May 4, 2003

Young men pay with their lives, old ones get rich

According to a report from United for a Fair Economy, median CEO pay at the 37 largest defense contractors rose 79 percent from 2001 to 2002, while overall CEO pay climbed only 6 percent. Median pay was 45 percent higher in 2002 at defense contractors than at the 365 large companies surveyed by Business Week magazine. The typical U.S. CEO made $3.7 million in 2002, while the typical defense industry CEO got $5.4 million. An army private who puts his life on the line earns a salary of $19,585. The average CEO at a major defense contractor in 2002 made $11,297,548, 577 times as much -- 28 times as much as the Commander in Chief’s salary of $400,000. See Download the report "More Bucks for the Bang".

According to Derrick Z. Jackson of the Boston Globe, "More than 130 American soldiers died in a dubious war in a dusty, oil-rich land. In dust-free boardrooms, the CEOs behind our bombs, missiles, tanks, and planes went to corporate heaven. On the dust, 12 teenagers paid the ultimate sacrifice. In the boardroom, men in their 50s and 60s filled their sacks with cash. Twelve soldiers will never see 20. At least 13 weapons executives took home more than $20 million in compensation since 2000. The young paid dearly. Middle-aged and graying CEOs were dearly paid."

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