Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun with Charts

Conservative blogger David Frum posted this graphic illustrating the rate at which workers' share of national income has steadily dropped:

Meanwhile, Felix Salmon posted this chart demonstrating the gains experienced by both finance institutions and domestic industries:

You might notice a huge asymmetry here. You might also notice that nobody seems to be willing or able to do anything about it. I can pretty much guarantee you that none of the candidates- from either end of the political spectrum - will address this issue in the upcoming election season. They'll talk about economic growth and job creation and housing, but they won't ask why it is that corporate earnings are up, yet American workers make less and less. Why is that?

Click here for more fun with charts.


  1. Anonymous6/15/2011

    They're cowards?

    OK, no, I'll try harder. Because there's no political incentive for taking on this issue. Campaign funding comes from corporate sources, and from wealthy individuals. Neither of these stand to gain anything by an attempt to prevent wealth polarization.

  2. This demonstrates the long-term effects of deregulation and outsourcing and the erosion of the power of workers to organize and negotiate on a more equal footing. As unions and advocacy groups lose power, more inequities will appear.

    Corporations aren't designed to look out for the well-being of their workers, unless the workers are in such bad shape that they can no longer be productive. And nothing is going to motivate the wealthy to voluntarily share their wealth. If they can work the system to benefit themselves and continue to profit disproportionately off the labor of others, they will. It's the rational, self-interested thing to do.

    This is why unmitigated capitalism is not viable. Some safety mechanisms have to be in place to prevent exploitation and abuse. It's as simple as that.

  3. Meg'n6/15/2011

    So depressing!

  4. Anonymous6/16/2011

    The "invisible hand" is doing a bang-up job.