Why Our Economy Isn’t Working for Workers
Today is May Day, an international holiday honoring workers. Unfortunately, our economy — and its tax code rigged to benefit the wealthiest few — isn’t working for many workers.
ThinkProgress’ Annie-Rose Strasser highlights three charts showing why we need an economy that works for everyone, not more conservative policies that give all of the benefits to the wealthy in the vain hope that some of it will trickle down to the rest of us.
1. The 99 percent are extremely productive workers, but aren’t compensated for their productivity. While productivity has been on the rise among workers, average wage and compensation has remained nearly flat. That means while workers are producing more, they’re being compensated the same. This chart from the Economic Policy Institute details the change:
2. Corporations don’t notice income inequality, but workers sure do. The 99 percent may be pivotal in the productivity of a company, but they aren’t reaping any of the benefits of success. This chart from the New York Times illustrates exactly how companies profit while workers do not:
3. Workers who don’t organize are getting the short end of the stick. While productivity goes up and wages stay flat, the middle class sees itself shrinking. This income inequality is in direct correlation to union participation. As union membership falls, the middle class shrinks.