2006 US Midterm elections

Since 2003, some 7 million more new jobs have been created than old jobs were lost. But “GM lays off 1,000” is news; “Advanced Bionetics hires three new workers” isn’t.

On average, wages for those new jobs are rising. Yes, there are many low-wage jobs being created. But earlier this week, the Labor Department reported that wages and benefits for the entire workforce, on average, rose faster this summer than they have in the past two years.

source:

Since 2003, some 7 million more new jobs have been created than old jobs were lost. But “GM lays off 1,000” is news; “Advanced Bionetics hires three new workers” isn’t.

On average, wages for those new jobs are rising. Yes, there are many low-wage jobs being created. But earlier this week, the Labor Department reported that wages and benefits for the entire workforce, on average, rose faster this summer than they have in the past two years.

source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15537917/

Quote (Mwah @ Nov. 03 2006,03:12)
Quote (Wihan Stemmet @ Nov. 03 2006,02:56)
Where is the 'I don't live in America and don't care' button ?

Or even the 'no likee no clickee' button ?

Or "can't see much of a difference if I tried" button? :O

Or the "I'm outta here until well after your freaking election" button?
Huh? :(

I’ve got news for you Clarke, real wages are going DOWN for Americans.

so you are saying these numbers are fabricated? false? what?


real wages
Definition

Income of an individual, organization, or country, after taking into consideration the effects of inflation on purchasing power. also called real wages. also called real income.

Yes - real wages have not kept up. This has been reported several times recently. Look it up on the net.

From the NY Times (there are also other sources):

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With the economy beginning to slow, the current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.

That situation is adding to fears among Republicans that the economy will hurt vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterm elections even though overall growth has been healthy for much of the last five years.

The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. The drop has been especially notable, economists say, because productivity — the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation’s living standards — has risen steadily over the same period.

As a result, wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s. UBS, the investment bank, recently described the current period as “the golden era of profitability.”

Until the last year, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by the rising value of benefits, especially health insurance, which caused overall compensation for most Americans to continue increasing. Since last summer, however, the value of workers’ benefits has also failed to keep pace with inflation, according to government data.

At the very top of the income spectrum, many workers have continued to receive raises that outpace inflation, and the gains have been large enough to keep average income and consumer spending rising.

In a speech on Friday, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, did not specifically discuss wages, but he warned that the unequal distribution of the economy’s spoils could derail the trade liberalization of recent decades. Because recent economic changes “threaten the livelihoods of some workers and the profits of some firms,” Mr. Bernanke said, policy makers must try “to ensure that the benefits of global economic integration are sufficiently widely shared.”

Political analysts are divided over how much the wage trends will help Democrats this fall in their effort to take control of the House and, in a bigger stretch, the Senate. Some see parallels to watershed political years like 1980, 1992 and 1994, when wage growth fell behind inflation, party alignments shifted and dozens of incumbents were thrown out of office.

“It’s a dangerous time for any party to have control of the federal government — the presidency, the Senate and the House,” said Charles Cook, who publishes a nonpartisan political newsletter. “It all feeds into ‘it’s a time for a change’ sentiment. It’s a highly combustible mixture.”

But others say that war in Iraq and terrorism, not the economy, will dominate the campaign and that Democrats have yet to offer an economic vision that appeals to voters.

“National economic policies are more clearly in focus in presidential campaigns,” said Richard T. Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s consumer surveys. “When you’re electing your local House members, you don’t debate that on those issues as much.”

Moreover, polls show that Americans are less dissatisfied with the economy than they were in the early 1980’s or early 90’s. Rising house and stock values have lifted the net worth of many families over the last few years, and interest rates remain fairly low.

But polls show that Americans disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the economy by wide margins and that anxiety about the future is growing. Earlier this month, the University of Michigan reported that consumer confidence had fallen sharply in recent months, with people’s expectations for the future now as downbeat as they were in 1992 and 1993, when the job market had not yet recovered from a recession.

“Some people who aren’t partisans say, ‘Yes, the economy’s pretty good, so why are people so agitated and anxious?’ ” said Frank Luntz, a Republican campaign consultant. “The answer is they don’t feel it in their weekly paychecks.”

But Mr. Luntz predicted that the economic mood would not do significant damage to Republicans this fall because voters blamed corporate America, not the government, for their problems.

Economists offer various reasons for the stagnation of wages. Although the economy continues to add jobs, global trade, immigration, layoffs and technology — as well as the insecurity caused by them — appear to have eroded workers’ bargaining power.

Trade unions are much weaker than they once were, while the buying power of the minimum wage is at a 50-year low. And health care is far more expensive than it was a decade ago, causing companies to spend more on benefits at the expense of wages.


Here’s another source - Real wages are having trouble keeping up with prices.

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Wages for men fell 1.8 percent to $41,386; wages for women fell 1.3 percent to $31,858. And the only reason medium income rose is that more & more families have 2 breadwinners.

All the income gains went to householders aged 65 or older, most of whom are retirees and no longer part of the work force. Their median household income gained 2.8 percent. In contrast, median income of non-elderly households, working people, fell 0.5 percent.


Would you like more?

ok. I will take this as your source, but then you need to rephrase your statement to read:

I’ve got news for you Clarke, real wages are going DOWN for some Americans.

Another source - When It Comes to Pay, It Helps to Be the One Signing the Checks.

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IT was a great year [2005] to be an employer in the United States. It was not so great a year to be an average employee.

The Labor Department reported this week that the wage cost to private-sector employers, after adjusting for inflation, fell 0.8 percent in 2005, after an identical drop in 2004. It was the first consecutive decline in real wages since a four-year stretch from 1987 through 1990.

Wages are only part of the cost of labor, of course, and the cost of benefits continued to rise in 2005, but by only 0.7 percent. That was the smallest gain in eight years, and meant that the overall employment cost index fell 0.4 percent in 2005, its largest decline since 1990, a recession year.

A decline in the cost of benefits would be welcomed by employers and employees alike if it meant that the costs of things like health care and pensions were actually falling. Unfortunately, the low growth of benefit costs in 2005 may reflect the fact that some employers cut back on benefits or required employees to shoulder more of the costs.

you sure like to focus on the negatives…

fine. have it your way.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling, oh lord(or whatever you pray to) the sky is falling!!!

I like to focus on truths.

Speaking of negatives, check this one - '06 Elections.

If the Dem’s are lucky we may get a lot more than the 15 seats needed to take over the House.

Toker, it’s a given. At every level “you” are going to win.

I told my wife today to expect the raise in taxes with absolutely no service increase to us. It’s a coming. MIght make our house too expensive.

But yeah, it’s going to be better!!! woo hoo.

ahem.

Really interesting book by Yale Professor Jacob S. Hacker, that provides some insight into what is going on with the US economy.

The Great Risk Shift

Worth reading.