Monday, October 10, 2011

More Signs Of Decay In America

The bad news just keeps rolling in. Keeping up with it is almost a full-time job. Here's a recent sample featuring wage slaves, vanishing pensions and soaring health care costs.

1. It's Not Too Late To Revive Slavery

A recent report notes that it's not enough to create jobs. You've also got to create jobs which pay a living wage. Imagine that! What are these guys? Socialists? From Not getting by on minimum wage (September 27, 2011)—

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Most experts agree that to get out of the economic slump, we need more jobs.

But another problem is that millions of Americans already have jobs that don't pay very much.

Getting the economy going will require more than just creating a large number of low-wage positions, said Paul Osterman, economics professor at MIT. Raising the minimum wage to get more cash to the working poor is just as crucial, he said.

About 20% of American adults who have jobs are earning only $10.65 an hour or less, according to Osterman's analysis. Even at 40 hours a week, that amounts to less than $22,314, the poverty level for a family of four.

The federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 an hour (18 states set their own rates above the federal level, maxing out at $8.67 an hour in Washington State).

Here's the kicker.

But increases have not kept up with inflation. When adjusted for inflation, the highest federal minimum wage was in 1968, when it was the equivalent of $10.38 in today's dollars...

With a greater percentage of the nation's income going to corporate profits than ever before, Osterman argues that businesses can afford a higher minimum wage.

"There needs to be standards in the job market," he said. "If the object is simply to minimize costs, we can use slaves again." more