Thursday, August 31, 2006
Labor Day Executive Excess report: Oil and Defense CEOs Pocket the Spoils
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Since the “War on Terror” began, CEOs at the top 34 military contractors have enjoyed average paychecks that are double the compensation they received in the four years leading up to 9/11.
The new Executive Excess report surveys all publicly held U.S. corporations among the top 100 defense contractors that had at least 10 percent of revenues in defense. These 34 CEOs combined have pocketed almost a billion dollars since 9/11 — enough to employ more than a million Iraqis for a year to rebuild their country.
In 2005, defense industry CEOs walked off with 44 times more pay than military generals with 20 years experience, and 308 times more than Army privates.
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Not that this is surprising -- everyone knows this intuitively. But it's nice (that's not at all the right word, but you know what I mean) to have the actual numbers to demonstrate it.
As far as the hiring of a million Iraqis -- unless I'm even worse at math than I thought, we'd only be paying them $1000 per year; which seems like worse than slave wages, does it not? Still, assuming for the sake of argument that $1000 American per year is actually a decent wage for Iraqis: what does that say about the $350 Billion we've spent thus far on the Iraq war? Well, it says that we could have instead employed 1 million Iraqis to rebuild (and defend) their country for 350 years.
Hell, if nothing else we could just pay them double in exchange for not attacking us -- which, I grant you, would only bring us peace for 175 years. But, still, that's something. In fact, I'm fairly confident that within that time we would probably even be able to figure out an exit strategy -- and then, Hurray! Mission Accomplished!
Or maybe instead of spreading it out over 350 or 175 years, we could have simply said, "Here: here is $350 Billion for you. Use it to fix everything that we've destroyed. We're going home now. Enjoy your country and your freedom. You're welcome."
Hmmm . . .
No, you're right. That wouldn't benefit American Corporations sufficiently.
Nah, better to buy bullets, bombs, and body bags, I think.