The upward redistribution of income has cost Americans workers $50 trillion over the past several decades. On average, extreme inequality is costing the median income full-time worker about $42,000 a year.
Long before the 2008 financial collapse rocketing, debt and financial wizardry masked the deep underlying fragility of finance-led growth, with wages and productivity stagnating, inequality exploding and ecological systems teetering.
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David Cooper and Lawrence Mishel
Economic Policy Insitute
Over the last few decades, productivity has grown substantially, but the hourly compensation of the typical worker has grown much less. Any effort to reestablish a link between pay and productivity growth will need to promote policies that enable workers to once again join unions and bargain collectively.
Lee A. Saunders
The Huffington Post (Huff Post Politics, The Blog)
No corporate CEO will ever negotiate on behalf of his or her company's employees, keeping their interests as the top priority. So who will? It would be nice to think that the public officials we elect protect the interests of America's working women and men. But too many politicians from both major parties are failing to stand up for the American worker. Who's left? Unions.
Between 1979 and 2012, after accounting for inflation, the productivity of the average American worker increased about 85 percent. Over the same period, the inflation-adjusted wage of the median worker rose only about 6 percent, and the value of the minimum wage fell 21 percent. As a country, we got richer, but workers in the middle saw little of the gains, and workers at the bottom actually fell behind.