Thursday, November 8, 2007

What middle class? (from: TAP; "Who's to Blame for the Brave New Economy?")

The MEDIAN wage in this country is about $17/hr = about $680/wk before taxes -- while average income per hour if you throw in dividends, etc. comes to more like $35/hr. That's a lot of missing potential.

Does $680/wk sound like it would support a "middle class life"? And that's the median/typical American wage. How about the $7/hr Target or Walgreens worker? That is a catastrophe. (Last I looked $10/hr was the 10 percentile wage in Germany.)

Suppose we were somehow able to forecast to Americans of 1968 (when the federal minimum wage was $9.50/hr in today's money) that, by early 2007, a quarter of our workforce would be earning less than LBJs minimum wage -- what explanation do you think they would have conjured up: nuclear war, multiple depressions, Communism won :-)?

Would they have guessed American labor would allowed itself to become so helpless that it would have to take anything management dished out -- or that the media would allow labor to become so uninformed that it would not even know what was happening to it?

Guess what: a quarter of our population is now below a realistic poverty line (see the 2002 book Raise the Floor) -- not the official federal line based on three times the price of an emergency (cheapest possible) diet -- of all crackpot standards.

If the media -- and our progressive professors -- would just stop parroting the official poverty line and establish a line with realistic measurements -- just do that one thing --
it would revolutionize the labor discussion in this country overnight.

Posted by: Denis Drew | Nov 8, 2007 10:37:40 AM

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