Home > upward income redistribution > 4% in 40 years

4% in 40 years

from David Ruccio


Neil King, Jr., for the Wall Street Journal, is perplexed:

It is in many ways both the ultimate economic puzzle and the great political challenge: Why have American incomes remained so flat, for so long, and what can be done to change that?

Uh, well. Maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that. King just can’t be bothered to figure it out.

So, let’s help him out: American incomes are flat precisely because of the anti-union, free-trade, decrease-taxes, cut-social-programs, don’t-raise-the-minimum-wage policies

  1. F. Beard
    September 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Shorter answer, well trimmed by Occam’s Razor: Equity has not been justly shared with the workers because employers have had the option instead of borrowing from a government-subsidized credit cartel, the banking system.

  2. Garrett Connelly
    September 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    This particular graph is the best evidence the US is a superbly controlled centrally planned economy and culture.

  3. BC
    September 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    “Adjusted for inflation” does not come close to accounting for the increase in the “cost of living (subsisting)”, for the bottom 90% working-class households, while the top 1-5% to 10% benefit from hyper-financialization of the economy and society, including the “health care” and “education” sectors that have become increasingly dependent upon financialization by the insurance industry (they get paid first, or no “health care” is provided) and the federal gov’t via student loans respectively.

    Consequently, total US local, state, and federal gov’t spending, private health care and education, and household debt service now combines for an equivalent of 53-54% of GDP.

    Perceived alternatively, the US economy cannot grow in real terms per capita unless gov’t grows as a share of GDP (of which growth of spending in recent years is attributable to war, food stamps, unemployment payments, and Obamacare-induced Medicaid spending), we are increasingly aging, ill, and dying, and we are collectively more indebted per household.

    This is profoundly and depressingly perverse and indicative not of a truly wealthy, technological and universalist-humanist, progressive society but an increasingly unsustainable, neo-feudal, rentier-parasitic society and economy in decline and devolving to collapse.

    Of course, the rentier Power Elite top 0.01-0.1% have no illusions or doubts about this whatsoever, which is why they are busily accumulating everything of economic, financial, and political value, influence, and power before the inevitable post-Oil Age collapse occurs, ushering in the conditions for “Elysium” for the top 0.01-0.1%.

  4. Macrocompassion
    September 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    The simple answer is that the effectiveness of labor organizations, the so called trade-unions, has become less virile. There is a continuous battle between the managers of industry and the organizers of the labor that work for it. Today there have been considerable losses on the worker’s organization side.

    The longer answer is that it is also affected by the lower demand for goods and the associated degree of unemployment. If a full employment situation existed the competition for labor would raise the wages to a level where the cost of production would be more equally met by the purchasing price of goods. This is by better paid workers and so there would continue to be more prosperity.

    The monopolism of land and certain durable capital investments in buildings, machines, communications nets, etc., has the result of making goods more costly due to little competition for them. This means that the only kind of person to benefit basically are the land owners and the banks who support them. They are the ones whose control of the opportunities to work through land ownership (including unused speculative land, particularly in development areas) should be stopped by taxation of land values instead of our current taxation of the produce and the process of production.


    • F. Beard
      September 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      The simple answer is that the effectiveness of labor organizations, the so called trade-unions, has become less virile. MacroCompassion

      Because of automation and outsourcing financed with the (legally) stolen purchasing power of the workers (among others) via loans from the government-subsidized credit cartel for the sake of the so-called “credit-worthy” which typically includes employers – if they can show how they can reduce their labor costs.

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