Workers Were Property. They Became Tools. Now, They Are a Nuisance.
Oppositions to minimum wage and unionisation tell you all about the value shareholders place in their workers.
The wealthiest Americans have added at least one trillion dollars to their wealth since the start of the pandemic. Yet, these billionaires’ companies try everything to prevent their workers from unionising. Amazon, and Tesla, thanks to their CEOs being the world’s first and second richest men, are but the two most visible tips of a generalised iceberg of greed and financial injustice.
The recent failure from Congress to increase the minimum wage to $15 is another blow to the most vulnerable workers. Since 2009, the minimum wage has stagnated at $7.25. Its purchasing power peaked in…1968 when it reached $11.76 (in 2019 dollars). Minimum wage workers are financially stuck in the 50s, and it seems to bother no one but the workers themselves.
How can a democratic society call itself civilised and tolerate that over 1.1 million of its citizens earn $7.25 per hour or less? The answer is simple: America is neither civilised nor democratic. It is a plutocracy where the rich dictate their agenda, the middle class enforces it, and the poorest suffer in silence.
Take a look at the following chart detailing the growth in real annual earnings by earnings groups from 1980 to 2018.
No one needs to read again the myth that a CEO’s value-added is such that it warrants a salary a hundred times larger than that of the regular employee. Particularly in light of this other chart linking productivity and compensation.
From 1948 to 1979, productivity and compensation moved together with a correlation of 0.86. Since 1979, this ratio has dropped to 0.17.
The profits from increased productivity do not go to the worker anymore. They go instead to the top management (in…