Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Who Stands for Business Growth in America vs. Who Just Says They Do

Very Graphic and Telling to Say the Least
[click to enlarge graph]

In the Real World the GOP Won't Fess Up To


Corporate profits are their highest ever and wage growth is near its lowest in half a century, even since the near total 2008 meltdown. However, businesses still resist higher wages to workers across the board.

U.S. businesses have never had it so good both in dollar term, or as a share of the economy.

The labor market still shows far too many Americans out of jobs which are in short supply here at home. Coincidence between those two things?  Maybe not, but a direct link I believe.

What is the basic issue or root problem, even if that’s possible to ID in this topsy turvy political environment where stalemate to get your way is the operative word for cooperation and compromise?

Companies have not been unable to raise prices much because of the economic recovery has been fragile, even though the unemployment is 5 percent down from 10 percent back in 2008 – remember?   
But they’ve still managed to boost profits beyond anything ever seen before because they’ve got away with employing as few workers as possible at as low a rate as possible and for the lowest wages possible, too. Economic facts hurt, don’t they?

Look back in time at the first three decades after World War II:
  1. America created the largest middle class the world had ever seen. Since then we have made one huge U-turn. 
  2. During those post-war years, the earnings of the typical American worker doubled, just as the size of the American economy doubled. 
  3. By 1960, the income of a single school teacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough that enabled them to buy a home, two cars, and raise a family. 
Now the rest of the story as the late Paul Harvey used to say:

  1. Today, during this recovery (*the one started after the near total economic meltdown in 2008), and like the last five recoveries before that, it masks the longer-term decline of most worker wages – and that translates into a huge decline in and for the American middle class.
  2. Over the last thirty years, by contrast, the size of the economy doubled again but the earnings of the typical American have gone nowhere.  
  3. In that earlier period, more than a third of all workers belonged to a trade union — giving average workers the bargaining power necessary to get a large and growing share of the large and growing economic pie. Now, fewer than 7% of private-sector workers are unionized (this is also by careful design – never forget that – the GOP and their allies hate Unions and Union people, whether teaches (esp. teachers) public service employees, or hell, even health care and law enforcement professionals whom they work hard against – interesting isn’t? That disconnect: claim to help all people, except Union people)... 
  4. Back then. CEOs of America’s largest corporations were paid an average of about 20 times the pay of their typical worker. Now their pay is well over 200 times (and still growing).
  5. In those years, the richest 1% took home 9 to 10% of total income. Today the top 1% gets more than 20%.
  6. Back then, the tax rate on the highest-income Americans never fell below 70%; and under President Dwight Eisenhower (Republican) it was 91%. Today their top tax rate is 39.6% and with so many loopholes and incentives, write-offs, etc., they all mostly pay far less.
Minimum Wage Battle back in 2013: President Obama’s call for a minimum wage increase — like nearly all of his proposals — is again met with immediate opposition from Congressional Republicans.

•  Just a short six years ago (before Mr. Obama took office) many of the same Republicans supported a similar proposal backed by Republican President George W. Bush.
•  A Think Progress analysis finds that at least 67 Republicans who are still in Congress today backed an increase in the minimum wage in some form and that includes Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
•  Political momentum for an increase began in 2004, after President Bush announced his support for a bill by now-Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
•  After Democrats won majorities of the House and Senate in the 2006 elections, a minimum wage increase became one of their first priorities.
•  The Fair Minimum Wage Act — which also included tax cuts for small businesses — passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
•  When the increase was folded into a larger appropriations bill, it again passed with strong bipartisan support and was eventually signed into law by Bush. 26 House Republicans even signed a letter to then-House Majority Leader (later Speaker, then resigned) John Boehner (R-OH), asking for a vote on a minimum wage increase - that took it to $7.25/per hour.

Related (two links) - here and here.

What do we call those GOP roadblocks, - oh, yeah, hypocrisy. Big, big talkers, little tiny walkers I’d have to say…

Why so much resistance when Mr. Obama advocates the same thing, not just the minimum wage, but health care, more relief for that struggling middle class and kids wanting a higher education, but on most other things that Mr. Obama not only introduces, but even thinks about.

If he is far it, the GOP is against it – that is a fact, and it matters not the topic or subject of issue, and worse, the blame game is always centered on him like a bulls eye on a NRA target. A fact.

Thanks for stopping by.




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