Another Year of Executive Excess – Especially at Defense Contractors
2004 was a banner year for CEOs and a dismal year for workers, according to United for a Fair Economy’s new report, “Executive Excess 2005: Defense Contractors Get More Bucks for the Bang,” written in collaboration with the Institute for Policy Studies.
The ratio of average CEO pay (now $11.8 million) to worker pay (now $27,460) spiked up from 301-to-1 in 2003 to 431-to-1 in 2004. If the minimum wage had risen as fast as CEO pay since 1990, the lowest paid workers in the US would be earning $23.03 an hour today, not $5.15 an hour.
The report found that CEOs are individually profiting from the Iraq War, with huge average raises at the biggest defense contractors. At the 34 publicly traded US corporations among the 2004 top 100 defense contractors with 10% or more of their revenues from defense contracts – companies such as United Technologies, Textron, and General Dynamics – average CEO pay increased 200% from 2001 to 2004, versus 7% for all CEOs.