Wage Statistics Paint a Bleak Picture for Working America

Most economists and the press look at personal income to think about America and wages. But there is another set of statistics which paints an even more stark picture. The social security administration publishes wage data, the last year available is 2010. While the average wage was $39,959.30, 66.2% of wage earners make less than this amount The median wage is $26,363.55. That means 50% of all wage earners in the United States earned less than $26,363.55 annually. That's poor.

workers per wage 2010

These graphs shows how bottom heavy the U.S. workforce is in terms of wages. One might say wages in America are a race to the bottom and a sinking to the bottom of the economic ladder. People making less than $10,000 a year number 38,153,796. There were only 150,398,796 workers in America in 2010. Over 25% of wage earners make less than $10,000 per year with an average annual wage amount of $7,395.50. A whopping 16% of wage earners made less than $5000, with an average earnings of $2,016.50.

avewage  worker 2010

As we showed food stamp usage has actually increased with at least six million people having food stamps as their only source of income. Below is the guy who walked out of the Clinton administration over welfare reform, Peter Edelman, explaining why he resigned from the White House administration. With statistics like this 16 years later think he was right?



The above data shows there is very little middle class. A salary of $26,363.55 is the working poor, and over 50% of working America is in that category.

Right now we have politicians claiming they are for the middle class. They feel our pain and empathize all the while enacting policies and agendas by and for corporations.

Pundits spew soaring rhetoric as if pomp and circumstance trumps the stark economic reality most Americans are struggling with.

We hope all pay very close attention to deeds and policy and the people behind these politicians. Words are cheap. Yet the deeds of politicians have made us cheap. That's the accomplishment, the destruction of America's middle class.

This is an update of our popular post, wages in America, most of us are have nots.



The corrupt are getting richer, the honest are getting destroyed

The people who literally wrote the rules (i.e., the insiders) are living very well, thank you, and because they are the only ones that matter to the other people on the inside like politicians and TBTF and regulators, it's all good - the honest citizens among the middle class, the working poor, disabled, and elderly matter not.

Check out the coverage of Mary Schapiro and her ownership by former SEC folks at law firms. This will show everyone how pointless hard work + being honest + the Golden Rule are. Mary Schapiro, former friend of Madoff, the woman who didn't do anything about Madoff looting thousands of clients over years because she's corrupt and like all corrupt individuals, knew it was better to go along and further her own career over pretending to have any integrity. If anyone witnessed her ever speak in front of a Congressional hearing, you would quickly realize she is a dope (which serves corrupt people quite fine - puppets shouldn't be too smart). She got her first job through replacing her boss, headed FINRA, now heads the useless SEC. Former SEC employees now write to her and lobby her as a friend and apparently a partner in boning the rest of America. There is no hint in correspondence that they care that the 99% of America doesn't have the access and personal relationships they are exploiting completely improperly to write and enforce laws and regulations. And when they get questioned, of course they get all in a huff, how dare you question them! Rulers answer to no one except fellow rulers!

But hey, as long as TBTF and MNC can write the rules and still get rich and assure their partners in crime/regulators of future employment, who cares?
Same with everyone in power. US Attorneys' Offices (staffed by future bankster-defending attorneys), etc., etc.

The fact is no one in power cares if the rest of America works for free as slaves and gets blamed for everything (e.g., too damn lazy; too uneducated; the 99% need to work for free for 30 years and prove they deserve a minimum wage; older Americans need to prove they aren't useless eaters by moving the lawns of the elite at their Hamptons estates).

These true parasites at the top don't work harder, they aren't smarter, and they have little to no integrity. And that's why they are doing well at our expense - because they do whatever it takes to get rich (conflicts of interest, apparent and real, and crimes don't matter).
As someone with a PhD or BS or STEM worker or a 50 year old mother of two begs for a job that they might be able to barely survive on after one or two or four years of unemployment, they should look up. Look up at who is living the good life at your expense. Are they smarter? No. Is their education any better? No. Are they more honest? Definitely not. Do they practice the Golden Rule? No. When they lecture us from government offices, convention halls, corporate boardrooms, or their TV studios, remember the qualities they truly have. They will do everything they can to screw over the rest of us and reward themselves and their friends and family at every turn. As long as they are free to do so without professional or real legal repercussions (e.g., long prison sentences in real prisons with forfeiture of all-their ill-gotten wealth) that would stop them and scare everyone else that thought of screwing us at every turn, nothing will change. We will get poorer, they will get richer and lie/lecture us. So, what's going to change?

Americans are hard working

Right, I believe the GOP is busy blaming unions at the moment for our woes. The right to work states have more poverty and much lower wages. This is just one fact out of many, including the fact that unions really strengthened the U.S. middle class and it's no surprise with less unionization worker rights, wages have declined.

The 2011 wage statistics will be out in October but I wanted to amplify wages, update the post with the 2009 data and put reality on the front page.

I was watching the political conventions coverage and it's just ridiculous, as expected, we have brazen lies, pomp circumstance, both parties. The press just isn't challenging any of this at all, focusing in on the trivial. They won't challenge the dog and pony show and America has had way too many dog and pony shows.

That's not to imply saving GM, Chrysler, wasn't a good idea, it was. Health care reform is a great idea but we did not get universal single payer and so costs are not addressed and that's the real problem, the for profit system. GM deal was allowed to offshore outsource jobs, almost a requirement, that's a big problem.

Blocking any legislation even though it's based on sound economics is a real problem.

I caught 10 seconds of "Kumar" - that was enough

I saw Kumar from "Harold and Kumar" talking about something involving allowing gays in the military and how the bankster-selected candidate with the blue colors was important because of that and he simply needs to be selected over the other bankster candidate.

Kumar, when people can't feed themselves and are headed towards living like serfs in Russia circa 1850 (only without the farming privileges) or peasants in 1300s England or a child laborer in a Dickens tale while the top 1% of the West keeps getting richer, things ain't right, haven't been right, and ain't getting right. Kumar, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein also supports some of the same social issues as Obama (so what does it matter) but guess what, push comes to shove, banksters win, 99% of us lose no matter what because it's the economy, outsourcing, visas, and destruction of the middle class that counts to people who enjoy eating and breathing. Must be nice to be an actor at a political convention. I guess they couldn't find a STEM grad who's long-term unemployed who's been rejected 2,000 times because he's "overqualified"? Or the engineer's wife who confronted Obama? How about a former IBM or Microsoft employee in his 50s who can train his replacement overseas for overseas wages? A veteran who can't find work because his skills aren't "relevant" to HR screeners? I wish Kumar was funny, but it's too late in the game for this. Bread and circuses and we don't even get bread.

entertainers in politics

generally has been a real bad experience. I don't know this guy's politics beyond being gaga for Obama.

The greed at the top is unsustainable for much longer

Looking around the globe, anyone with a clue and an IQ over 80 (again, as I always say, this eliminates a good chunk of the politicians and puppetmasters) knows the current situation is unsustainable. As there are no atheists in trenches, there are fewer and fewer "free marketers" and "laissez-faire" crony capitalists as the number of poor and unemployed increase. It simply can't last. When hundreds of millions more Chinese laborers find a robot can do their job and the Communist Party is really just another front for kleptocrats and global corporate masters, let the fireworks begin.

In WWI, when there were no atheists in the trenches, many of the officers were dying right along with their troops and shared their pain and horror from gas attacks, fruitless charges against machineguns, etc. Those officers sacrificed in ways the puppets and puppetmasters today never will. After all, those who sacrifice today are viewed as "useless eaters" and "99%ers" that are only good for unskilled manual labor and buying crap sold by the 1%er's corporations.

People have to eat, feed their families, and survive.
We are regressing down Maslow's heirarchy in 2012 and the numbers regressing are growing exponentially. But Billy Boy Clinton told us NAFTA and financial deregulation would make us better? Guess not Billy Boy, now go speak at Goldman and get richer through your former "public service." Those at the top may be getting richer, but their numbers are miniscule. Teacher and police officer and prosecutor pensions are raided by greedy banksters and hedge fund managers just as often as 401(k)s of unemployed engineers and managers. Veterans are unemployed despite their skills and contributions. Brilliant minds and hands are purposely ignored and destroyed so idiot relatives of the well-connected don't have to study much of anything in private schools (but are assured high-paying jobs), miss a Grand Tour of Europe's and America's nightclubs, or mingle with the middle class in middle class stores that don't kiss their asses. The ECB seems intent on sending the Eurozone into a death spiral of massive unemployment and hyperinflation. Do the Weimar Republic photos of wheelbarrow cash come more and more to mind? The corporate-media (left and right whatever, they serve their corporate masters) can keep lying and lying, but when you have a BA, BS, or MBA, or PhD, and volunteered for your community or served your Nation overseas and now face homelessness or missing leukemia treatments for your kids, a good American can only stand so much before he yells - "THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN AND WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR THOSE THAT SUFFERED AND THOSE THAT BROKE IT." I look forward to it.

Oh, banksters, your ilk is globally known so don't think the unemployed or exploited in other parts of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, or Australia will appreciate you in ways Americans simply can't. Go set up that Ayn Rand camp in Antarctica if the penguins will let you. Hey, it's self-reliance after all, if the penguins can survive, surely job destroyers and the worst and dimmest can too, right?


A longer-term picture of inequality is here:


The inflection points on this graph are interesting. Inequality was high from 1910 to 1941. WW2 brought things into better balance, and we stayed about the same until 1988. It was Bush The Father who brought back the Gilded Age, then Bush The Son gilded it up into the stratosphere.

More Reagan

Who started the path to more income inequality. That graph doesn't state if this is the United States and I don't think the top 0.01% is to scale either.

Workers were fighting for rights and got some in 1905, in 1934 is when unions really managed to get legislation through which made a difference.

1938 social security was enacted a huge leveler, probably the biggest anti poverty measure in the U.S. history, most effective.

Starting in 1980 Reagan worked to tear much of this down and sorry to say Bill Clinton also helped tear apart worker rights. He also signed NAFTA and the China PNTR, repealed glass-steagall.

I know we all love Bill, but what he actually did, the effects didn't show up until he was out of office.

The Bush tax cuts (Bush II) has seriously harmed this country and is a primary reason for the massive debt, along with the war debt.