The Rich Get Richer: CEO Bonuses Skyrocket; Worker Pay Flat

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It’s looking like top corporate executives raked in the cash in 2010:

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the bigest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

To a large degree, the gains reflect the value of generous CEO stock options, which surged in concert with last year’s bull market.  It might seem only fair to incentivize executives to boost their companies’ share prices—until you consider how few of these gains have trickled down to the average American worker.

In 2010, median non-farm worker compensation increased by a mere 2.0 percent. With the exception of 2009, when compensation rose just 1.4 percent, that’s the slowest rate of increase in decades

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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