Americans don’t know how bad off they are

An all too common belief

Let’s be serious. Unions have outlived their usefulness.

As American unions have weakened, as they have lost members since their highpoint in the 50s, American wages have stagnated. The increase in American productivity has not seen a parallel growth in pay. As CEO incomes swelled from 40-50 times the shop floor workers salaries to 400-500 times as much, the workers’ income has remained the same or dropped.

We are often pointed toward the fact that household income has increased over the past 30 years but that is almost solely due to the fact that in a far greater number of families both parents are working full time jobs.

Lowered wages may be new reality for former big earners

A recent St. Petersburg Times analysis and a new national report both utter the same dire findings. What little rebound there is on the employment front is happening, by and large, on the low end. Modest wages dominate what few new opportunities can be found out there.

So is this just a natural trend — low-wage jobs rebounding first — when economies recover? Or is this a more onerous signal that stronger demand for high-wage workers will be delayed or, worse, derailed by downsized expectations in the aftermath of the Great Recession?

Low income jobs will NOT bring back prosperity to America. Low income jobs will not cause a growth in home construction. Low income jobs will not see increased prosperity for anyone outside of the top 5 or 10 percent of Americans. It is already more difficult for low income Americans to improve their financial status than those in several other countries. Day by day, the myth of America as the land of opportunity, the place where anybody can become a somebody is shown to be just what it is called, “myth”

It is easier to climb the social ladder and earn more than one’s parents in the Nordic countries, Australia and Canada than in France, Italy, Britain and the United States, according to a new OECD study. Intergenerational Social Mobility: a family affair? says weak social mobility can signal a lack of equal opportunities, constrain productivity and curb economic growth.

More at Fabius Maximus

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