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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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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