Thomas B. Young III Stonington
Productivity is a term used by economists that most people do not understand, but is a simple concept. It is a measure of how much wealth a worker can produce in a given amount of time, an hour or a year. Different sectors of labor range in productivity: Power generation $600,000/yr., manufacturing $370,000/yr., information technology $348,000/yr., financial $251,000/yr., government $130,000, and nationwide GDP/number workforce $110,000/yr.
The productivity of the country or the wealth produced per worker or by the nation has doubled since 1970, yet this prosperity has not been shared, as real median income for middle-class and working-lower-class people has not increased. They have received a mere 12 percent of the increase in wealth. CEOs, top management and stockholders have received 88 percent. Meanwhile, cost of living because of inflation has increased by 130 percent since 1982. Medical care has increased 660 percent since 1980. College education has increased 1,100 percent.
Middle-class people are considerably poorer than they were in 1980, while a minority are richer. Minimum wage, accounting for inflation, was $10/hr. in 2013 dollars in 1968 and has actually gone down to $7.25.
The solution to this income inequality is more progressive taxes to redistribute income. Republicans will strongly fight it.