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  • In 2004, the average salary for top CEOs was $11.8 million, 431 times that of the average worker; in 1980, it was 42 times more.
  • Last year, top executives got an average raise of 15%, while workers got 2.9%.
  • 23% of CEO pay—some $26 billion—is tied to cash bonuses.
  • Among companies where execs get 92% or more of their pay in stock-option gains, about one-fifth will cook the books within five years.
  • Wal-Mart’s CEO earned $12.6 million in cash and $4.5 million in stock options last year; Costco’s CEO got $578,000 in cash and $25.3 million in stock. Costco’s $16-an-hour starting wage—two-thirds more than Wal-Mart’s average wage—has been criticized by Wall Street analysts as “overly generous.” 
  • The president of Morgan Stanley quit after 15 weeks with $32 million, or $26,666 an hour, if he worked 80-hour weeks.
  • Chief executives in the struggling auto industry have a median income of $4.2 million, up 72% from 2003.
  • Viacom gave its top exec a 58% raise even as its stock fell 18% last year.
  • Among the perks of the J. Paul Getty Trust’s CEO: a $72,000 Porsche SUV with the “biggest possible sunroof.” Among his staff’s duties: finding his wife “her Tropicana blood orange juice, no pulp, not from concentrate,” which she “saw in Europe.”
  • Martha Stewart once expensed haircuts, coffee, snacks, and a $17,000 trip to Mexico.
  • In 1997, Delta Air Lines agreed to pay its departing CEO a $500,000 annual “consulting salary” for eight years, on top of $4.5 million in severance, a company car, private-club dues, and a secretary.
  • Jack Welch’s perks from General Electric included wine, vitamins, and toiletries for life.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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