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40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

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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
Replies (11-20):
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM

My husband has no degree and works a menial labor job for a big name company known to pay it's workers as little as possible and after 8 years at his job he's now making about $40,000 a year, more than most of the people we know that have college degrees. Yet his father keeps pushing him to go to college and get a degree *of the fathers choosing* that would actually earn him LESS in the workplace than he's making now... *sigh*  A degree isn't everything anymore.


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)





glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:44 AM

As I have said before the companies are making the money they just refuse to share more than the gov makes them pay. Cheap ass bastards would pay less given the opportunity aka look at waitress pay...

GotSomeKids
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:59 AM
1 mom liked this

Let's see increase in gas prices (inflation), directly affecting my cost of groceries (inflation), add in increase (inflation) of utilities across the board, increase in SS taxes and local taxes, yet, we got a 1% raise, which means after all that we are paying out of pocket (by a lot).

Minimum wage has never been in step with productivity growth.  It's never been in step with inflation either. So, I don't know why anyone would be shocked by this.

Stop taxing everyone else to death and close the tax loopholes and that will shore up some of these issues.

opinionatedmom
by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 2:02 AM

 and it amazes me how employers now are getting away with paying less than min wage due to loopholes in the laws

Jers.
by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Actually, there was a time when wages DID rise along with productivity, however sometime in the 80's it began going down as production went up and it is now at an all time low.

Quoting GotSomeKids:

Let's see increase in gas prices (inflation), directly affecting my cost of groceries (inflation), add in increase (inflation) of utilities across the board, increase in SS taxes and local taxes, yet, we got a 1% raise, which means after all that we are paying out of pocket (by a lot).

Minimum wage has never been in step with productivity growth.  It's never been in step with inflation either. So, I don't know why anyone would be shocked by this.

Stop taxing everyone else to death and close the tax loopholes and that will shore up some of these issues.



mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

 

Is that a threat - that should be flagged?

Quoting TranquilMind:

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


 

Naturewoman4
by Platinum Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

My husband retired from his Union job & is collecting a pension.  8-9 yrs. ago, he took a job making only $7/hr. (only job he could find).  Which I'm so shocked after working 34 yrs. on his Union job, with lots of experience, that's all he was offered.  He now only gets around $14/hr.  He doesn't even make close to what your husband does.  His job is like your husband's & it is a name company as well.  My husband went to Truck Driving School as well several yrs. ago & paid for that.  Yet, no jobs.  I guess, that's why I'm afraid if I spent on that money on going back to school, same thing I wouldn't get a job.

 On my husband's job he has a lot of responsibility.  He trains other guys.  He does basically everything they ask him to do.  He drives around a truck.  He drives a forklift.  He's primary job when he was hired was being a IC Clerk.  (Inventory).  Now, he does everything.  It sucks though how little he makes, for all what he does.  That's why a lot of people that work there, end up quitting & finding a job that pays higher.  But, at his age, with how little jobs there are period, there's probably no chance of finding a better one or any job at all!

I was going to go back to College to get my degree.  I was 1/2 way there, so I thought I'd go finish up.  Getting a degree in something that would give me a better chance at getting a job.  But, then the recession hit, so many were losing their jobs.  No jobs were even available then or now.  I would have to have in my head, that at least I will have that piece of paper.  But, I just don't want to spend all that money to go back to school & probably not get a job when I finished.   


Quoting Arroree:

My husband has no degree and works a menial labor job for a big name company known to pay it's workers as little as possible and after 8 years at his job he's now making about $40,000 a year, more than most of the people we know that have college degrees. Yet his father keeps pushing him to go to college and get a degree *of the fathers choosing* that would actually earn him LESS in the workplace than he's making now... *sigh*  A degree isn't everything anymore.

 

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)

 

 

 

 


 

Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

 Yep

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM
1 mom liked this

I feel so sad for young people today-

bolz08
by Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM
1 mom liked this


I'm going to go with this:)

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.  



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