The Attack on Workers, Phase II
The Attack on Workers, Phase II by MN Gordon – Acting-Man
Labors with No Fruits
It’s been a long row to hoe for most workers during the first 17 years of the new millennium. The soil’s been hard and rocky. The rewards for one’s toils have been bleak.
Ma and Pa farm worker lean against one of their recent productions to mug for the daguerreotypist. Their happiness at a job well done is marred by misgivings about their remuneration in real terms.
Photo credit: Maple Valley Historical Society
For many, laboriously dragging a push plow’s dull blade across the land has hardly scratched enough of a rut in the ground to plant a pitiful row of string beans. What’s more, any bean sprouts that broke through the stony earth were quickly strangled out by seasonal weeds. Those ‘green shoots’ that persisted bore pods that dried out on the vine before maturity.
This has been the common experience of the typical 21st century American worker, thus far. Countless, stories of labors with no fruits have been shared at bowling alleys across the Bible Belt. There are also hard numbers that backup these woeful tales.
Just this week, for example, Sentier Research released a new report showing that after scratching and clawing the earth day after day, median household income has finally surpassed a level last seen in January 2000.
In other words, living standards for the typical family are now a smidgen higher than they were at the turn of the century. Rick Newman offers several details:
“Sentier calculates a monthly index representing median household income, based on Census Bureau data, starting at 100 in January of 2000. Since it’s an index, it’s adjusted for inflation and represents the real earning power of a typical family. The index drifted slightly above 100 a few times leading up to the 2008 financial meltdown, but mostly went sideways during the George W. Bush administration. Then it plunged beginning in 2009, with a long recovery beginning in 2011.
“The latest reading in the Sentier index is 100.9, the first time it’s been above 100 since 2008. That number matches the previous high, from 2002, which means family income will hit a new high if it rises in May.”
The Sentier household income index vs. the U3 unemployment rate. Happy days are here again! Household income was probably invented by H.G. Wells, considering its eerie, time-machine-like qualities. We are back to where we were at the turn of the millennium! The complete Household Income Trends Report resides here (pdf) – click to enlarge.
Rip Van Winkle
Good grief. What took so darn long? A lot has changed while the typical worker was running in place for the last decade and a half. In fact, Rip Van Winkle would hardly recognize the world that remains after these lost years. Good manners, good ethics, and good people have mostly gone the way of the dodo bird.
For one, politics at home has gone stark raving mad. Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Jim Comey. Barry Obama. Susan Rice. John Podesta. Hillary Clinton. Anthony Weiner. Barney Frank. John Burton. Harry Reid. Chuck Schumer. Ted Kennedy’s ghost. And on and on. And so on and so forth.
Years ago, when upright character was an expectation, these malevolent dingle berries would have been painted with tar and rolled in a dirty chicken coop full of feathers, among other things. Nowadays, they get extended lordship, pensions, and countless hours of paid vacation. What to make of it?