Friday May 08, 2015
Quotes of the Day
If it feels like you've been getting ripped off all your life, you have:
The salient basic numbers are these. Since 1979, compensation for the top 1 percent has grown 138 percent, while median wages have increased just 6.1 percent. Worker productivity has grown 63.5 percent in this time, and if wages had kept pace with productivity, the annual median wage today, instead of being around $35,300, would be $54,400.
That's from Michael Tomasky's piece, “2016: The Republicans Write,” in which, in The New York Review of Books, he reviews the various books by Messrs. Rubio, Santorum, Ryan, Carson, Huckabee, Walker, and comes away unimpressed about their views on the most pressing economic issue of our time. Another key quote:
Here's the difference between Clinton and the Republicans. She, like virtually all Democrats, accepts the basic fact that wages for median workers have been more or less stagnant since 1979. She probably accepts the idea that this stagnation, alongside rising inequality, is the greatest economic challenge we face. She probably accepts the standard set of reasons that economists offer about why this has happened—globalization, technological change, immigration patterns, a decrease in workers' bargaining power, the rise in high-end compensation, and various federal tax and wage policies. And finally, she probably accepts that the solutions to the problem are chiefly economic solutions—changing tax policy, giving workers greater “voice,” taking steps to ameliorate the negative effects of globalization, and so on.
The extent to which Republicans accept any of this is far from clear.