker in the region.

The pay packets - some of which top £5 million - will likely draw comments on Facebook and Twitter about fairness and disparity.

Realistically, that deals with the fantasy end of the story - the really significant figure is the average wage.

The Post's research followed a report by the High Pay Centre, a think tank which monitors income distribution, which showed FTSE 100 bosses earned an average of about £5 million.

Unions and campaigners lambasted the data.

But, in truth, they would be better off looking at the smaller figure - the average wage as taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

You never made a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.

If we are to take lessons from this, it is that companies need to trade successfully and pay their average workers more - not pay their top brass less.

A race to the bottom helps nobody.

What we need to do is hold chief executives to account more for the success they drive at their companies.

From there, a Living Wage is a good measure of fairness - but that has to come from businesses trading freely and successfully or it is a false dawn.