Parade Magazine has a very interesting recap on the last year’s economy and how it applies to the public. How Did You Do? gives a view into the state of the nation. There are quite a few statistics that I found surprisin, such as:
- “Last year’s 1.1% average raise was their first real pay increase in a long time. Workers’ productivity grew an impressive 18% between 2000 and 2006″”but most people’s inflation-adjusted weekly wages rose only 1% during that time.”
- “The cost of health care keeps rising faster than wages or inflation. Fewer employers offer health coverage””and fewer employees can afford to buy it. The upshot: Almost 47 million Americans now are uninsured, and most of them are in families with at least one full-time worker.”
- “In the last five years, inflation-adjusted wages rose less than 1% a year for the vast majority of households. But for the top 5% of earners, they jumped 2.5% a year. And for the top 1% of earners, the gains were much bigger: In 2005, the average CEO made 369 times as much as the average worker, compared with 131 times as much in 1993.”
The article also adds some anecdotal evidence by surveying many Americans. My favorite was, “Marie Ouano made $75,000 last year performing X-ray and MRI exams as a radiology technician but says housing in San Francisco is so expensive, she’s not sure she can afford to buy a home on one income.” I wish her good luck, but I think it’s an uphill battle on that income. Perhaps she can manage a small starter condo.
On the flip side of the coin, Miserly Bastard says that the rich are paying too much tax. I believe this is a direct effect of the rich getting richer as the Parade magazine suggested.
Which side are you on?