rising productivity in american workers yet declining wages and benefits

Es­ti­mated reading time is 1 minute.

BELOW ARE FACTS, which are di­a­met­ri­cally op­posed to what ‘conservative’/Rep*blican prog­nos­ti­ca­tors have been telling us for decades. As usual. This is from an ar­ticle ti­tled “Are We Going to Be the Flint­stones or the Jet­sons?” by the Daily Take from the Thom Hart­mann Pro­gram (Feb­ruary 17, 2014).

“Back in 1966, Time mag­a­zine pub­lished an ar­ticle that looked ahead to­ward the fu­ture, and dis­cussed what the rises of tech­nology and au­toma­tion would mean for working-class Amer­i­cans. From the time of George Wash­ington until the pres­i­dency of Ronald Reagan, with a few blips for wars, as Amer­ican workers be­came more pro­duc­tive, their wages went UP or their working hours went DOWN, or both

Even though pro­duc­tivity has in­creased 400% since 1950, Amer­i­cans are working, on av­erage, just two hours per week less, and are paid the same or in many cases even less than they were paid in 1950.

If pro­duc­tivity is four times higher today than it was in the 1950’s, then Amer­i­cans should be able to work just ten hours per week to af­ford the same 1950’s lifestyle when a family of four could get by on just one pay­check, own a home, own a car, put their kids through school, take a couple va­ca­tions a year, and re­tire comfortably.”


Rising Productivity: scene from the 1962-193 cartoon show THE JETSONS.

FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is from The Jet­sons, a car­toon pro­duced by Hanna-Barbera. De­spite being one of the stu­dio’s more clever cre­ations, and the fond­ness with which it is re­mem­bered, it was not a suc­cess: it only lasted from Sep­tember 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963.


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