two charts have appeared on this blog before, but I think they deserve a repeat performance. That's because they present a very good picture of what the Republican "trickle-down" economic policy has done to the workers of this country. Note that while the household income of the top 1% has shot up enormously, the same cannot be said of the other 99% of Americans. The income for the 80% to 99% has shown a slight rise in income, while the bottom 80% of American income earners has remained in a flat line for the last 30 years or so.
And the same thing is true when it comes to the share of the national income by the different groups. While the top 1% has greatly increased its share of the nation's income, and the rest of the top 20% have shown a small rise in their share of national income, the bottom 80% of wage-earners have seen their share of the national income go down. That means they are not sharing at all in the country's rise in production, and have actually had some of their share of production stolen from them by the rich.
But it gets even worse. As I posted just yesterday, the median wage for American workers, both men and women, dropped by another 2.5% from 2010 to 2011. Why is this happening? Two things are responsible. First, corporations continue to outsource good American jobs to other countries. And second, the new jobs being created in this country are mostly low wage (and little or no benefit) jobs. The combination of these two factors drives the median wage down -- and the obstructionism of congressional Republicans has prevented any change in policy (like when they blocked an attempt to reward companies that brought good jobs back home).
It has gotten so bad that currently more than one out of every four American workers is working for less than $10 a hour. That's a very low wage -- lower than a minimum wage worker in 1968 made (which in today's dollars would be $10.55 an hour). That means more than a quarter of the American workforce, those that have jobs, would not be able to buy as much as a minimum wage worker in 1968 could have bought. And the percentage of low wage workers continues to rise in the United States.
Now you might think that all of these low wage workers are working for small businesses that can't afford to pay a decent wage, but if you thought that you would be wrong. Two-thirds of thos low wage workers are employed by corporations with more than 100 workers. And these corporations are doing very well, with 63% of them making even bigger profits than they did before the recession hit. And shamefully, the 50 corporations with the most low wage workers pay their CEO's an average salary of $9.4 million a year ( a far cry from the less than $10 an hour the workers are paid).
This is what the Republican's economic policy has done to America. And the Ryan/Romney team wants to not only continue that policy, but make it even worse -- by giving massive new tax cuts to the rich, slashing education and social program funding, and raising taxes on middle class workers. We cannot let that happen. The nation simply cannot afford any more years of Republican "trickle-down" economic policy.