Line graph showing productivity and hourly compensation, 1948-2011. Until the 1970s, the lines rise together. Starting in 1973 and accelerating in 1978, they diverge sharply as productivity keeps rising and compensation flattens out.
Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. The facts are these: From 1948 until 1973, American workers' earnings grew with productivity. Workers made more goods and provided more services per hour, and they earned more along with that. From 1973 to 2011, though, productivity rose by 80.4 percent and median hourly compensation rose by just 10.7 percent. Bluntly:
"A bigger share of what businesses in the U.S. are producing is going to the owners of the firms and the people who lent money to the firm, and a smaller share is going to workers," said Gary Burtless, senior fellow in economic studies at The Brookings Institution.
Also, don't forget we're talking about median earnings here, and during these same years, income inequality skyrocketed. You simply don't get results like these without an organized, sustained attack on workers—exactly what we've seen since 1973.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 10:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Dream Menders, Daily Kos Economics, Social Security Defenders, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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