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Since the end of the second World War, productivity (defined as output per man-hour) has increased by 250 percent. This increase was caused mainly by technology and improved management. Between 1945 and 1972, productivity increased by 100 percent and average hourly compensation kept up with increases in productivity. Since 1972, hourly compensation has not changed significantly in spite of the 150 percent change in productivity.
Prior to 1972 wages as a percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) weres 50 percent, today they are 43 percent, a net loss of $1.2 trillion per year. In the years prior to 1972, the top 10 percent earned 35 percent of the income, now it is 50 percent.
This inequality was and is caused by many things such as:
The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009. Since 1988, Congress has raised its salaries 15 times while raising the minimum wage 7 times.
A large increase in "Right to Work" laws. (The right to work for less.)
Union membership has decreased from 32 percent in 1970 to 12 percent now.
Elections can fix the minimum wage and "Right to Work" laws. Union organizers with help from the NLRB can increase unions.