Monday, August 28, 2006

Quote of the day: If Republicans really cared about squeezing more and more Americans out of a share in the U.S. economy, they might stop doing it


"Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960s."
--from Steven Greenhouse and David Leonhardt's lead story in this morning's New York Times, "Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity"

Greenhouse and Leonhardt begin their story:

With the economy beginning to slow, the current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.

That situation is adding to fears among Republicans that the economy will hurt vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterm elections even though overall growth has been healthy for much of the last five years.

The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. The drop has been especially notable, economists say, because productivity — the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation’s living standards — has risen steadily over the same period.

It's nice of Republicans to give the matter as much as a second thought. It's a shame it's only because of their sudden queasiness about having to face an electorate that increasingly has been systematically squeezed out of it share in the American economy--by Republicans' philosophy and policies.

When any of the victims complain, of course, the Republicans--with too many plutocratic Democrats cheering on the sidelines--complain about "class warfare." What happens when ordinary Americans figure out who declared this war?


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