Wow, the Dow topped 17,000! That must mean these corporate profits are really trickling down to American workers, right?
Call it the no-raises recovery: Five years of economic expansion have done almost nothing to boost paychecks for typical American workers while the rich have gotten richer.
Meager improvements since 2009 have barely kept up with a similarly tepid pace of inflation, raising the real value of compensation per hour by only 0.5 percent. That marks the weakest growth since World War II, with increases averaging 9.2 percent at a similar point in past expansions, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Bloomberg.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has zeroed in on faster wage growth as an important milestone for declaring the job market healed and ready to withstand policy tightening, even as other labor measures improve. Stagnant earnings also explain an economy that’s having trouble sustaining a rebound in housing and consumer spending, according to David Blanchflower, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Doubling the taxes on corporate profits, closing the many loopholes that allow American corporations to
operate in the U.S. while taking advantage of foreign corporate tax rates, punishing corporations for tax dodging, and spending those taxes on social and economic programs would be a great start to fixing this problem. Unfortunately, I’d probably get closer to reality by eating some tabs of LSD.