USA’s working poor are getting poorer

The Economic Populist has published an interesting overview of wages statistic in USA. It turns out that nearly a third of people working are extremely poor. These are not jobless but people who actually have jobs. Still, one third of working people receive wages before taxes below $15,000 a year and nearly 15% of workers – below $5,000 a year. Most Americans, 52.4%, make less than $30,000 a year yet those very Americans only have 15.3% of the total country income from wages.

The chasm between the rich and poor is growing yearly. An astronomical 23.1 million wage earners made less than $5,000 per year in 2013. Those making less than $5000 a year are only getting 0.7% of the total compensation pie as a group. The top wage bracket – over $50 million – has 110 people in it or 0.000064% of wage earners. This top wage bracket received 0,18% of the total net compensation. And this inequality of wages keeps increasing.

 

The Economic Populist concludes that “The bottom line here is the rich are getting richer and most of America continues to get squeezed even though in 2013 wages improved.  As a trend we can see since 1990 just a never ending attack on regular wage earners in this country. The bounce back in 2013 isn’t enough to make up for 30 years of a spiral down.”… -->

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The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom

I just watched the BBC Series The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom from 2007. The three one-hour series present a very interesting insight into one of the facets of our society. The basic idea of the movie is to describe the origins of two ideologies of freedom that dominate the world: the positive and negative freedom. The positive freedom is based on an ideology, on an all-encompassing idea that drives people forward, like in Soviet times, for example, while the negative freedom basically justifies “everyone for himself” attitude, promoted by the “free market” ideologists. The interesting part is that the authors conclude that both ideologies cause societies to end up in the same place eventually and then the positive freedom society at least has some ideology while in the negative freedom society people lose all purpose in life.

An absolutely hilarious piece of news from the movie:

… the game theory/free market model is now undergoing interrogation by economists who suspect a more irrational model of behaviour is appropriate and useful. In fact, in formal experiments the only people who behaved exactly according to the mathematical models created by game theory are economists themselves, and psychopaths.

And so it is a very interesting series. Highly recommended.

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