The Falling Paycheck
August 29, 2006
After huddling with his economic team at Camp David this month, President Bush emerged from a meeting and, flanked by advisers — including the secretaries of labor, commerce and the Treasury — announced to reporters, “Things are good for American workers.”
The comment is preposterous. As The Times’s Steven Greenhouse and David Leonhardt reported yesterday, the economic expansion that began in late 2001 is on track to become the first since World War II that fails to offer a sustained lift to the real wages of most American workers. Although the nation’s economy has grown and productivity has been strong, American employees have not shared in the wealth they’ve helped to create. Wages and salaries now make up the lowest proportion of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s.
Until recently, the decline in real wages has been masked in large part by the housing boom that allowed many Americans to borrow and spend, even as their pay was squeezed. But now the housing market is flagging and with it, the Bush-era economy — without American workers having ever experienced a period of solid prosperity.
Unfortunately, there’s little likelihood of meaningful improvement anytime soon. When Mr. Bush and his advisers are not insisting that everything is fine, they’re promising more high-end tax cuts as a cure-all, or painting the problem as one of impersonal market forces for which there are no government solutions.
Those are not the paths out of the predicament. Just the opposite, they are approaches that have contributed to it. New York Times
|You are a true believer.|
Blessings of the state.
Blessings of the masses.
Thou art a subject of the divine.
Created in the image of man, by masses, for masses.
Let us be thankful we have commerce.
Buy more now.
Buy more and be happy.