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Jack Rasmus

This Labor Day 2018 marks yet another year of declining living standards for American workers. If one were to believe the media and press, rising wages belie that statement. The Wall St. Journal, August 1, 2018 trumpeted ‘US Workers Get Biggest Pay Raise in Nearly Ten Years’.

But here’s why that media spin is a misrepresentation of reality.

Labor’s Falling Income Share

If wages were rising, why is it that labor’s share of total national income has continued to fall for nearly 20 years, including this past year? At about 64% of total national income in 2000, it has steadily plummeted to around 56% of today’s roughly $16 trillion national income. That decline has not just been a result of the 2008-09 great recession; half of it occurred between 2000 and 2008. So it is a long term secular trend, rooted in today’s 21st century US capitalist system and not…

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