Are you kidding. . .
- In the last seven years, the U.S. has added 184 billionaires—and, at the other end of the scale, 5 million more Americans live below the poverty line.
- In 1982 the highest paid CEO in the U.S. made $108 million a year (adjusted for inflation as of 2006), and the average full-time worker made $34,199. By 2006 the highest paid hedge fund manager made $1.7 billion, the top CEO made $647 million and the average worker was paid $34,861 (mostly without health care or a pension)—a gain of $662 or .019 percent in 14 years—virtually no gain at all.
- According to an annual Business Week survey the average rate of increase for CEO pay from 1990 to 2005 was almost 300% (adjusted for inflation), while production workers’ pay increased a scant 4.3%. The purchasing power of the federal minimum wage actually declined by 9.3% when inflation is taken into account.
More Americans are hungry…
- 4% of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 11.1 million people, including 430,000 children, live in these homes.
- The U.S. Conference of Mayors reports that in 2006 requests for emergency food assistance increased 7%. The study also found that 48% of those requesting emergency food assistance were members of families with children and that 37% of adults requesting such assistance were employed. Unemployment, high housing costs, poverty or lack of income, and high medical costs led the list of reasons contributing to the rise.
Productivity gains don’t translate to better wages for workers…
- Labor productivity growth has been robust and output per hour has risen by over 70%. By contrast, average real hourly wages have been virtually flat. Measured in 1982 dollars, they grew just 4.4%--averaging $7.88 in 1981 and $8.23 in 2006.