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Archive for the ‘New York Times’ Category

Happy Labour Day

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Look at this chart. It shows U.S. real weekly earnings growth by decade from 1820 t0 2000. Growth was steady, with cyclical ups and downs until the 1970’s. Apparently, real wages for American workers shrank between 1970 and 1990.

There was a return to very modest growth in the 1990’s, and that’s where the chart runs out of data. According to the Marxist rags Business Week and Investor’s Daily (responding to a New York Times article on 8.28.06),stagnant wages are currently a fact of economic life. Of course IBD tries to argue that even though wages arre only up 0.7% since 2000, benefits are up by 13%. Benefits include medical insurance, I would think and though the cost of medical care and insurance have risen in recent years I don’t think one can argue that these items are immune from inflation. Nor are they disposable income.

So real wages are stagnant, and domestic consumer demand is consequently weakened and the housing market is drfting into recession along with the rest of the economy.

Note that the decline in real wages coincides with the decline of union membership in the U.S. Note also that it coincides with a decline in student achievement test scores (relative to the rest of the industrialized world).

Cause and effect?

Update – 10:04 CDT

It’s worse than I thought. Median incomes are plummeting.

Written by slothropia

September 4th, 2006 at 4:03 pm

Where Have You Gone Henry Ford?

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Where Have You Gone Henry Ford?  Our nation turns its increasingly impoverished eyes to you.

If anyone thinks the upward transfer of wealth is just the product of the rational working of the market place, I have these magic beans they might be interested in purchasing. For everybody else, I would argue that Bush administration policies and tax cuts have a lot to do with the rich getting richer and the poor and middle class…well, you know.

So what do we have now? More poverty, more working people without health insurance, less  purchasing power.

Henry Ford among the first big employers who paid his workers a bit more than a living wage. Did he do so out of generosity. Of course not. After all, he hired goons to make sure unions didn’t get their foot in the door at Ford Motor Company. Rather, he wanted Ford workers to be able to buy the cars they were producing.

Capital today does not seem to see the neccessity of maintaining a domestic market. As a result, one day the trade deficit will strangle the American economy. The rich will then retreat to walled , rather than merely gated, communities, the better to defend themselves against the middle class homeless.
Aint it funny how as India becomes the world’s office, the United States becomes the worlds source of cheap labour?

Written by slothropia

August 30th, 2006 at 4:10 pm

They Got Him, Thank God

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Whew! They caught that pervy king of polygamy in Nevada or Utah or someplace. Just in time too. How much longer could the cable news anchors keep talking about the pervy John Mark Karr since he has been let go?

Lord knows, there’s nothing going on in Iraq, Afghanistan or Washington worth reporting on.

And it would only upset people to let them know what a mess the economy is in.

Written by slothropia

August 29th, 2006 at 10:35 am