Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Short Their Memory

Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post, failing to go far enough back into history:

"Our current recovery, alas, is different from all previous recoveries that America has experienced since the end of World War II. The earlier ones were marked by wage increases. As the economy picked up and more revenue started flowing to business, those businesses shared the revenue with their employees. Mark Whitehouse of the Wall Street Journal looked at how businesses were dividing up the pie 18 months into every previous recovery since 1947 and found that 58 percent of their increases in productivity trickled down to their workers in increased wages. 

This time around, the numbers are starkly different... just 6 percent of productivity gains have gone to our newly more-productive workers."

Harold, if you had just looked back a little further in time, you would have found another "recovery" in which virtually all productivity gains went to business owners:  The recovery after World War I, which took place in the twenties, and in which large productivity gains were almost entirely consumed by the rich.  It is instructive to remember what that led to.

No comments: