Income inequality didn’t just start in the last decade. It’s been growing for the last 40 years. Worker productivity has steadily risen over that time frame, but workers wages have not risen at all. In other words, employers have squeezed more work out of their employees but haven’t shared the gains with them at all. Take a look at the chart.
And recalling my earlier post on the Reagan revolution, we once again see evidence that it was during the Reagan revolution when the shift away from wage fairness was locked into public policy.
So where has all the money made by increased productivity gone, you ask? Well, here’s a clue.
Executive compensation has risen at an obscene pace and please spare me the “but they earned it” trope. Executives and top level corporate brass have been rewarded in multimillion dollar salaries no matter what, even as they tanked their companies and fired workers.
This won’t be cured until we restore the power of laborers and find some way to wrest control of our government out of the hands of the .01%ers.