Monday, March 04, 2013

Corporate boom spells workers' doom

Yet another article on how mega-corporations are eating our economy right out from under us. Corporate share of the national income gains are at a decade's long high, while the workers' share is at a decades' long low. The split hasn't been this pronounced in 50 years. And nothing is going to change until our overlords decide to do something about persistent under and un-employment. Unfortunately for the working class, they have no incentive to do so.

The sequester is going to make it even worse but Wall Street isn't worried.
But although experts estimate that sequestration could cost the country about 700,000 jobs, Wall Street does not expect the cuts to substantially reduce corporate profits — or seriously threaten the recent rally in the stock markets.

“It’s minimal,” said Savita Subramanian, head of United States equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Over all, the sequester could reduce earnings at the biggest companies by just over 1 percent, she said, adding, “the market wants more austerity.”
Of course it does. An insecure workforce doesn't agitate for higher wages and better benefits. Good for the profit margin. That's not likely to change anytime soon because Big Corporate is firing people, not hiring them.
“Right now, C.E.O.’s are saying, ‘I don’t really need to hire because of the productivity gains of the last few years,’ ” said Robert E. Moritz, chairman of the accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Productivity gains being the code word for increasing the workload while slashing personnel. Workers are left with little choice in a high unemployment environment. They'll work harder for less because they're living paycheck to paycheck and need the job. Also, somewhat more affordable health care plans.

Derek Thompson has the charts to illustrate this sadistically skewed distribution of wealth. It's even more infuriating when you view it historically over the decades.

Addendum: It's even uglier when Dave Johnson recaps the trajectory in headlines only.

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