"The study noted that, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, the US undertook policies “during the New Deal [that] permanently reduced income concentration until the 1970s.” In contrast, the study noted a striking absence of any measures to reign in social inequality in the present crisis. Far from it, the Obama administrations’ bank bailouts, austerity program and wage-cutting policies have vastly expanded the prevalence of social inequality."
GROWING POVERTY IN AMERICA WHERE MEXICANS GET THE JOBS WITH STOLEN SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, BILLIONS IN TAX REFUNDS ON BOGUS RETURNS, OBAMACARE, ANCHOR BABY WELFARE AND DREAM ACTS OF GRINGO-PAID WELFARE… AND LA RAZA HAS THEM OUT THERE VOTING FOR EVEN MORE!
2 September 2013
The annual report, released On August 28, “The State of Working Pennsylvania 2013,” is authored by Mark Price and Stephen Herzenberg, who both hold PhDs in economics.
A section of the report deals with workers who receive a low, or poverty, wage. Their definition of a poverty wage is $11.19 (in 2012 dollars) for a full-time 52-week worker who has a family of four to support. This translates into annual earnings of $23,283.
The authors found that in 2012, 26 percent of Pennsylvania workers were paid below this threshold and that the portion of workers in poverty-wage jobs has increased by 2.6 percentage points since 2010.
Young workers are more likely to fall into this category. About 70 percent and 62 percent of workers between the ages of 16-24 and 20-24, respectively, received a poverty wage in 2012. For 25- to 54-year-olds 19.4 percent received a poverty wage. There was an increase in the first two groups from 2010 to 2012 of 1.2 and 2.8 percentage points, respectively, and the last age group suffered a 2.0 percentage point increase.
While grim, the statistics fail to demonstrate the full extent of poverty among Pennsylvania workers. In the first place, the report’s poverty threshold is closely aligned to the federal government’s absurdly low official poverty threshold. The Working Poor Families Project, for example, defines “Low Income Working Families” as earning double the official poverty threshold; thus a family of four would need to earn upwards of $46,000 to be out of this category.
Secondly, the report’s data on workers in poverty presumes a full-time job, even though there has been a continued expansion of part-time work since the crisis of 2007. July’s federal jobs report demonstrates the absence of quality, good-paying jobs for American workers. Low-paying restaurants, retailers, and bars supplied roughly half of the 162,000 new jobs in July. Part-time jobs amounted to over 65 percent of the jobs added last month as well. Another report noted that “over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work.”
Workers who do have jobs are being driven harder, even as mass unemployment remains. Christine Owens of National Employment Law Project explains that, “Corporations are reaping the financial benefits of an increasingly productive workforce, but the recent decline in wages shows that these gains are not being shared with the people actually doing the work.” The KRC report substantiates this, noting that since 1979 in Pennsylvania productivity has increased 61 percent or “15 times as much as the median wage.”
The WSWS interviewed low-wage workers in Pennsylvania to understand and expose the conditions they encounter.
Twenty-one year-old Bre, who works the bar at Longhorn Steakhouse and has had back problems because of her pregnancy, is afraid to follow the doctor’s orders and leave work because she has no savings, lives paycheck to paycheck, and doesn’t “want to beg for food or keep asking my parents for money.” Her fiancé, meanwhile, works as a cook. Their combined wages are not enough to support a family.
She makes $2.83 an hour, a typical wage for restaurant servers, relying on tips from patrons to pay the bills. On good nights, she can make more than the Federal minimum wage, but on slow nights the tips do not exceed $7.25 per hour. Her hours vary “from 30-42 hours a week, usually right around 37,” and she is “still under my mom’s insurance.” It is all too common for low-wage workers to forego health insurance because it is too expensive when juxtaposed to monthly income.
She is also hoping that her parents can aid her financially for childcare costs once the baby is born.
Seth Bitner, 20, attends college in Lock Haven Pa, but works part time to help support himself. “There aren’t any decent paying jobs for young people,” he said. “There are a few in the gas industry, but most people can’t get those. It is hard being a college student and working. Part-time jobs are not cutting it. The pay is not enough; $7.50 an hour doing factory work does not come close to covering my expenses.”
Seth explained that his mother is helping to pay his room and board but that he has to cover his tuition, books and other living expenses. “I take out loans, they are all in my name,” he explained. “When I get out of school, I will be loaded with debts.” In 2013, average college-related debt for an undergraduate student amounted to $35,200, according to a survey conducted by Fidelity.
Seth was not yet born when, in 1987, workers at Lock Haven’s massive International Paper Mill went on strike against wage cuts. The company hired scabs to replace striking workers, and the Democratic government under Bob Casey used National Guard to protect the scabs. The strike at Lock Haven and three other IP factories were eventually defeated after they were left isolated and betrayed by their unions. Since then the company closed the paper mill completely.
As a result, Seth says, “there aren’t any good jobs. Everything just pay’s the minimum wage or maybe a little more. Even the factory jobs pay nothing. A young person can’t live on that, let alone someone who has a family to support.”
Jonathan Weber, a low-wage worker from Pittsburgh, said, “My personal experience is you need a lot of experience to get a good paying job. I went to school for maintenance and construction, and I am not barely making the teens [$13,000]. I am still paying my student loans and I only make $14 an hour. My fiancée is pregnant and yet she still has to work. You can’t support a family on such low wages.”
Jonathan and his fiancée have one child already. The day after the WSWS spoke with him he had an interview scheduled to apply for a 30-hour per-week job. With both he would work 75 hours a week.
“I will sleep on the weekends,” he said. “I spend all the time I can with my family, but this puts a lot of stress on you. The politicians don’t care about the working and young people. We have billions in student loan debts, but they don’t help us, but they give billions to the wealthy.”
“I can’t even get on any kind of assistance or food stamps. They say $14.00 an hour is making too much. Right now we are trying to scrape by until she has the baby, and hopefully tomorrow I will have a second job. You have to do what you have to do.”
Income inequality grows four times faster under Obama than Bush
By Nick Barrickman
US income inequality grew four times faster in the first three years of the Obama Administration than under Bush, according to figures published Saturday in the New York Times .
3 September 2013
The Times reached this conclusion by comparing the median wage—which measures the income of a household in the middle of the income scale—and the average wage, which tallies all income and divides it by the number of earners. As society has grown more unequal, the average wage has grown relatively more quickly, while median wages have grown more slowly, and stagnated in real terms.
This is exactly what has happened. As the newspaper reports, “From 2001 through 2008, during the George W. Bush administration,” the ratio of mean to median income “grew at 0.28 percentage point per year. From 2009 through 2011, the latest year for which the data is available, the ratio increased 1.14 percentage points annually, or roughly four times faster.”
These figures add to earlier studies showing that growth in income during the so-called economic “recovery” has gone almost exclusively to the wealthiest layers of society. A study released earlier this year, entitled “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States” by University of California, Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, shows that, since the recession was officially declared to be over in 2009, 93 percent of all income gains have gone to the top 1 percent, while the incomes of the rest of the population have remained stagnant.
According to the study, since 2010 the top 1 percent of society have seen an income growth of 11.6 percent, while the rest of the population’s incomes have grown by a dismal 0.2 percent.
Similarly, though the uppermost layers of society saw a bigger hit to their incomes in the immediate aftermath of the financial collapse, their share of income growth returned to an all-time high in the following years, with the top 10 percent of society claiming nearly half of all income in 2010.
The study noted that, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, the US undertook policies “during the New Deal [that] permanently reduced income concentration until the 1970s.” In contrast, the study noted a striking absence of any measures to reign in social inequality in the present crisis. Far from it, the Obama administrations’ bank bailouts, austerity program and wage-cutting policies have vastly expanded the prevalence of social inequality.
Last month the Census Bureau noted a significant growth in the percentage of households in the US which have at least one unemployed family member. The report, entitled America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012, found that from 2005 to 2011, the number of households with children under 18 where at least one parent was unemployed rose from 2.4 million to 3.2 million. In some states, the increase was much higher. Nevada had a 148 percent increase in families affected by unemployment, Hawaii had a 95 percent increase, and California had a 61 percent increase.
The report also noted that the number of households with children that owned their own homes plunged by 15 percent during the same time period.
There was also a significant increase in the number of young people living with their parents, resulting from a fall in incomes and reduced job prospects. The percent of men aged 25 to 34 living in their parents’ homes increased from 13 percent in the early 2000s to 17 percent in 2012. The report also noted that food stamp usage by children of married parents nearly tripled—from 4 percent to 11 percent—since 2002.
The so-called economic “recovery” has led to falling wages, speedups and increasingly casualized labor. The jobs which have accounted for the majority of employment since the end of the recession have been composed mainly of part-time and low-paying service industry work.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the period from June to July of this year, over 148,000 full-time jobs were eliminated, while in their place over 534,000 part-time positions were added.
Last year the National Employment Law Project released a report finding that 60 percent of all positions added to payrolls since 2008 have been classified as “low-wage,” paying between $7.69 and $13.83 per hour. Likewise, “middle-income jobs,” those accounting for the majority of positions lost during the financial crisis, have made up barely 20 percent of jobs added during the “recovery.”
DURING OBAMA’S FIRST TERM 2/3s OF ALL JOBS WENT TO IMMIGRANTS, BOTH LEGAL AND ILLEGAL. FEDERAL WORKPLACE ENFORCEMENT of LAWS PROHIBITING THE EMPLOYMENT of ILLEGALS PLUMMETED 70%... AND OBAMA - HOLDER SABOTAGED E-VERIFY EVERYWHERE THEY COULD TO EASE MORE LA RAZA INTO OUR JOBS!
(MOST OF THE FORTUNE 500 ARE GENEROUS DONORS TO THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA – IT’S ALL ABOUT KEEPING WAGES DEPRESSED)
more at this link – post on your Facebook and email broadcast
OBAMA’S WALL STREET-FUNDED ASSAULT ON THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS SURGES!
MEX WITH 37 CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS FINALLY DEPORTED… wonder if he’s back looting already???
OBAMA’S ASSAULT ON AMERICANS (LEGALS)
OBAMA'S ASSAULT ON AMERICA -WHY WALL STREET, ILLEGALS, CRIMINAL BANKSTERS and the 1% LOVE HIM, AND THE MIDDLE CLASS GETS THE SHAFT TO PAY FOR HIS CRONY CAPITALISM
CALIFORNIA – MEXICO’S $22 BILLION DOLLAR WELFARE STATE
“I’m not here to punish banks!” Barack Obama in the faces of the American People his bankster donors looted – State of the Union Message
Obama Administration Makes Secret Deal With Mexico - Mexican Consulates are headquarters for the MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA with the agenda of expanding the Mexican welfares state with cooperation of Barack Obama and the Democrat party.
THIS IS SHOCKING!!!
To Help Illegal Immigrants In The Workplace AND LOOT AMERICA EASIER!
"We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers," said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. "President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws." REP. LAMAR SMITH – OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!