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The Great Wage Robbery

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 3 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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92 percent of the 50 largest low-wage employers in the country were profitable last year.

As the NELP notes, big corporations more than recovered from the recession: 75 percent are collecting more revenue, 63 percent are earning higher profits, and 73 percent have higher cash holdings than they did before the crisis.

Bringing It All Back Home

The real "job creators" aren't the ultra-wealthy. If they could create jobs with all their added wealth, they would have done it already. The real job creators are working people with jobs.

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They don't invest their money in hedge funds or stash it in offshore accounts. They spend it: on food, transportation, their kids' education, maybe a night at the movies ... And then other people get jobs making those things possible.

We have a working model to follow: The USA in the 35 years after World War II. As Paul Krugman says, "To the extent that people say the economics is confusing or uncertain, that's overwhelmingly because people want it to be." We know how to do this.

Raising the minimum wage is a start. A maximum  wage would help, too, by reducing CEOs' incentives to emphasize quarterly gains over long-term growth and leaving more to be shared with employees.

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We also need a national strategy for regaining the more reasonable distribution of income this country had in the 1950s. We need to ensure that the door of opportunity, which is closing every day for millions of young people, is opened again. And we need to ask the wealthiest to really pay their fair share -- at something closer to the top tax rates of the 1950's or 1960's. (Elvis Presley's manager "Colonel" Tom Parker once said "I consider it my patriotic duty to keep Elvis in the ninety percent tax bracket.")

Most of all, we need to educate those around us so they understand what's happening. That includes the well-intentioned well-to-do, who might do more to end the problem if they knew it existed. After all, you can't stop a robbery until you know it's happening.

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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