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Fri May 31, 2013, 11:26 AM

ROBERT REICH:If the median wage had kept up with the overall economy, it would be over $90,000 today

REFRAMING THE DEBATE: NOT THAT MOST AMERICANS HAVE BEEN LIVING BEYOND OUR MEANS, BUT OUR MEANS HAVENíT KEPT UP BECAUSE OF WIDENING INEQUALITY.

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The notion that we canít afford to invest in the education of our young, or rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, or continue to provide Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, or expand health insurance is absurd.

If the median wage had kept up with the overall economy, it would be over $90,000 today ó and tax revenues would be more than adequate to cover all our needs. If the wealthy were paying the same marginal tax rate they were paying up to 1981, tax revenues would be far more.

Get it? The problem isnít that most Americans have been living too well. The problem is we havenít been living nearly as well as our growing economy should have allowed us to live.

Widening inequality is the culprit.
If President Obama is looking for a central theme for his second term, this is it.

http://robertreich.org/post/51726367160

24 replies, 2906 views

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Reply ROBERT REICH:If the median wage had kept up with the overall economy, it would be over $90,000 today (Original post)
kpete May 2013 OP
WillyT May 2013 #1
nadinbrzezinski May 2013 #2
bvar22 May 2013 #3
HughBeaumont May 2013 #10
JHB May 2013 #19
ProSense May 2013 #11
dkf May 2013 #4
JHB May 2013 #5
dkf May 2013 #6
n2doc May 2013 #7
MNBrewer May 2013 #8
HangOnKids May 2013 #15
MNBrewer May 2013 #16
JHB May 2013 #18
snot Jun 2013 #24
Wounded Bear May 2013 #9
SunSeeker May 2013 #14
Spitfire of ATJ May 2013 #21
Skittles May 2013 #22
Initech May 2013 #12
SunSeeker May 2013 #13
smallcat88 May 2013 #17
HiPointDem May 2013 #20
snot Jun 2013 #23

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 11:36 AM

1. K & R !!!

 




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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 11:45 AM

2. This is by design

 

But they are feathering a bed, with deep resentment.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 12:11 PM

3. Allow me to Pile On.

Half of America is in poverty, and its creeping toward 75%
http://www.alternet.org/economy/real-numbers-half-america-poverty-and-its-creeping-toward-75-0

Wealthy win lion's share of major tax breaks
http://www.boston.com/business/news/2013/05/29/wealthy-win-lion-share-major-tax-breaks/Ua0UyYle21EUXub7g1suCI/story.html

Wealth gap widens as labor's share of income falls
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/wealth-gap-widens-labors-share-income-falls-1B6097385

As the Economy Recovers, the Wealth Gap Widens
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2013/03/11/as-the-economy-recovers-the-wealth-gap-widens
Top One Percent Captured 121 Percent Of All Income Gains
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/top-one-percent-income-gains_n_2670455.html

Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/03/1270541/corporate-profits-wages-record/?mobile=nc

Things like that don't happen by accident.
They are the product of Planning and Policy.

Don't expect the Party Leadership to address these problems.
They are busy celebrating The "Recovery" and working on that new massive "Free Trade" deal (NAFTA on Steroids).



You will know them by their WORKS.
They are too busy

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #3)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:24 PM

10. Rec this post and some telling charts -



And this is probably worse now . . .







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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #10)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:18 PM

19. Let me add to that an illustration of where the brackets fell:

Most discussion of tax history mentions the top marginal rates of the past (91% in the 50s, 70% in the 60s and 70s, 50% through most of Reagan's presidency, etc.)

I like to highlight a different aspect: leaving aside what the rates were, where did they kick in? We live in times where people argue "are couples who make $250K 'rich'?" "Should we raise taxes on people who make over $250K? Over $500K?"

Where did these sorts of things lie in the past?

Using the inflation adjusted historical tax bracket tables from The Tax Foundation for married couples filing jointly, let's break it down a little and find out the equivalents in 2012 dollars:

1945:
Total number of brackets: 24
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 14
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 9
Top bracket affects income over: $2,551,044

1955:
Total number of brackets: 24
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 16
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 11
Top bracket affects income over: $3,426,776

1965:
Total number of brackets: 25
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 13
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 8
Top bracket affects income over: $1,457,740

1975:
Total number of brackets: 25
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 9
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 5
Top bracket affects income over: $853,509

1985:
Total number of brackets: 15
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $360,650

1995:
Total number of brackets: 5
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $386,423

2005:
Total number of brackets: 6
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $383,773

2013:
Total number of brackets: 7
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 2
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $440,876

Special Bonus Gipper edition numbers:
1988:
Total number of brackets: 2 (No, not a typo. Two brackets)
# of brackets affecting income over $250K: 0
# of brackets affecting income over $500K: 0

Top bracket affects income over: $57,738
(There was a reason why Poppy Bush had to go back on his 'Read My Lips' line. And every RWNJ wants to go back to this, or lower...)

ALL income tax progressivity for very high incomes was eliminated under Reagan, and has stayed that way ever since.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #3)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:27 PM

11. Allow me to

Allow me to Pile On.

Half of America is in poverty, and its creeping toward 75%
http://www.alternet.org/economy/real-numbers-half-america-poverty-and-its-creeping-toward-75-0


...clarify re that link.

If you click on the first link, it takes you to the following Census data:

The data presented here are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), the source of official poverty estimates. The CPS ASEC is a sample survey of approximately 100,000 household nationwide. These data reflect conditions in calendar year 2011.

  • In 2011, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent. There were 46.2 million people in poverty.

  • After 3 consecutive years of increases, neither the official poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statisti¨cally different from the 2010 estimates1

  • The 2011 poverty rates for most demographic groups examined were not statistically different from their 2010 rates. Poverty rates were lower in 2011 than in 2010 for six groups: Hispanics, males, the foreign-born, nonciti¨zens, people living in the South, and people living inside metropol¨itan statistical areas but outside principal cities. Poverty rates went up between 2010 and 2011 for naturalized citizens.

  • For most groups, the number of people in poverty either decreased or did not show a statistically significant change. The number of people in poverty decreased for noncitizens, people living in the South, and people living inside metropolitan statistical areas but outside principal cities between 2010 and 2011. The number of naturalized citizens in poverty increased.

  • The poverty rate in 2011 for chil¨dren under age 18 was 21.9 per-cent. The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.7 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 8.7 percent. None of the rates for these age groups were statistically different from their 2010 estimates.2
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/


Go to the "Publications" tab for more information.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb12-172.html

Sex

  • The poverty rate for males decreased between 2010 and 2011, from 14.0 percent to 13.6 percent, while the poverty rate for females was 16.3 percent, not statistically different from the 2010 estimate.
<...>

Health Insurance Coverage

  • The number of people with health insurance increased to 260.2 million in 2011 from 256.6 million in 2010, as did the percentage of people with health insurance (84.3 percent in 2011, 83.7 percent in 2010).

  • The percentage of people covered by private health insurance in 2011 was not statistically different from 2010, at 63.9 percent. This was the first time in the last 10 years that the rate of private health insurance coverage has not decreased. The percentage covered by employment-based health insurance in 2011 was not statistically different from 2010, at 55.1 percent.

  • The percentage of people covered by government health insurance increased from 31.2 percent to 32.2 percent. The percentage covered by Medicaid increased from 15.8 percent in 2010 to 16.5 percent in 2011. The percentage covered by Medicare also rose over the period, from 14.6 percent to 15.2 percent. The percentage covered by Medicaid in 2011 was higher than the percentage covered by Medicare.

  • In 2011, 9.7 percent of children under 19 (7.6 million) were without health insurance. Neither estimate is significantly different from the corresponding 2010 estimate. The uninsured rate also remained statistically unchanged for those age 26 to 34 and people age 45 to 64. It declined, however, for people age 19 to 25, age 35 to 44 and those age 65 and older.

  • The uninsured rate for children in poverty (13.8 percent) was higher than the rate for all children (9.4 percent).

  • In 2011, the uninsured rates decreased as household income increased from 25.4 percent for those in households with annual income less than $25,000 to 7.8 percent in households with income of $75,000 or more.

    <...>
- more -

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb12-172.html

Dire information, but I would say a decrease in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011 is big news, as is the information on health insurance coverage.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2917311

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 12:36 PM

4. What would prices be to support the $90k Walmart employee?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri May 31, 2013, 12:52 PM

5. How many Walmart employees are paid enough to be near the median?

There wouldn't be nearly so many of them on food stamps if that were the case.

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Response to JHB (Reply #5)

Fri May 31, 2013, 12:58 PM

6. If they all got paid $90k as a minimum wage how much would a can of coke cost?

 

If you don't increase the amount of goods produced but increase salaries by multitudes all you have is inflation.

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:06 PM

7. I just bought 2 8-packs for $5

Which is too fucking cheap, if you ask me. I'd be happy to pay double if everyone had a living wage and health care. Right now, all the profits go to big oil, big ag and the grocery chains.

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:11 PM

8. MEDIAN wage, not MINIMUM wage

Reich is talking about the MEDIAN wage.

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Response to MNBrewer (Reply #8)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:57 PM

15. Please stop with the facts!

 

They will screw up the agenda of certain people.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #15)

Fri May 31, 2013, 02:01 PM

16. I know... Liberal bias...

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:09 PM

18. And who was talking about a $90k minimum wage?

The difference between "minimum" and "median" is pretty basic.

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:26 AM

24. The point is, we DID increase production.

GNP has skyrocketed since 1970; but the wealth we created has been scraped off by the 1%.

In order for wage earners to receive more, prices need not be higher; but net income of the 1% would be less. (Note, I'm not just talking CEO salaries, but the whole slew of strategies used to milk cash from our economy, from tax minimization to the bailing out of speculators in unproductive derivatives.)

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:22 PM

9. Red herring....nobody expects WalMart employees to make median wage...

A living wage would be nice, though.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:52 PM

14. No one is saying Wal-mart employees should get $90K. But $17K is not a living wage.

Right now, full time Wal-mart workers make only $17,000. That is not a living wage. It should be at least $30,000. And we would still be able to afford a Coke. So would Wal-mart workers, for a change.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:40 PM

21. That's the talking point they used to justify slavery.

 

I have a better question, how much less should Wall Street get?

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:23 PM

22. probably the same, but the WALTONS would not be worth as much

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:30 PM

12. I'd add this.

It's from the Will Ferrell movie "The Other Guys" - and it's still very relevant:

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:48 PM

13. K & R & Bookmarked!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 02:01 PM

17. Why do you think

R's keep trying to redirect the conversation to 'takers' & 'moochers'? They have to blame the poor, they can't afford to let enough people get ticked off at the rich. Inequality is the path to even more wealth. I think this is also why they're trying to drum up all the 2nd ammendment stuff too. A lot of rural (and not so wealthy people) would be leaving them in droves if the R's didn't give them something else to rally around. Ironically, these same people, who refer to anyone who backs Obama as 'sheeple', are too ignorant to realize they're the sheeple of the rich.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:23 PM

20. kr

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:24 AM

23. K&R'd!

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