Home > The Economy > Graph of the week: USA productivity and real hourly wages 1964-2008

Graph of the week: USA productivity and real hourly wages 1964-2008

from David Ruccio
Mind the gap.

  1. November 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Land and labor being the ultimate factors, is output not distributed to wages, going to land rent? If not, where else?

    • John Bishop
      November 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Reply to Fred Foldvary:
      This graph does not show that increased output is not going to labour. The dark green line shows MEDIAN household income. If the increased output goes entirely to the top 10% (for example), then MEDIAN income would not change, though average income would. The light green line shows hourly wages, which does not included wages paid as salary, bonuses, stock options, etc, which are all ‘wages’ to labour in the economic sense.

      • November 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        Household income includes income from non-wage sources. Corporate profits ultimately get distributed to households as dividends and capital gains. So inequality could be to a great extent due to gains from real estate. Wages do include benefits, so a graph showing the changes in total wages would be welcomed.

  2. November 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Let the deflationary cycle accelerate!!!: From the NY Times of Sat Nov 20 (I am clueless as to what other commentators and readers read for cases on the ground):


    I get it that if labor consumed all of its product, there’d be nothing left to reproduce production.

    I try to follow people like Steve Keen, I believe he is on the right side of history even when he argues that the labor theory of value just won’t fly – that transformation problem, the data on falling rates of profit just not falling…

    I try to follow those analytical Marxists as they attempt? succeed? to re-explain what surplus value is all about, e.g. http://books.google.com/books?id=MvidbYEqt8gC&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=TSS+Marxism&source=bl&ots=32KOD4hTRx&sig=lnLqoPHqHTJ40Y2s8PIQEvW3cl4&hl=en&ei=_xC1SuWFIZKw8QbHt8mTDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=TSS%20Marxism&f=false

    … And then the gears in my head just seize up ….

    Till kicked loose by graphs like the one above, and reports like the one I linked…

    I’m sure that brings to mind, to some of you, the image of those dogs who failing to catch their own tails running to their left, quickly change direction, “thinking” they’ll outsmart themselves ….

    I know that’s what I feel like….

  3. Goldilockisableachblonde
    November 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    The graphic would be improved by showing the data back to WWII or so , revealing the long period ( Golden Age ) when wage growth matched productivity growth.

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