An alarming snapshot of long-term economic trends

Companion charts, drawn with data compiled by the St. Louis Federal Reserve and put together by Henry Blodget of Business Insider:

First, after-tax corporate profits as a share of gross domestic product:

corporate-profits-as-percent-of-gdp-1

Second, employee wages and salaries as a share of gross domestic product:

wages-to-gdp-1

You can draw a variety of lessons and conclusions from such charts. But I’ll start with three:

1.) The notion that corporations are overtaxed and overregulated and can’t turn a profit is simply absurd. The whines of victimization from our titans of business have no basis in reality.

2.) The Great Recession, as tough as it is, does not account for the trends, which have occurred over several decades.

3.) You could argue that if the share of GDP devoted to wages and salaries has fallen to a record low, it’s because American workers have grown lazy and stupid. Given that the two charts change right around the time of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, you could also argue that it is somehow being driven by changes in government policy.

I think both interpretations in Point 3 are wrong. The charts document a profound, permanent and probably ongoing shift of bargaining power from the employee to the employer, a shift that has been driven largely by synergies between technology and globalization, with government policies playing a minor role at best.

The question is what, if anything, we do about it.

– Jay Bookman

236 comments Add your comment

godless heathen

June 25th, 2012
8:17 am

Raise taxes. Thought I’d go ahead and get that out there.

ty webb

June 25th, 2012
8:20 am

“But I’ll start with two:”

Jay, you listed 3.

Jay

June 25th, 2012
8:22 am

Thanks Ty, fixed it.

F. Sinkwich

June 25th, 2012
8:22 am

It’s called “productivity,” Jay.

It’s a good thing.

Look it up.

facts will prevail

June 25th, 2012
8:22 am

The charts document a profound, permanent and probably ongoing shift of bargaining power from the employee to the employer, a shift that has been driven largely by synergies between technology and globalization, with government policies playing a minor role at best.

____

As an employee, you have a very “silent” voice with little or no room for negotiations.

Loretta Paraguassu

June 25th, 2012
8:23 am

Dare we say it? Socialization. Careful restructuring of necessary services for daily life so that it’s not about making certain individual wealthier but creating a society that functions and does not punish its working parts.

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
8:23 am

I say that it began with our shifting our factory jobs overseas, and also the elimination of family farms. Both those things allowed workers without college degrees to earn good incomes, and the latter in particular allowed significant amount of land/real estate to be owned by the working/middle class. And neither political side is talking about either issue, which is more proof that the two parties in this country are really just two sides to the same coin. Neither side is looking out for the worker or for the small entrepreneur/business (who employs the vast majority of workers) and both sides are out for big business and big government.

Still Defiant and Unrepentant Male

June 25th, 2012
8:23 am

FrankLeeDarling

June 25th, 2012
8:25 am

Buy as local as you can

peanut

June 25th, 2012
8:25 am

Computers and the Internet are a powerful tools, allowing more work to be accomplished by fewer employees. Is that a shift in political policy or just capitalism being efficient?

Mr_B

June 25th, 2012
8:27 am

A graph showing executive compensation over the same period would be interesting as well.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:29 am

Let’s start a WAR ON SUCCESS and go TAKE money from the productive members of society.

Let’s SPREAD THE WEALTH as Comrade Obama advocates. :-)

Jay

June 25th, 2012
8:31 am

Really, USMC?

You look at those charts and you conclude that there’s a “war on success”?

Not a Neal Boortz Redneck

June 25th, 2012
8:33 am

Lets lower corporate tax rates! That fixes everything.

(except Ireland lowered theirs to 12.5% and has one of the worst economies in Europe).

FrankLeeDarling

June 25th, 2012
8:34 am

USMC did someone really put a gun in your hands?you seem like the type that might not know which end is which.

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
8:35 am

peanut:

There is still plenty of manufacturing, mining and agricultural work to be done. It just isn’t being done over here. And FYI: it isn’t in the interests of our political leaders to look out for what is best for capitalism. It is their job to look out for what is best for our nation: its citizens, workers and small businesses. The neo-con globalists have you convinced that looking out for capitalism is akin to looking out for our country and interests. That might have been true during the Cold War, when there was the need to oppose Marxism and our corporations were mostly regional and national, but now with the Cold War basically over (Russia and China are adopting market economies with Cuba and Viet Nam leaning that direction, leaving North Korea as the only true command economy stalwart left) and corporations tending to be global as opposed to national, it is no longer the case. What is good for Wall Street is no longer necessarily good for the American economy.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
8:36 am

Jay,

Does this data factor in the decline of labor intensive industrial economy versus current service economy? I’d like to look at the weight of profits between industrial versus service (including tech) providers. We are in a global economy, like it or not, and our labor is priced out of the market.

TaxPayer

June 25th, 2012
8:37 am

Republicans are far from satisfied with these long-term trends, Jay. They want more of the same and worse.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
8:38 am

Gerald,

Thank you..Jay and others who blindly follow 100% dogma of either party already know the answer before they consider an issue…so much for independent thought.

ken

June 25th, 2012
8:39 am

Obama: We need more taxes and regulations, so we can have more bottom-up economics.

Explain please !

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 25th, 2012
8:39 am

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
8:40 am

Taxpayer,

Deep thought there….black hat v white hat eh? How on earth can you posit that either party has a corner on the scumbag market?

Not a Neal Boortz Redneck

June 25th, 2012
8:41 am

Actually, industrial direct labor is so low now it is seldom tracked separately and instead lumped in with overhead. It averages about 2% in the USA for make-to-stock items.

(source – my experience implementing ERP systems for Oracle)

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
8:41 am

Corporations are more profitable by using fewer people to do the same work. A lot of it is the HUGE impact of increased productivity (especially through improved computing technology) and increased use of robotics in the factories that remained here in the USA. The other is that we have a lot of corporations “based” here that are making their profits all over the world.

None of this is a bad thing.

But the whining of certain CEOs about why they can’t make a decent salary is most definitely boorish.

Out By The Pond

June 25th, 2012
8:41 am

Be nice to USMC, they are trained to follow and not think for themselves. That is why they are the greatest fighting force our country has ever had. If you do not count Darby’s Rangers, the Green Bretes and Navy Seals as well as those who trained them all. God Bless the USMC. I just not sure I want them to vote.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:42 am

“You look at those charts and you conclude that there’s a “war on success”?”–JAY BOOKMAN

Not all together, Jay.

But reading your Socialist bluster and following the “Amateur’s” policies and rhetoric, leads to those statements. I hope you had a great weekend Jay, by the way.
I had the best burrito at ElMyr Saturday night. Unbelievable.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 25th, 2012
8:42 am

“The question is what, if anything, we do about it.”

Nothing unless you don’t like democracy and freedom.

Remember, “stockholders” make money too (whether they’re very rich or not so rich).

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 25th, 2012
8:43 am

Out by the pond:

“I just not sure I want them to vote.”

But they died so you could vote. Ungrateful !

Matti

June 25th, 2012
8:44 am

This trend is not incidental. Plutocracy takes years of groundwork, laid down in carefully-planned layers. When unemployment is high enough, and wages are low enough, everyday Americans will do whatever they’re told for whatever they can get. (FEAR: the great motivator!) When small businesses are driven completely under, and entrepreneurs are non-existent, the modern corporate feudal structure will be solidly in place. Upward mobility of the common man will be a memory of your grandparent’s generation.

Pick your Master well, serfs. Make sure your nose, urine, and Internet cache are squeaky clean, and obey all directives. Ask for nothing; take what you can get, then go home and tell the family how lucky you are to have anything at all.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:45 am

“USMC did someone really put a gun in your hands?you seem like the type that might not know which end is which.”–Frank

No, Frank, I just use the “USMC” monicker to prop up my “little man’s” complex. It makes me feel like a “tough guy”. :-)

The Loony Left and their Hate knows no bounds.

Paul

June 25th, 2012
8:46 am

Jay,

Good to have you back, trust you had an enjoyable time, but you’re obviously still bleary-eyed.

You have the charts upside down.

So your interpretation is 180 degrees off.

Now on to the question: what to do about it? One possible course of action is to use government policy – taxation – to provide funding for programs that support those who earn wages and salaries, therefore somewhat compensating for the shift in what each of the two groups has been able to reap from their efforts.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
8:46 am

When small businesses are driven completely under, and entrepreneurs are non-existent, the modern corporate feudal structure will be solidly in place.

Is Tundra using his fainting couch?

TaxPayer

June 25th, 2012
8:46 am

Does this data factor in the decline of labor intensive industrial economy versus current service economy?

Yes, it factors in the increase in McDonald’s employment.

Mick

June 25th, 2012
8:47 am

usmc

Same old, same old…the propaganda you shill is deafening..something is happening here and your old whipping post of gov’t is not in the mix…the people and wages are the losers, the global economy and the corporations are the winners. They are not content with this, they want it all and they want it now by privatizing every damn thing they can get their hands on, the general welfare be damned…

Jm-pass TSPLOST silly people

June 25th, 2012
8:47 am

1. Disagree with last sentence

Yep, tech and globalization have improved returns on capital and reduced returns on commodity types of labor.

The answer is better education. Buy you can’t legislate common sense (tho it appears uncommon)

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
8:48 am

employee wages and salaries as a share of gross domestic product

Health insurance and benefits are considered a non-cash part of compensation as well. Including those might clarify some things about the dramatic increase of non-cash compensation since the 50’s.

FrankLeeDarling

June 25th, 2012
8:48 am

Well ok USMC,at least you know where to get a good burrito. Elmyr is also the home of the grizz

Paul

June 25th, 2012
8:48 am

Morning, USMC

“Let’s start a WAR ON SUCCESS and go TAKE money from the productive members of society.”

Members?

Members?

So corporations really are people?

TaxPayer

June 25th, 2012
8:49 am

How on earth can you posit that either party has a corner on the scumbag market?

Stevie, how can you not stay on topic. The Scumbag market is but a miniscule market that primarily operates as a black market and thus has little bearing on the labor market as a whole and no significant effect on CEO pay.

b-troll

June 25th, 2012
8:49 am

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

“One possible course of action is to use government policy – taxation – to provide funding for programs that support those who earn wages and salaries, therefore somewhat compensating for the shift in what each of the two groups has been able to reap from their efforts.”

^^^^^
Yes, that.

Steve

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

LOL – why does data seem to confuse conservatives so much? Data? What what uh uh uh…Obama is a socialist!!!

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

“Obama: We need more taxes and regulations, so we can have more bottom-up economics.
Explain please !”–Ken

It’s called TRICKLE UP POVERTY, Ken. It’s pretty plain and simple.

You “level” the playing field by ruining the success of others.

Or what is often blushed at on this blog as SOCIALISM or COMMUNISM.
(most of these unsophisticated DemocRats don’t know what they advocate)

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

Well, I look at one of them charts and start thinking, “Y’know, the refrigerator box business might make a person rich. Lots of American workers will be looking for a place to live, and a good waterproof refrigerator box might fit the bill good.”

Anyhow, it sure makes me feel good about being in the beer business. People drink in good times and they drink in bad times. They need beer to sellabrate and they need beer to drown their sorrows. I got it good—except I ain’t had a raise in three years.

Have a good Monday everybody.

Mick

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

Hi paul – probably missed a lot of your posts but had a dynamite conclusion in Plano this past thursday nite! Visiting kansas and texas gave me some of my sanity back..but it’s still good to be back in soggy paradise. It’s OK, water is a precious resource…

Paul

June 25th, 2012
8:50 am

Oh, and USMC:

It’s not about which segments are productive.

The data do not show that.

They show which group has seen its earnings, relative to GDP, go up and which group has seen its earnings go down.

It most definitely does NOT show it’s because one group is more ‘productive.’

b-troll

June 25th, 2012
8:51 am

boom

“Eliminating the corporate-income tax in exchange for a higher capital-gains rate would make the tax system fairer, simpler and more rational. It would eliminate inducements to tax avoidance and yield further benefits for investors such as pension funds and 401(k) accounts that already pay no capital- gains taxes and would see better dividends.

Ending the tax breaks for specific industries would also help get the government out of the dread practice of “picking winners and losers” and providing corporate welfare. Much of the vast corporate lobbying apparatus would be rendered moot, and companies could finally repatriate the more than $1 trillion in overseas earnings they’re holding to avoid taxation. “

ByteMe - Political thug

June 25th, 2012
8:53 am

Eliminating the corporate-income tax in exchange for a higher capital-gains rate would make the tax system fairer, simpler and more rational.

Only if corporations can no longer buy elections and politicians. Otherwise, like churches, I say “tax them all and let the market sort them out.”

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
8:53 am

TaxPayer:

Actually, Democrats want more of the same and worse too. Democrats have come out and stated many a time that they do not want any more “dirty” manufacturing and mining jobs, but instead “clean” and “green” jobs. Democrats are the main ones who favor certain industries over others because the new economy heavily favors Democrats in ideology, political contributions, culture, voting patterns etc. and the old economy (manufacturing, mining, banking, agriculture) slightly leans Republican. They claim that their “new economy” is better for the environment, but the truth is that it results in our shifting our “dirty” jobs to developing and third world nations that lack the ability to reduce pollution that we do. As “bad” as the oil fields, power plants and factories are, it is better for the local and global environment for those things to be in America than the developing nations that they want to export these things to under the guise of “reducing global poverty.” It is ideological, and it is hurting our economy in return for short term political gain.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 25th, 2012
8:53 am

Hey posters, I leaving now to take my grandkids to Six-Flags to pump some money into good old corporate America !

And you know, there are going to be a lot of poor folks from the North Georgia Mountains and Inner City Atlanta there doing the same thing !

Isn’t freedom great?

Don’t mess with it !!!

Back this evening ……………. everyone TRY to be nice to each other.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
8:54 am

Thanks for bringing those Business Insider charts to our attention.

I’d put the chances of a majority of your comments crew grasping what they mean, even though you patiently explained it to them using clear language, at something around one in sixty.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:54 am

“They are not content with this, they want it all and they want it now by privatizing every damn thing they can get their hands on, the general welfare be damned…”–Mick

Sheer hysteria and the typical dishonesty from Mick who votes as he is told.
Very few people believe that government doesn’t have a role in society, but don’t tell Mick, He is spouting the Party line of “Republicans don’t want government” to have a role.
It’s the same old dishonest talking points he was told to repeat at a Union Rally. :-)

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
8:55 am

Jay, I think you still need to fix “I think both interpretations are wrong” to read “I think all three interpretations are wrong”.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
8:56 am

But they died so you could vote. Ungrateful !

Hey, remember all those times Scout posted something to this effect when a conservative snarkily posted that such-and-such American citizen shouldn’t be allowed to vote?

Neither can I.

bluecoat

June 25th, 2012
8:56 am

It all started with Reagan firing the air traffic controllers in 1981.This was the beginning of our union failures.Since then the wages have fallen,and corporation profits have increased.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
8:56 am

“So corporations really are people?”–Paul

I am not going to play in your sandbox of delusion today, Paul.

But I will say hello and I hope you are well in Dallas. :-)

PressedOn

June 25th, 2012
8:57 am

Following the charts @ Business Insider

Which kind of government spending do you think is bigger?

Right–social programs (blue). By a lot. Importantly, though, this has only happened in the past 20 years.

Over the past 50 years, social-program spending has exploded as a percentage of the economy..

Social program spending (red) has grown so much, in fact, that it now consumes almost all federal tax revenue (blue).

Meanwhile, the OTHER kind of government spending–highways, military, federal salaries, etc.–has actually been shrinking as a percent of the economy.

Even Military spending–the other big federal expenditure behind Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid–has been shrinking as a percent of the economy.

And don’t forget what we’re really talking about when we talk about “social programs.” It’s not unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other handouts that some anti-government people sometimes go insane about. They’re small potatoes (Below is Unemployment Insurance–red–versus Defense–blue).

The real government budget busters are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

So, do we have to get Healthcare and Social Security spending under control? You’d better believe we do. If we don’t, we’re toast.

But! Before you go vote for candidates who are just going to whack Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid spending, remember this…

Our economy has become highly dependent on those “transfer payments.” They now amount to a record 16% of GDP. If we suddenly slashed them, especially while raising taxes, we would give the economy a heart attack.

So we need to fix our social programs gradually, calmly–not in a fit of panic that will throw us into a Depression.

It took us 30 years to get into this mess. (Debt = red, GDP = blue). It will probably take us 30 years to get out.

So now you know what’s wrong with the economy.

So go elect someone who can fix it.

Paul Ryan dared to touch that third rail and look what it got him. Raise revenue by eliminating tax credits and loopholes. Above all fix our social programs. Ryan has offered a gradual approach.

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
8:58 am

Sheer hysteria and the typical dishonesty from Mick

Posts the guy who has run virtually every time I’ve called out his BS.

For the record, USMC, I’m still waiting for an example of a “so far out of the mainstream” view from Jay.

(Remember that one? Sure you do.)

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

June 25th, 2012
8:58 am

More people doing the work of 2-3 people. Companies have found they can squeeze the same or more work out of fewer and fewer people.

Mick

June 25th, 2012
8:59 am

usmc

Sad and pathetic response by gomer the lesser; You have to resort to cliches and stereotype. I voted for bush over dukakis cause I liked bush better, guess the union didn’t work me over long enough?, besides you anti-union wingnuts fail to discount that inside the privacy of a voting booth no one can tell you what to do…

ty webb

June 25th, 2012
9:00 am

“One possible course of action is to use government policy – taxation – to provide funding for programs that support those who earn wages and salaries,..”

what exactly does this mean? “support”?

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
9:00 am

TayPayer:

Democrats also claim that the “new, clean, knowledge” economy is better for feminists too. They make it clear that some jobs they flat out don’t want, and that they want the job growth to be in areas that require a college degree.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
9:01 am

Jay, is the second chart before or after taxes/insurance/etc.???

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
9:01 am

Taxpayer,

I’m completely on topic. Typical press and black and white games again…in this piece, Jay posts data that confirms our movement toward a service economy…that is the trend which is driven by global economy that benefits the consumer. This data does not suggest that either party is to blame so taking sides on this one-sided data is ridiculous…..this is not political data except to the extent the true logic behind the numbers is offered….

kawasaki kid

June 25th, 2012
9:02 am

I’m a Marine Vietnam veteran, and I profusely apologize for my comrade, U S M C, for his ignorance, which obviously is very painful for him and undoubtedly causes him to make irrational statements afar from reality.

Jay

June 25th, 2012
9:03 am

Peadawg, before.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

June 25th, 2012
9:03 am

“Let’s start a WAR ON SUCCESS”

I see USMC has chewed, swallowed, digested and passed through his large intesting the new Right-Wing Mantra

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-ann-romney-has-a-horse-so-what/2012/06/22/gJQANoT2vV_story.html

Paul

June 25th, 2012
9:04 am

Mick

You didn’t miss much – mostly attempting to encourage a couple of bloggers to expand their views of what constitutes a nonphysical view of things. I’d wondered how your trip was concluding, but given how it started and the neat way it progressed I was thought you’d get those batteries fully charged and the stress completely shed. So now you’re smack dab in the middle of a tropical storm, eh?

And for all of you wondering but have been too polite to ask (a first on this blog?) Mick and I had a wonderful couple hours at lunch. We followed the rule of what those on a quest for knowledge talk about when they get together.

We gossiped about all of you!

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
9:05 am

Finn,

Woe as me…compared to 1970’s standards, those folks using techology (ranging from robotics used in industrial operations to the modern data mining and other info techologies) allows folks to be 3-4 time more productive….how much to you suppose technology instead of politics is to blame for your pitiful take on this issue?

Donovan

June 25th, 2012
9:05 am

“The charts document a profound, permanent and probably ongoing shift of bargaining power from the employee to the employer”…

Sounds like the same old ratings from those who support unions, socialism, and Marxism. What is it with you liberals and the anti-capitalist system?

Any fool can see that the Obama regime has failed in its attempt to implement such anti-capitalist ideas. Now the Democrat Party and it’s propaganda operatives are doubling down with the anti-capitalist campaign rhetoric against Mitt Romney. Take a look at the Luckovich cartoon in today’s paper if you need proof.

This country has gotten along just fine without the implementation of such kooky ideas and economic programs from our progressive elites.

Pack up your charts and your inferred community activism, Mr. Bookman. Europe, Cuba, and Venezuela are better places for you to pander your thoughts.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
9:07 am

Thanks. That makes a difference.

U.S. wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

June 25th, 2012
9:07 am

Watchdog agency says more than $5 billion of taxpayer funds have been used on abandoned or incomplete projects

A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children’s hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets.
As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds has been wasted on these projects — more than 10 percent of the $53.7 billion the US has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

http://www.salon.com/2010/08/30/us_wastes_billions_iraq/

_____________
How could this happen when we have cities here in the U.S. that needs to be rebuilt? Look at Detroit….

Detroit in Ruins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1IhXZD4Txs&feature=related

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

June 25th, 2012
9:08 am

JAY,

I don’t remotely think workers are “lazy and stupid” but entitlements and union based education system are drivers as well.

TaxPayer

June 25th, 2012
9:09 am

Gerald,

I have not compared the pay of wage earners in the coal mines or oil fields to those assembling wind turbines or installing solar panels so I could not address your specific concern without doing a little research. Perhaps you have some data to share. Also, why do you believe that has any bearing on my comment about Republicans wanting more of the same and worse. Republicans seem to be quite content with continuing to give corporations and the wealthiest more and more tax cuts and shifting the burden of maintaining our nation more onto the poorest. That is part of the “more of the same” that I refer to.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

June 25th, 2012
9:09 am

“What is it with you liberals and the anti-capitalist system? ”

more like what is it with you conservatives and your hatred of the workers?

Mick

June 25th, 2012
9:10 am

**We gossiped about all of you!**

Paul – that’s pretty funny and true! Reminds me of my youth when I worked on a 40 story building with my my dad who was the UNION general foreman. (job finished on time and under budget). All those grizzled iron workers, electricians, plumbers, laborers, and other trades were the biggest collection of wash women gossipers you’d ever seen? It was funny and the drama endless, good gossip knows no bounds….

Mr_B

June 25th, 2012
9:11 am

Off Topic, but

“But they died so you could vote. Ungrateful !”

Scout; I doubt that very few of our soldiers/sailors/Marines/ airmen died to save my voting rights, my right to bear arms, my right to freedom of assembly, petition, worship etc.

They died to protect their buddies, or for “honor” , or sometimes because they had bad officers, or because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This does NOT lessen the sacrifice they made. Let’s just not romanticize it.

Paul

June 25th, 2012
9:11 am

Things are gonna be hot in Dallas, USMC. 102 several days this week. Keeping the shutters and curtains closed and topping off the pool every day.

Wasn’t a gotcha’ question. Your statement ‘productive members of society’ seemed to indicate you equated corporations with individual workers.

I’d take the view the workers within the corporations are productive, yet the earnings accrue to those at the top tiers and the investors/owners.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
9:12 am

“For the record, USMC, I’m still waiting for an example of a “so far out of the mainstream” view from Jay.” Stands For Socialism

Okay Mother Goose, you really need to get out and makes some friends. :-)

carlosgvv

June 25th, 2012
9:12 am

Jay, it’s really not that complicated. Over the years, money has come to be the number one engine running politics in our country. We all know it takes huge amounts of money to run for any major office. Big Business is the major funding source for almost all those in office and those running for office. Business demands a return on their investment, and politicians will do anything to get elected and re-elected. So, a situation where profits are high and wages are low is only one of the many things we have in the Corporate States of America.

What to do about it? A third party that is NOT utterly tied to Big Business for funding.

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
9:13 am

I agree, cutting social spending would make our economy more competitive. The best social programs are A) a family and B) a job/small business. But if you notice, the GOP has held the presidency and/or Congress for most of the last 30 years and hasn’t done squat to cut social programs. They’re in on the game too. Just as the Democrats also aren’t doing squat to keep our high paying jobs from going overseas.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
9:14 am

“I see USMC has chewed, swallowed, digested and passed through his large intesting the new Right-Wing Mantra”–USinUK

I see that UsinUK has started her third or fourth spot of super strong tea. :-)

lynnie gal

June 25th, 2012
9:14 am

These charts reflect the decline of unions and thus bargaining power for workers. Somehow conservatives have convinced Americans that it is in their interest to give away their right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits and give in to corporate power and CEO riches. It started with Reagan’s busting up air traffic controller unions and has continued in the era of outsourcing jobs to third world workers who make 50 cents an hour to avoid paying Americans decent wages and benefits.

Paul

June 25th, 2012
9:14 am

ty webb

“what exactly does this mean? “support”?”

By that I mean look at the current federal budget categories and determine which benefit (support) wage and salary earners. Everything from medical research to block grants to states to Defense.

Steve

June 25th, 2012
9:14 am

I’m really curious as to how the conservatives, who are not all uber rich, have been brainwashed to support and prop up these uber elite rich people at all costs? Does money really buy this kind of thinking? Apparently.

Mr_B

June 25th, 2012
9:15 am

“Any fool can see that the Obama regime has failed in its attempt to implement such anti-capitalist ideas.”

When there is no attempt to “implement anti-capitalist ideas” how is that fact that they haven’t taken hold a failure?

The Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers

June 25th, 2012
9:15 am

Jay

June 25th, 2012
9:16 am

OK, Stevie Ray, explain how entitlements drive either of those two charts.

Also explain how this “union-based education system” drives these trends, given that education performance is quite often much higher in states with strong teacher unions, and much weaker in states such as Georgia without unions.

TaxPayer

June 25th, 2012
9:17 am

Stevie,

Jay posts data that shows an ever increasing divide between employee and employer. You try to deflect from that issue by focusing on our shift to more services related companies and jobs. If yo wish to claim that your deflection is on topic, fine. Demonstrate with some data or discussion to make your case.

Mary Elizabeth

June 25th, 2012
9:17 am

I do not understand how anyone can look at those two charts above, while also recognizing the differences in governmental policies since the 1980s that have been highly ideological, and not see that governmental policy is a very significant factor which has contributed to increasingly lower wages for workers and higher profits for corporations. (Especially since, by the second chart above, worker wages increased during the Clinton presidency years, unlike the others years since 1980, when worker wages fell.)

What can one do about it? The first step is to acknowledge that governmental policy has, in fact, been a major source of the above inequity. The second step is to vote for those who would make more equitable the balance between worker wages and corporate profits.

USMC

June 25th, 2012
9:19 am

“Sad and pathetic response by gomer the lesser; You have to resort to cliches and stereotype….”

Ahhh yes, MICKEY MOUSE and his jealous put downs. Cheer up, Mick, you can be as successful as you want.

Mick

June 25th, 2012
9:20 am

pogo

A closed mind is a terrible thing indeed, you need an opening. As I alluded to earlier, my dad was a union general foreman. He was tough and if you didn’t produce – he fired you! He had a no nonsense reputation with the hiring hall. He always told his men that if you didn’t make the contractor money then you have no job. He even got jumped by some of his “union” brothers because of his ethic. What happened? Well those guys were thrown out of the union and took jobs in a nuclear power plant and met untimely deaths. Only the best worked for my old man who is still staunchly union and pro obama. Please get some clarity and throw away the broad brush, tunnel vision is not good for you…

EJ Moosa

June 25th, 2012
9:20 am

What’s your alarm? That after 60 years profits as a % of GDP are slightly higher?

Can you explain to us why they fell during those 5 decades before 2001?

Did you really expect the wages paid % to not drop, in spite of all the technological advances we have had in the workplace?

What you should be arguing is that we need to grow GDP to a larger size because that would mean more people earning more wages despite a lower % relative to GDP.

But your hatred of those businesses earning profits keep you from wanting to grow the GDP larger.

Ask yourself Bookman, if those recent profits from US companies were back to those hallowed Clinton days, what do you think unemployment would be today?

Two basic truths you have to accept:

As a % of GDP, labor costs will tend to trend downward going forward. They call that progress.

As a % of GDP, it is crucial to have corporations earning profits on their invested capital. Without profit growth, there will be no employment growth.

Peadawg

June 25th, 2012
9:21 am

“OK, Stevie Ray, explain how entitlements drive either of those two charts.” – Entitlements would explain the “lazy and stupid” argument in your point 3.

But sending jobs overseas is probably the main problem that has caused this imo.

Steve

June 25th, 2012
9:21 am

Just curious – any conservatives want to share with me why they worship the wealthy so much?

Gerald

June 25th, 2012
9:21 am

USMC:

The interests of global capitalism and the interests of any particular nation will always diverge. People raised on neo-con propaganda will never recognize this reality.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 25th, 2012
9:22 am

Those charts do one thing. They prove what I have said all along about Republicans…Two kinds on them…the rich and the duped. Which one are you?

Mick

June 25th, 2012
9:22 am

**Cheer up, Mick, you can be as successful as you want.**

Most lucid comment to date! I am of good cheer and doing quite nicely under the socialist/communist kenyan regime..four more please…

stands for decibels

June 25th, 2012
9:24 am

I just re-read Jay’s last graf…oh, man, did I ever get my correction wrong @ 8.55. Mea culpa!

JohnnyReb

June 25th, 2012
9:24 am

Years ago employees were called “hands.” That did not fit well with the touchy-feelie and team work crowd, so that term went away. However, what has not changed is, employees are “worth” only so much.

If production, whether manufacturing or otherwise is in the USA, a job will pay X amount. If someone working that job demands more, he/she will be replaced by someone willing to accept the offered wage. Balancing books or packing soap in a box is only going to pay so much regardless of company profits.

If the situation develops where the government and unions demand more than a company is willing to pay, the company moves to a more friendly location either in another state or overseas.

The reality is, we are in a world market. Moonbats throw that out everytime there is debate on oil. Its a reality of the labor force also just somewhat more complicated.

Just because a company has high profits, it does not mean the wages are commensurate.