Today we pay homage to the American Dream, which has become a little too much like a real dream--the dreams where you can’t seem to move your feet forward. Or worse, those dreams where you’re naked in front of your 5th grade class, except now you’re naked in front of your employer, as we will get to shortly.Here’s an American Dream wake up call: after being adjusted for inflation, real wages for real (nonsupervisory) people peaked way back in 1972. It’s hard to believe you were better off in 1972, especially when you remember what you were wearing. Yes, you were wearing a polyester leisure suit. But you did have more money. I don’t agree with what’s been done to our economy, but I still wouldn’t want to go back to 1972--mostly because I never want to hear “Seasons in the Sun” again. Meanwhile, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It’s not that we’re living in different worlds. We’re all living in a world that relatively few of us own. There’s a growing gap between the rich and the poor--and it’s swallowing up the middle class. Or what’s left of the middle class. The poorest ten percent of families actually had a negative net worth---more liabilities than assets. To put that in terms you can understand, I quote Tennessee Ernie Ford--you owe your soul to the company store. And the recent recession has just made things worse. The people running the economy killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs. That’s bad news for them, and worse news for us--we’re the goose!Finally, all this is happening in plain sight... of your boss. Employers can and do monitor internet access, read your email, and eavesdrop on your telephone calls. And there’s nobody you can complain about it to... without your boss finding out. Some judges have even upheld the “right” of employers to install secret monitoring cameras in bathrooms. So your boss knows your every move--even your bowel movements. Just one more reason to always wear fresh underwear. Read the full blog...
DOWNSIZING THE AMERICAN DREAM In The Post-WWII Era, Real Wages – Adjusted For Inflation – Peaked in 1972."Economic Trends and Data Charts and Stats - REAL WAGES 1947-2000 - For production or nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls; average weekly earnings (in 1982 consant dollars.)" See the chart here. Wages and Benefits: Real Wages (1964-2004)"Average Weekly Earnings (in 1982 constant dollars) For all private nonfarm workers." Full details here.Do You Pay More in Taxes Than The Top US Corporations?"As you work on your taxes this month, here's something to raise your hackles: Some of the world's biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do--that is, if they pay taxes at all." Full story here.
ECONOMYTHE ECONOMY: 6 REASONS TO BE HAPPY"Although the recession is still choking the US economy, optimism is seeping into the air. True, the jobless rate is hovering at 9.7 percent with over 11 million people still claiming unemployment benefits. True, the recession has been declared dead many times before, but an outbreak of good news is nothing to sneer at." Read the breakdown here.GOPRNC STAFFERS LOOKING FOR EXITS"In the wake of the resignation of Chief of Staff Ken McKay and departure of strategist Curt Anderson, a GOP consultant tells me that staffers at all levels of the RNC are eyeing the exits, frustrated by the latest in a series of debacles that have tarnished the committee's image and weakened its fundraising prowess." Article continued here.
GOP CANNOT WIN HEALTH CARE DEBATE"Consider the following argument: 'Now some folks say we should abolish slavery. But tell that to the little old lady from Savannah who's too weak to get out of bed in the morning, so she needs her house boy to fetch her breakfast'." Read more here.
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