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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 (21-30):
stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I have said before perhaps people should look at to whom the money is going.

stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

There inflation is viewed as one thing. Here it is the tax the fed places on people. Your inflation has an index ours is set to the whims of others. I think perhaps that is the reason. 

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)


pansyprincess
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

 Me too.  I always wonder what my kids houses will cost them.  My parents bought our 4 bedroom home in a REALLY nice town for 69,000 (in 1975).  They were 28 and 29.  I bought my house in a town that was nice, but a little further from NYC so to keep the housing prices a little lower.  8 years ago (2005), $530,000.  And it is a nice house (4 bed, 2.5 bath) but it's not crazy fancy or updated.  We need to do the kitchen and both bathrooms.  I wonder if my kids starter homes in NJ will be 1 million?

Granted ... my starter house was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo ... but that was still $300K.  I feel like my kids will never be able to afford living in this state.

Quoting Sisteract:

I feel so sad for young people today-

 

 

meriana
by Gold Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Things will get a lot worse regarding wage and housing if those who advocate for getting rid of Unions and instituting a National Right to Work law get their way and it wouldn't surprise me if eventually they do after all there are VERY wealthy people/corporations who fully support those things

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

 Um, no.  It is simply a recognition of historical precedent.  When the people have had enough of not being able to feed their children or find jobs, I suspect they will take action.

(I'm not one of them, thank God.  I'm simply remarking on historical precedent).    People will only be repressed so far until they fight back.  Especially independent Americans.


Quoting mikiemom:

 

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.

 

 


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

 My parents bought their first house in the midwest for $6,000 in the 50's.  I have no idea how the kids are going to buy anything. 


Quoting pansyprincess:

 Me too.  I always wonder what my kids houses will cost them.  My parents bought our 4 bedroom home in a REALLY nice town for 69,000 (in 1975).  They were 28 and 29.  I bought my house in a town that was nice, but a little further from NYC so to keep the housing prices a little lower.  8 years ago (2005), $530,000.  And it is a nice house (4 bed, 2.5 bath) but it's not crazy fancy or updated.  We need to do the kitchen and both bathrooms.  I wonder if my kids starter homes in NJ will be 1 million?

Granted ... my starter house was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo ... but that was still $300K.  I feel like my kids will never be able to afford living in this state.

Quoting Sisteract:

I feel so sad for young people today-

 

 


 

littlelamb303
by Bronze Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

 


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)

 

 

 

 


 you know a lot of people making under 40k with college degrees? That is really bad,  I don't.  As a matter of fact, 40 k would not get you very far where I live.  My husband made 130k last year and he does not have a college degree(he only went for 2 yrs)  People in this country ARE seriously underpaid and it should not be tolerated

LovemyQ
by Bronze Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

In the past three years we have had utility increases of 40% and food increases of at least 30% (that is a small estimate), so wages would have exploded. But I understand your viewpoint.

Quoting turtle68:

 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)



 


Arroree
by Ruby Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM



Quoting littlelamb303:



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)






 you know a lot of people making under 40k with college degrees? That is really bad,  I don't.  As a matter of fact, 40 k would not get you very far where I live.  My husband made 130k last year and he does not have a college degree(he only went for 2 yrs)  People in this country ARE seriously underpaid and it should not be tolerated

Many teachers only make between 20-40k a year.


funnymommy71
by Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

 


Quoting meriana:

Things will get a lot worse regarding wage and housing if those who advocate for getting rid of Unions and instituting a National Right to Work law get their way and it wouldn't surprise me if eventually they do after all there are VERY wealthy people/corporations who fully support those things


 Bingo!  Once the Supreme Court voted that Corporations are people, I actually cried.  To me, that was the nail in the coffin to turn the U.S. into a real third world country within a few decades.  I of course hope not, but WTF are they doing to us? Seriously? Congress bought and sold for Years, NOW the Supreme Court- bought and beholden to the highest bidder- not U.S.  Treason.

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