A friend recently sent me some figures that put the rhetoric about the 1% and the 99% into rather stark perspective.
Big business is once again doing well. Among the nation’s top 500 companies, corporate profits in 2013 averaged $41,249 per employee. That was 38 percent higher than the profit level in 2008, so the Great Recession is evidently over–at least, for those enterprises. Those who run the companies are also doing nicely, thank you very much: CEOs at companies listed in the S&P 500 took home paychecks that were 331 times the pay of the average American worker last year — and 774 times the take-home of minimum-wage workers.
If the minimum wage had just kept pace with income gains enjoyed by the top 1% since 1968–that is, if there had simply been parity in the rate of increase–minimum-wage workers would now be making $31.45 per hour.
What was that old economic premise/promise? A rising tide lifts all boats?
Evidently, the tide has been very selective….