Dying middle class and corporate profits

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(KPLR) – In Wednesday's Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at dying middle class and corporate profits.

Americans are angry these days. It's not hard to figure why. We're watching the middle class being destroyed before our eyes. We're terrified that after years of work, we'll drop out of the middle class. We're afraid that our kids and grandkids will face a world where they fight it out, hunger-games style, over low-wage jobs. We know that the vast majority of new jobs are low-paying positions without benefits. And we know that we're one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy.

These charts tell you all you need to know.  Here, the downward line is the median income of the middle sixty per-cent of employed Americans from 1967 to 2011. The line going up, is the median income of the top twenty per-cent over the same period. This next one, also starting in 1967 shows middle class income as a share of national income. The other line plummeting in parallel? That's the percentage of American employees who belong to unions.

Fewer people belong to unions. And fewer are in the middle class. It's no co-incidence. It’s also no co-incidence that decades of blather about lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations and de-regulating corporate America have made the rich richer and have devastated the rest of us. One last chart tells this story nicely. This one starts in 1970. The line going downward? That's employee wages as a share of the national economy. The line going up? Corporate profits and their share of the economy.

This is what's killed the middle class. We've been sold a bill of goods that wealth trickles down, that making the rich and corporations richer will benefit the rest of us.  It's doesn't. It hasn't. It won't. We're not getting poorer and working longer for less because of some evil socialist government. It’s happened because of corporate greed, political policymakers who go along with the fat cats and we the people who elected them.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com