Skip to main content

That quote, courtesy of Thomas Paine in Rights of Man, quite accurately describes the manner by which the Bush tax cuts and accompanying economy rewarded labor by the respective income classes. The below chart reflects the change in Real Median Household Income from 2000-2007:

 title=

*Source: Economic Policy Institute

Now, the nation is being advised that the bottom has been reached regarding the current economic recession. Unemployment actually decreased from 9.5% to 9.4%. The rate of GDP decline was lower at (-)1.0% than it was the three previous quarters i.e. (-)2.7% Q3-08, (-)5.4% Q4-08 and (-)6.4% Q1-09. For the first time in nearly a year, the economic outlook is starting to brighten.

...unless you are a working-class wage earner...

Below is the recently-released chart of Non-farm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs:

 title=

Given the fact that non-farm productivity rose by 6.4% annualized during the second quarter of 2009 and Unit labor costs dropped an annualized 5.8 percent, you would expect an increase in Real Disposable Income, right?

WRONG

The following chart paints the picture of precisely how wage earners are being rewarded for their increased productivity:

 title=

Now, it is remotely possible that employers may use the newfound fruits of their workers' labor to hire more workers - thus increasing aggregate business productivity to an even greater extent. It is also possible that those same employers will increase wage and benefit payouts for the workers who are responsible for the spike in profits.

Then again, this hope for "trickle-down" prosperity may spawn the same result it did when George W. Bush handed the wealthy nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts during his two terms: Increased wealth for the affluent, continued degradation for the working class and a continued devotion to widening the gap between the affluent and the working-class.

As for me? I will side with the great Thomas Paine, who wisely once asserted:

"If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy . . . to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank (emphasis mine); if these things be libellous . . . let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb." -Thomas Paine, 1792

Originally posted to Democratic Tribune on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 07:41 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site