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Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:56 PM

Real wages decline; literally no one notices

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Your read it here first: Real wages fell 0.2% in 2012, down from $295.49 (1982-84 dollars) to $294.83 per week, according to the 2013 Economic Report of the President. Thus, a 1.9% increase in nominal wages was more than wiped out by inflation, marking the 40th consecutive year that real wages have remained below their 1972 peak.

Yet no one in the media noticed, or at least none thought it newsworthy. I searched the web and the subscription-only Nexis news database, and there are literally 0 stories on this. So I meant it when I said you read it here first. In fact, there was little press coverage of the report at all, in sharp contrast to last year.
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This decline is especially amazing when we consider that private non-farm productivity has doubled in this period:
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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Real wages decline; literally no one notices (Original post)
Teamster Jeff Mar 2013 OP
daleanime Mar 2013 #1
Teamster Jeff Mar 2013 #2
daleanime Mar 2013 #6
madrchsod Mar 2013 #3
PatrickUES Mar 2013 #4
oysterbay Apr 2013 #8
demosincebirth Mar 2013 #5
Sherman A1 Mar 2013 #7
oysterbay Apr 2013 #9

Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:01 PM

1. ......

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Response to daleanime (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:05 PM

2. The game is rigged

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 12:40 AM

6. Definitely....

The question is 'How do we change the rules?'

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

3. my newspaper published local counties job numbers from 1974-2012

the best yrs were under clinton. reagan`s numbers were the worse but did get better at the end of his term. so far obama`s are as bad as reagans.

most of the job losses were do to companies moving production to mexico and china.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 08:05 PM

4. The rest of the story

 

Real wages are declining in the last 12 years because of inflation - and the data would be eve more damning if they measured inflation accurately. Inflation is the result of expansionary fiscal and monetary policy.

Real wages have declined since 1980. But total compensation has not. Total compensation rose, in line with productivity growth. Non-wage benefits costs increased at a faster rate, which has squeezed potential wage increases. The employer pays $X to employ you. If a larger fraction of X comes in the form of health benefits, sorry but that leaves less left over for wages. Benefits costs are up because healthcare costs are up. Healthcare costs are up because the government keeps financing new drugs and other ways to keep old people alive but not healthy; because end-of-life care cost has increased and must be covered by insurance, and because of obesity, smoking and other bad habits. This pushes premiums up even for those who do not engage in these habits because of community rating standards.

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Response to PatrickUES (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 12:38 PM

8. What non-wage benefits?

Workers at the bottom of the economy wonder about non-wage benefits; in over 30 years of toil I have never had a non-wage benefits.

Well I did have free fountain drinks at one of my convenience store jobs, does that count?

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 09:33 PM

5. Shrinking union membership = shrinking middle class = shrinking wages

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 07:32 AM

7. Oh, they have noticed

and they have been noticing since the 1980's and they are pretty angry about it. That said, the working class hasn't really figured out the cause of why they just are not able to keep up, they just know that the hole is getting deeper and deeper and the propaganda is telling them that it is (insert the scapegoat group of the day here) fault. Not the stagnate wages or distribution of wealth.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 12:45 PM

9. Gee ya think an abundance of cheap labor might have something to do with it?

Just askin'.

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