Progressive American, March 2017
The Killing Of The American Dream.
Corporations, led by conservative economists, discovered that they could chip away at wages and not suffer consequences. They could pocket the value of that productivity, add it straight to the bottom line, and American workers would not only NOT reduce productivity but they would keep INCREASING it. American workers are amazing!
In spite of being screwed American workers kept increasing their productivity, their value to corporations (which was the standard for compensation). Their contribution to the bottom line grew and grew from the 70’s until now even as their wages failed to increase in real dollars. While previous generations would get a part of the money their increased productivity earned a company in their wages this generation got nothing. Wages stagnated. Not just at the bottom but also in the middle. Especially in the middle. And America suffered.
The arbitrary cutting of wages in real dollars by corporations helped lead to the decimation of the American middle class which once made this nation great. The real economic engine of a nation is the middle class. When the middle class does well, as in post WWII America, the nation does well. Period.
Of this system venture capitalist Nick Hanauer said, “Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather, they are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers.” When the middle class thrives, he said, “businesses grow and hire, and owners profit.”
Corporations Inherit (Steal) The American Dream.
Because of this arbitrary and short-sighted grasping for money American corporations now have the “highest profit margins as a percent of our economy in history” but “pay the lowest wages in history as a percent of the economy.” And the shocking fact is that “all of the income gains in this country over the past three decades have gone to the top 10% of American earners — the ones who own and control our largest businesses. These top earners — especially the top 0.1% of earners — now take home more of the country’s national income than at any time in the past century, including the “Gilded Age” of the 1920s.” ...
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