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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Posted by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM
  • 39 Replies
1 mom liked this

http://thecontributor.com/40-americans-now-make-less-1968-minimum-wage  - Charts and Full Article


You may have seen charts like the one to the right from the Economic Policy Institute, showing how working people’s wages stopped going up along with productivity gains.

This means the gains went…somewhere else. See if you can guess who got them? (Hint: it’s the 1 percent; this is one driver of the terrible income and wealth inequality.) This breakoff of wages from productivity growth is partly the result of trade agreements that pit Americans against exploited workers in non-democracies. This weakened the bargaining power of unions, moved factories and industries out of the country, devastated entire regions of our country — and gave the giant multinational corporations, Wall Street and the billionaires the leverage they needed.

Economist Dean Baker describes one effect of this in Minimum Wage: Who Decided Workers Should Fall Behind?

“If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.”

The minimum wage would be $16.50 an hour — $33,000 a year — if it had kept up with the growth of productivity since 1968. To put the effect of this a different way, 40 percent of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity gains.

To put this even another way, the average American’s living standard would be much, much higher today if wages had not decoupled from productivity gains – with the gains all going to the 1 percent instead of being shared by workers. If wages had kept pace we wouldn’t feel the terrible squeeze that everyone in the middle class is feeling.

This is one more way to understand the effect of income and wealth inequality on each of us. The 1 percent versus 99 percent thing is real. When you hear that the 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than a third of all Americans combined, it is real. When you hear that the people on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined, it is real.

And the effects on the rest of us are real.

by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
destiny2nv
by Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM
I'm coming back to read and reply later
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Tell me something I don't know. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM

But yet many feel the min wage, at this time, is already too high.

unspecified42
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM
Trickle down works so well!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM
8 moms liked this

Well it's only fair.  I mean, why should business have to pay a living wage when the government will pick up the cost of feeding them?  The taxpayers should foot the bill so the SIX Waltons can have billions more than their entire workforce combined.  

If those Walmart workers had just made "better choices" in their lives, they could be a Walton, too.  They should have thought about it before they were born to working class parents.  Pure laziness.  

krysstizzle
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:40 PM
1 mom liked this

A-friggin-men.

Quoting stacymomof2:

Well it's only fair.  I mean, why should business have to pay a living wage when the government will pick up the cost of feeding them?  The taxpayers should foot the bill so the SIX Waltons can have billions more than their entire workforce combined.  

If those Walmart workers had just made "better choices" in their lives, they could be a Walton, too.  They should have thought about it before they were born to working class parents.  Pure laziness.  


TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Wow.  That's amazing that people make so little today.  The storming of the Bastille is coming.

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Feb. 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

 

I really dont understand how your wages dont index with inflation....I really thought that was a gimme in modern society?

Here our minimum wages are reviewed annually and indexed accordingly.  This is an excerpt from our fair works ombudsman FAQ's

 

I honestly think the US working class is really been pummeled into believing thats all theyre worth...and those paying them are sitting righteously thinking that IS ALL THEYRE WORTH.

Quote:

From 1 July 2012, Fair Work Australia increased the minimum wage in modern awards by 2.9%.

This increase applies to the minimum wage entitlements of most employees covered by the national system.

For adult employees who aren’t covered by an award or agreement, the adult national minimum wage was increased from $589.30 per week to $606.40 or $15.96 per hour

As a woman with work experience from all different areas and no formal training or degrees....I wouldnt get out of bed for less than $20 an hour and even then it would have to be a job I loved. My last job paid 37 an hour. My 14yo pushed trolleys after school for 10 dollars an hour....5 years ago. My now 14yo is in a school based traineeship...one day a week and gets paid 120 for the day (granted even in my book this is extremely rare)

Naturewoman4
by Platinum Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Wow!  Where do you live, I'm moving there lol.  Because, I don't know of anywhere that would pay kids that much.  Also, that's incredible how much you got paid & wouldn't take less!!  All without a Degree? Wow!  Honestly, I haven't heard/know anyone that gets paid that well, unless they do have a Degree.  Or they've been on their job for a long time & is a Union worker.  

I think the problem is that the cost of living is so high, compared to in the 60's.  So, even if a family is bringing in good money each wk., it doesn't seem like they're doing that great because of the cost of living is so high.  Honestly, I don't know how my husband & I would of done it, if we were still raising our 2 kids.  I feel very lucky to have already done that.  Both my kids left for college at 18.  My daughter has been gone for 5 yrs. now.  About the time when the recession hit.  So, I just can't image how we would of done it.  Because, I lost my job about that too.  I really didn't look for a job after that.   


Quoting turtle68:

 

I really dont understand how your wages dont index with inflation....I really thought that was a gimme in modern society?

Here our minimum wages are reviewed annually and indexed accordingly.  This is an excerpt from our fair works ombudsman FAQ's

 

I honestly think the US working class is really been pummeled into believing thats all theyre worth...and those paying them are sitting righteously thinking that IS ALL THEYRE WORTH.

Quote:

From 1 July 2012, Fair Work Australia increased the minimum wage in modern awards by 2.9%.

This increase applies to the minimum wage entitlements of most employees covered by the national system.

For adult employees who aren’t covered by an award or agreement, the adult national minimum wage was increased from $589.30 per week to $606.40 or $15.96 per hour

As a woman with work experience from all different areas and no formal training or degrees....I wouldnt get out of bed for less than $20 an hour and even then it would have to be a job I loved. My last job paid 37 an hour. My 14yo pushed trolleys after school for 10 dollars an hour....5 years ago. My now 14yo is in a school based traineeship...one day a week and gets paid 120 for the day (granted even in my book this is extremely rare)


 

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM

 Australia...I really dont understand why it hasnt gone up?  Its mindblowing to me. 

Our indexing comes from a percentage (not sure what it is) ratio...of cost of living to wages.  When the cost of living goes up...it seems pretty logical that wages would go up...which is why our minimum wages are reviewed every year and adjusted to reflect the changing times and costs.

This also changes with every state.  I live in a state that has a lower cost of living than say...Sydney or Melbourne, so the wages per hour are lower than in those states / cities

Quoting Naturewoman4:

Wow!  Where do you live, I'm moving there lol.  Because, I don' t know of anywhere that would pay kids that much.  Also, that's incredible how much you got paid & wouldn't take less!!  All without a Degree? Wow!  Honestly, I haven't heard/know anyone that gets paid that well, unless they do have a Degree.  Or they've been on their job for a long time & is a Union worker.  

I think the problem is that the cost of living is so high, compared to in the 60's.  So, even if a family is bringing in good money each wk., it doesn't seem like they're doing that great because of the cost of living is so high.  Honestly, I don't know how my husband & I would of done it, if we were still raising our 2 kids.  I feel very lucky to have already done that.  Both my kids left for college at 18.  My daughter has been gone for 5 yrs. now.  About the time when the recession hit.  So, I just can't image how we would of done it.  Because, I lost my job about that too.  I really didn't look for a job after that.   

 

Quoting turtle68:

 

I really dont understand how your wages dont index with inflation....I really thought that was a gimme in modern society?

Here our minimum wages are reviewed annually and indexed accordingly.  This is an excerpt from our fair works ombudsman FAQ's

 

I honestly think the US working class is really been pummeled into believing thats all theyre worth...and those paying them are sitting righteously thinking that IS ALL THEYRE WORTH.

Quote:

From 1 July 2012, Fair Work Australia increased the minimum wage in modern awards by 2.9%.

This increase applies to the minimum wage entitlements of most employees covered by the national system.

For adult employees who aren’t covered by an award or agreement, the adult national minimum wage was increased from $589.30 per week to $606.40 or $15.96 per hour

As a woman with work experience from all different areas and no formal training or degrees....I wouldnt get out of bed for less than $20 an hour and even then it would have to be a job I loved. My last job paid 37 an hour. My 14yo pushed trolleys after school for 10 dollars an hour....5 years ago. My now 14yo is in a school based traineeship...one day a week and gets paid 120 for the day (granted even in my book this is extremely rare)

 

 

 

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