The past decade of wage growth has been one for the record books — but not one to celebrate.
The increase in total private-sector wages, adjusted for inflation, from the start of 2001 has fallen far short of any 10-year period since World War II, according to Commerce Department data. In fact, if the data are to be believed, economywide wage gains have even lagged those in the decade of the Great Depression (adjusted for deflation).
Two years into the recovery, and 10 years after the nation fell into a post-dot-com bubble recession, this legacy of near-stagnant wages has helped ground the economy despite unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus — and even an impressive bull market.
Over the past decade, real private-sector wage growth has scraped bottom at 4%, just below the 5% increase from 1929 to 1939, government data show.
To put that in perspective, since the Great Depression, 10-year gains in real private wages had always exceeded 25% with one exception: the period ended in 1982-83, when the jobless rate spiked above 10% and wage gains briefly decelerated to 16%.
I didn’t see Scott Horton’s original article, but I thought this piece was useful — if only to remind us that just because our leaders have done horrible things in the past, it doesn’t mean everything they do should be assumed to be the same.
A sitcom gets it. Why doesn’t our government? (h/t Brendan)
House Dems met with Obama yesterday and urged Obama to be more forceful in advocating for Democratic policies. He rebuffed them:
The challenge — on behalf of the many Democrats who have long complained that Obama is not making enough use of his White House megaphone — was principally delivered by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), according to the attendees. Waxman, lawmakers said, called for stronger action across the board, rather than on a particular issue.
But Obama responded that he has to be more careful and more considered than that, and that he is executing an existing plan.
A plan to put the economy further in the tank and get reelected by grateful Republicans?
The president has heard the complaint before. Democrats have accused Obama repeatedly of ceding too much ground to the GOP, especially on health care and the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. But attendees said the critique appeared to rub him the wrong way on Thursday.
“He was a little testy with the Waxman question. Essentially, Mr. Waxman was urging him to fight more,” one legislator said. “The president reminded folks that he’s the president sitting in that chair and he knows how to negotiate.”
Obama also told the assembled Democrats not to count on more fiery rhetoric from the Oval Office.
“He said, ‘There’s a difference between me and a member of Congress,'” another lawmaker said, paraphrasing the president as saying: “When I say something the markets react, all of society reacts, other countries react. I’ve got to be careful with what I say. I can’t just say it for brinkmanship. I’ve got to say it in a way so that I get what I want said, but I don’t upset markets and so on.”
In other words, Wall Street and the military-industrial boys have trained him not to piddle on the rug. And he has a plan.
Which would mean it’s all on purpose.
It’s always darkest just before it gets pitch black!