Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, Guest Blogger
No matter which side of the political fence you sit on, it seems undeniable that corporations are reaping large profits at the expense of workers and Americans. In the past, we have discussed the issue of Corporate America paying little or no taxes here on Prof. Turley’s blog. It seems that the corporate “hits” just keep on coming. If you thought that Corporations are sitting on large amounts of cash and not using it to expand jobs or wages here in America, a recent study by Northeastern University just confirmed your hunch.
“Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, real national income in the U.S. increased by $528 billion. Pre-tax corporate profits by themselves had increased by $464 billion while aggregate real wages and salaries rose by only $7 billion or only .1%. Over this six quarter period, corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income. …The absence of any positive share of national income growth due to wages and salaries received by American workers during the current economic recovery is historically unprecedented.” The Jobless and Wageless Recovery If I understand the figures correctly, corporations have not only refused to create new jobs here in the States, they have also refused to share their profits with their workers. Should I be surprised that corporations are greedy? I guess not, but I would think that wages and salaries would have gone up by more than the 1% in the six quarters discussed in the above noted study.
The New York Times discussed this study recently and stated that this lack of income and job growth during a post-recession recovery is unprecedented. “The study, “The ‘Jobless and Wageless Recovery’ From the Great Recession of 2007-2009,” said it was “unprecedented” for American workers to receive such a tiny share of national income growth during a recovery. According to the study, between the second quarter of 2009, when the recovery began, and the fourth quarter of 2010, national income rose by $528 billion, with $464 billion of that growth going to pretax corporate profits, while just $7 billion went to aggregate wages and salaries, after accounting for inflation. The share of income growth going to employee compensation was far lower than in the four other economic recoveries that have occurred over the last three decades, the study found. ‘ “The lack of any net job growth in the current recovery combined with stagnant real hourly and weekly wages is responsible for this unique, devastating outcome,” wrote the report’s authors, Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, Joseph McLaughlin and Sheila Palma.” ‘ New York Times
In light of the fact that we are heading into the July 4th Independence Day holiday, wouldn’t it be appropriate for Corporate America to grant Independence from this recession to its workers by giving them a fair piece of the pie from their profit largess? Wouldn’t it also be proper for Corporate America to start creating jobs here in America using some of this windfall which would only create more demand for their products and create even more profit? Am I asking too much from American corporations? What do you think?
Additional Source: Think Progress