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 Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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