Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slanting Income

The "traditional" media is making much of the report that poverty declined in this country last year by 0.3% and that "household income" rose last year by 0.7% as well. A few are admitting that the number of people without medical insurance increased by 0.5% in the same year.

They are leaving something out. (Of course.)

Individual real income of full-time year-round workers dropped by 1.1% for men and 1.2% for women last year. Listen up. Individual income of full-time workers decreased during an economic recovery with low unemployment, it decreased by a rather significant amount, and it decreased for the third year in a row.

(Note that "household income" rose while individual income fell. This is not a healthy societal trend; it means more families with multiple people working in order to make ends meet.)

This is during a time period that large corporations are busting Congress' chaps, saying they need more H1B visas because they cannot find workers in the US. This during a time period that a Senator from California is claiming that if the government enforces laws against hiring illegal immigrants there are no American workers to replace them.

"Supply and demand" would seem to dictate that when workers are in short supply then wages would go up as companies compete with each other to hire the workers who are available, but that is not happening.

Productivity has improved steadily every year, corporate profits are booming, hedge funds and money markets are growing like weeds, the stock market is shaky at the moment but has been gaining by leaps and bounds, but workers wages are falling for the third year in a row.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, "Something is rotten in the state of America."

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