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Where's That $4,000 Raise the GOP Promised Workers?

Accepted submission by -- OriginalOwner_ http://tinyurl.com/OriginalOwner at 2018-06-20 10:51:47 from the pants-on-fire dept.
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AlterNet reports [alternet.org]

When Republicans in Congress passed a big, fat tax break bill in December, they insisted it meant American workers would be singing "Happy Days Are Here Again" all the way to the bank.

The payoff from the tax cut would be raises totaling $4,000 to $9,000 [nytimes.com], the President's Council of Economic Advisers assured workers.

But something bad happened to workers on their way to the repository. They never got that money.

In fact, their real wages declined because of higher inflation. At the same time, the amount workers had to pay in interest on loans for cars and credit cards increased. And, to top it off, Republicans threatened to make workers pay for the tax break with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

So now, workers across America are wondering, "Where's that raise?"

It's nowhere to be found.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that wages for production and nonsupervisory workers decreased by 0.1 percent [thinkprogress.org] from May 2017 to May 2018 when inflation is factored in. The compensation for all workers together, including supervisors, rose an underwhelming 0.1 percent from April 2018 to May 2018.

That's not what congressional Republicans promised workers. They said corporations, which got the biggest, fattest tax cuts of all, would use that extra money to increase wages.

Some workers got one-time bonuses and an even smaller number received raises. But not many. The group Americans for Tax Fairness estimates it's 4.3 percent [americansfortaxfairness.org] of all U.S. workers.

The New York Times story about this [nytimes.com] record breaker describes the phenomena this way: "Companies buy back their shares when they believe they have nothing better to do with their money than to return capital to shareholders." So despite promises from the GOP and the President's Council of Economic Advisers, corporations believed further enriching their own executives and shareholders was a much better way to use the money than increasing workers' wages--wages that have been stagnant for decades.

From 1945 until 1982, worker pay rose in tandem with productivity [epi.org]. At that time, buybacks were rare, primarily because they were deemed a forbidden manipulation of stock prices.

[...]after 1982, when the Reagan administration legalized stock buybacks, the connection between wages and productivity ended as corporate executives focused all of their efforts on increasing share value.

[...]Workers [...] who earn less than $25,000 a year, [...] will get a tax cut this year totaling $60. [taxpolicycenter.org][1] That's just about a dollar a week.

Our own cheetos-colored doppelganger touched on this topic previously [soylentnews.org].

[1] There doesn't appear to be any actual content on that page not even behind scripts [archive.li] and I don't have the patience right now to try to figure out their stupid shit. I hate authors who link to fuckwit pages.


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