Tuesday, August 13, 2013

U.S. Companies Up - Workers Down

(Serge Melki/Wikimedia Commons)
In case we didn't know the exact numbers of declining wages and rising profits , here they are in Floyd Norris' article "U.S. Companies Thrive as Workers Fall Behind" in The New York Times:

"American companies are more profitable than ever — and more profitable than we thought they were before the government revised the national income accounts last week. Wage earners are making less than we thought, in part because the government now thinks it was overestimating the amount of income not reported by taxpayers.......

.... Revising those figures down meant that workers as a group appeared to be doing even worse than they had appeared to be doing. And that was none too well. Before the figures were revised, it appeared that wages and salary income in 2012 amounted to 44 percent of G.D.P., the lowest at any time since 1929, which is as far back as the data goes. But the revisions cut that to 42.6 percent, which matched the revised 2010 figure as the lowest ever.

The flip side of that is that corporate profits after taxes amounted to a record 9.7 percent of G.D.P. Each of the last three years has been higher than the earlier record high, of 9.1 percent, which was set in 1929."

The question is how much longer can this trend continue. I guess people are either resilient or complacent, like the proverbial frog in a kettle of hot water. Read the rest of the article and have a look at the clarifying charts.

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