‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1% – The median worker should be making as much as $102,000 annually—if some $2.5 trillion wasn’t being “reverse distributed” every year away from the working class.

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It’s depressing, but hopefully the acknowledgement that the decline of unionization and labor law has led to the increased wealth gap could motivate some people to unionize, but I doubt it. I work in a unionized facility and make a great income in addition to having great benefits and prompt reaction to safety and health issues. People think I’m overpaid but in reality collective bargaining has kept my wage steady instead of stagnant.


When I graduated from college in 2001, entry level jobs where I was living were about $30-35k. It is now 19yrs later and according to Indeed, entry level jobs pay $33-35k/yr. I even looked up what my old law firm pays filers and clerks, and in almost 20yrs the pay has gone up a total of $2/hr. Not much of a bump, and certainly not in line with cost of living. I’m not advocating staying in an entry level job forever (I certainly didn’t), but damn, the needle barely moved.


Question: How much of that increase has been eaten up by health insurance costs?


Current Gross Domestic Product per worker is $125,000. If the median worker made $102,000, that would be a labor share of 81.6%, which is far higher than it ever has been.


Productivity has improved year over year. Some of the increase is clearly due to technology but for many workers it’s due to just raising productivity goals and pushing your people harder. Meanwhile full time jobs are more difficult to obtain for many because companies don’t want to pay benefits. Higher paying skllled jobs, union and professional, have been offshored to cut costs. Not because the company can’t afford to pay more but because it increased profits. Profits are distributed to shareholders and upper management in a transfer of wealth at the expense of the employees…which is the point of this article. The irony here is that while this has been going on steadily since the 70’s, it is unsustainable. Something will break. When it breaks, people that struggle against this injustice will be blamed. But __both__ Republicans and Democrats have nurtured this transfer while vilifying any fair distribution as socialist. In the US that word has such a negative connotation that people will vote against their own interests to remain “patriotic”. We are being deceived and left holding the bag. Revolution Now.