NY Times: Hey, Wages Stink In The Obameconomy, So Let’s Pass Laws

It’s Labor Day 2014, so, obviously, media outlets across the country are writing opinion pieces and opinion pieces disguised as news articles calling for a minimum wage increase, along with things like women making 75% less than men (debunked. Except for the White House, of course, where women make less than men). And, here comes the NY Times Editorial Board

Labor Today
Wages and Salaries Still Lag as Corporate Profits Surge

In the months before Labor Day last year, job growth was so slow that economists said it would take until 2021 to replace the jobs that were lost or never created in the recession and its aftermath.

The pace has picked up since then; at the current rate, missing jobs will be recovered by 2018. Still, five years into an economic recovery that has been notable for resurging corporate profits, the number and quality of jobs are still lagging badly, as are wages and salaries.

Wait, the economy stinks for workers under the policies of the Obama administration? Who woulda thunk it?

In 2013, after-tax corporate profits as a share of the economy tied with their highest level on record (in 1965), while labor compensation as a share of the economy hit its lowest point since 1948. Wage growth since 1979 has not kept pace with productivity growth, resulting in falling or flat wages for most workers and big gains for corporate coffers, shareholders, executives and others at the top of the income ladder.

Sadly, but realistically, quite a bit of this is due to the expansion in the fast food industry, the service industry, citizens wanting lower price products (which are so often made off-shore), globalization, wage stickiness (not increasing wages to adjust for inflation), the use of migrant and illegal alien workers, and the use of more technology in the work place. This is what is called progress. The NY Times has a solution

Worse, the recent upturn in growth, even if sustained, will not necessarily lead to markedly improved living standards for most workers.

That’s because the economy’s lopsidedness is not mainly the result of market forces, but of the lack of policies to ensure broader prosperity. The imbalance will not change without labor and economic reforms.

Dictatorial Government is always the answer in Liberal World. Obviously, the Times is calling for a minimum wage increase.

Unionization is also associated with higher wages and benefits, especially for low-wage workers, which argues for greater legal enforcement of the right to organize without retaliation.

And they would prefer forced unionization.

The pay of middle-income workers has also been diminished. Decades of outsourcing government jobs to the private sector has undercut public employment, once a mainstay of middle-class life, even as evidence has mounted that outsourcing often does not save money or improve services.

Wait, working for the government is the mainstay of middle-class life? Since when?

What is still lacking [from Mr. Obama], however, is a full-employment agenda that regards labor, not corporations, as the center of the economy — a change that would be a reversal of the priorities of the last 35 years.

What’s missing is an actual economic agenda. When news outlets, including the NY Times, deride his “pivots” to the economy, they are simply noting that he has no real agenda. He is not sustaining an agenda on a constant basis.

At the end of the day, though, the Times does have a point: wages for the middle class are suffering. What can be done about that? Government raising the minimum wage will not help, because the people making that wage are not middle class. Raising taxes on companies and 1%ers and then redistributing it will not help. No one really has any solutions other than those. And they won’t work. However, removing so many of the restrictions, red tape, government interference, etc, on small businesses would certainly help. If you want to talk about the backbone of the middle class? Small business.

And, let’s be clear: the Obama recovery stinks.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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12 Responses to “NY Times: Hey, Wages Stink In The Obameconomy, So Let’s Pass Laws”

  1. Mr. 76116 says:

    I am actually a middle class worker. I only make $8.00 an hour. Where our min wage is only $7.25. Before I took my position here just last week, I look at average wages for my area and my experience for my job/career. I came into my first interview with plenty of bullets to sell myself. The average (median) income for my zip code is $25,000. If you do the math, I am underpaid by $9,000. This is very hard for middle class people. I see SO many people in my area who just live off the government. I cant do that. I wish there was a law put into place to help us. My spouse and I have to each work a job. We only have one vehicle. We cant afford another one. the current one we have is breaking down. we dont even have the money to fix the one we have. I work over night and she works during the day. We have a Seven year old son who attends school. we barely make it!!! I dont have insurance that is a different story to the ObamaCare crap. Our employers are benefiting from all the profits. I just want to support my family, have a great balance and great home, and work life. I want to be able to go to the store and buy exactly what we need. I cant! because all our money goes to BILLS AND GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jeffery says:

    “If you want to talk about the backbone of the middle class? Small business.”

    According to the Census Bureau: 43 million out of 120 million employed (2008 numbers) worked for companies employing less the 100 people. That’s about 33% of US employees. Only 13 million work in businesses with 10 or fewer employees. That’s about 11%. Most Americans work for companies with more than 100 employees.

    “However, removing so many of the restrictions, red tape, government interference, etc, on small businesses would certainly help.”

    How so? Do you have any evidence to support this? How will cutting safety regulations, pay equality policies, bookkeeping oversight help workers?

    A common right wing falsehood is that businesses hire workers for reasons unrelated to the success of the business. Employers hire when their business requires it. Henry Ford understood this. Labor unions allow workers to negotiate with management on a more equal footing.

    Conservatives hate workers. Always have, always will. Why? Because conservatives worship capitalists and are interested in helping capitalists cut labor costs. Liberals try to find ways to help workers share more equitably in business success.

    Now, corporate profits are high. Taxes are low. Rich getting richer. Wages down. Poor getting poorer. Get the picture? This didn’t start in 2009; it’s been going on for decades.

    “Dictatorial Government is always the answer in Liberal World. Obviously, the Times is calling for a minimum wage increase.”

    Didn’t you read what the NYT wrote? They said the mismatch between wages and productivity was NOT the result from market forces but from policy. Our trade policies, tax code, labor laws, patent laws, immigration laws all support the transfer of productivity gains to the already wealthy. We are now seeing it reach the point where many American families do not make enough income to make it in America. Both parties have engineered this upward redistribution. We consciously and deliberately have been eviscerating the working classes.

  3. […] weekly address, no doubt you’re hearing about how the minimum wage needs to be raised and laws need to be passed to strengthen the struggling middle class. Don’t you love how after their policies are […]

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Conservatives hate workers.

    That’s funny Jeffery.

    We always knew that you were ridiculous, but we had no idea that you were a clown.

  5. david7134 says:

    Jeff,
    I have to agree with guitar. I will go even further. It is very clear that you are prejudiced and a bigot. You make statements without knowledge. Conservatives hate workers, come on. I know a large number of conservatives and they are all business owners. But they work as hard as possible to meet the needs of their workers. I will use myself as an example. You are clearly think of me as a racist, non-feeling creep. That is fine. But when I hired people, I told them that they would receive their salary plus a quarterly bonus based on net profit production. Guess what, my bad debt collections went to zero. All patients felt good on entering the office as they were treated like royalty. My paper products and other expenses were excessively low. In addition, I made certain that everyone had insurance and even hired additional help when I found out that the persons spouse could not get insurance but needed it desperately. When I quit, I made certain that everyone had a job. So that is the way a conservative, racist, libertarian, jerk takes care of his workers. Do you don the same?

  6. gitarcarver says:

    How so? Do you have any evidence to support this? How will cutting safety regulations, pay equality policies, bookkeeping oversight help workers?

    Well, let’s see….

    Combined with $3.454 trillion in federal spending, Washington’s share of the economy now reaches 31 percent.

    Costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.863 trillion in 2013. That is more than the GDPs of Canada or Australia.

    This is the 21st edition of Ten Thousand Commandments. In that time, 87,282 final rules have been issued. That’s more than 3,500 per year or about nine per day.

    The “Unconstitutionality Index” is the ratio of regulations issued by agencies compared to legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. The ratio stood at 51 for 2013. That means there were 72 new laws and 3,659 new rules – 51 rules for every law, or a new rule every 2 ½ hours.

    Regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,974 per household – 23 percent of the average household income of $65,596 and 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. This exceeds every item in the household budget except housing – more than health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel, services, and savings. Some 63 departments, agencies and commissions have regulations in the pipeline.

    The 2013 Federal Register contains 79,311 pages, the fourth highest ever. The top two all-time totals are 81,405 pages in 2010 and 81,247 in 2011, both under Obama.

    The top six federal rulemaking agencies account for 49.3 percent of all federal rules. In 2013, these were the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Small businesses pay more in per-employee regulatory costs. Firms with fewer than 20 employees pay an average of $10,585 per employee, compared to $7,755 for those with 500 or more employees.

    Here’s more for you:

    New FDA rules require testing and tracking of sources for used beer grains before being fed to live stock as feed. The grains are test before being used in beer and despite no hog ever being made sick by eating the expended grains, livestock farmers now have to track the grains. In short, that is a cost with no benefit to anyone.

    The Consumer Product Protection Agency’s 2010 CPSIA law literally drove craft makers out of business as there is no way for people who create on off and unique items to meet the onerous testing burdens on materials and finishes. The business was forced to either comply or break the law. Benefits to the consumer of the law? None. Costs? Huge.

    Then you have little things like regulations are so complex that the the NY City Advocate and Mayor of New York cannot figure them out:

    It turns out that the homeowner registration form is so complicated, so annoying, and so useless that even the Mayor and the Public Advocate can’t figure it out.

    This form costs owners/landlords around $6 million/year, provides almost no information to the city that they couldn’t get through tax records and google, and keeps a herd of HPD clerks in business tracking down scofflaws. It also drives out smaller landlords, and provides a convenient way for bad tenants to get away without paying rent.

    The problem is that the regulations don’t do anything for workers and don’t make anything that can be sold or traded. So instead of expanding their business, or hiring more people, a business is stuck with regulations that are often worthless.

    Regulations are often far too burdensome and yield no benefits except to the regulatory agency which often seems more concerned with trying to justify their existence rather than fulfilling their mandated purpose.

    • John says:

      Wow gc 6 million is a lot if money !!!
      What is that about a buck a residence ? 2 bucks?
      As far as driving craft beer out of business
      That business is doing very very well have a cold one chill out and stop listening/believing what Rush tells you. He is an entertainer, although acclaimed as the most powerful GOP personality

    • John says:

      Craft beer production is up 18% first half of 2014

  7. John says:

    Teach the recovery has done very well for the 1% and the corporations look at the
    I think the minimum wage should go up in every state that has done so on its own the unemployment rate is lower than the national average
    How did this happen if it kills jobs ?

  8. gitarcarver says:

    How did this happen if it kills jobs ?

    Because the raise in minimum wage prevents growth john. Using rough numbers, let’s say a company is paying someone $10 an hour and the state raises the minimum wage t $20 and hour.

    There are several factors here:
    1) The company may not cut the particular job so there may not be a loss of jobs. However, the company may not hire that second person they were going to hire at $10 an hour. There is also the fact that business prepare for things like this and so when a person leaves a job prior to or after the raise, the company may look for other means to fill the duties of the job without hiring a person.

    Wow gc 6 million is a lot if money !!!

    It is also 150 jobs per year at $40,000 per job. Isn’t it amazing that liberals are so concerned about the poor and yet support policies that hurt the lower and middle class.

    As far as driving craft beer out of business

    Reading problems again john?

    The FDA regulations are on the waste products from brewing.

    The CPSIA is a regulation on manufactured products from the CPSA.

    We are not talking about the same rules. Two different agencies with two different sets of regulations for different circumstances.

    Let’s see how the CPSIA works, shall we?

    For example, I carve wood for an avocation.

    Let’s take a normal Santa Christmas carving that has a minimum of 7 colors – plus a finish of some type.

    Because each carving is unique and can attract children, each individual paint has to be tested by a lab at roughly $100 per color. That adds $800 (7 colors and a finish) to the final product right off the bat.

    The CPSIA then says that because the next piece I carve is different, the colors have to be tested again, even if they came out of the same bottle that was used on the previous piece and was tested.

    Even worse, before the paint can be sold to me, it has to be tested.

    That means that for 2 pieces, the same paint is tested and certified to be safe 3 times at a cost of $2100. The benefits? None.

    Crafters have left the business over these regulations.

    But since you want to talk about craft beers or even beers made at someone’s home, (which is legal in most states) there is this:

    The feds have been cracking down on brewing spirits at home – even for those who aren’t selling it.

    In other words, if you want to try your hand at distilling without risking arrest and forfeiture, forget it. Unlike home winemaking and brewing, which have been legal since 1978, home distilling is a federal felony punishable by up to five years in prison (plus five more for tax fraud). But until recently, according to Rick Morris, founder of the Hobby Distiller’s Association, the feds did not much care if you turned your homemade wine into brandy or your homemade beer (minus the hops) into whiskey, as long as you didn’t make any money in the process.

    More ridiculous regulations without benefit to anyone other than the regulatory agency.

  9. Jeffery says:

    Sorry, but the Competitive Enterprise Institute is a partisan lobbying organization. Do you have access to the source material they used to make up their numbers? In the past, pseudo-“free-market” organizations have included health care benefits as a government mandated regulation and have included those costs as a regulatory cost. Some include gov’t protected pensions as a cost of regulation. Most of us would agree that worker safety, financial accountability, environmental protection and product safety are reasonable responsibilities of businesses that can be regulated

    You can read up on the FDA/spent grain policy here.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/06/20/323957894/going-against-the-grain-fda-threatens-brewers-feed-for-farmers

    Do you think we, and by extension our gov’t, has an interest in food safety?

    Do you think we, and by extension our gov’t, has an interest in regulating businesses at all?

  10. gitarcarver says:

    Sorry, but the Competitive Enterprise Institute is a partisan lobbying organization.

    So that means their facts are wrong?

    Do you have access to the source material they used to make up their numbers?

    Read the report.

    You can read up on the FDA/spent grain policy here.

    I did. Funny how is says the same thing that I did.

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    Do you think we, and by extension our gov’t, has an interest in food safety?

    Does this regulation add to the safety of food? Where is the science behind this rule? As you asked for the source material on the CEI, where is the material that the FDA used to make this rule?

    Do you think we, and by extension our gov’t, has an interest in regulating businesses at all?

    Do you think that any and all regulations are beneficial?

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