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6 thoughts on “Three Graphs: Per Capita GDP Up, Worker Productivity Up, Worker Pay Stagnant in the USA”

  1. Larry says:

    But didn’t Jeb just say all we need to do is work yet harder and longer hours (eye-roll)???

    It seems as long as the 1% (whose wealth levels continue to skyrocket and income inequality continues to grow) control the system – and repeatedly convince the electorate to vote against their own interests and the interests of this Country – that we are doomed to that continually escalating avalanche.

  2. thedogfacedboy says:

    I’ll make one point on this. U.S. worker production does not exist in a vacuum. If I look at the economic output of China 50 or so years ago, when agrarian pursuits were a larger percentage of output, I’ll be their productivity in dollars (or whatever) per capita were pretty bad. Now, they are much more an economy based on export production, as you will see if you browse the aisles at Walmart or buy something on Amazon or ebay.

    If our countries’ workers hope to have jobs in making stuff as well we have to continue to improve our productivity evermore. Our wages are depressed because of pressure of low wages in China. That will probably not change. If you don’t understand that simple relationship, there’s no hope for you.

    There is no more free lunch and easy money. You can’t expect to make 80,000 a year throwing bolts in a car when someone in China does it for $800 a year. You need to have unique and hard-to-transfer skills. And we don’t have a population who has enough people that fit into that category.

    The last place I worked made some very unique products that were tops in their class around the world. And they shipped to the entire world, probably half their output was exported. Compare that to John Deere, Caterpillar, Cadillac, etc, where now even their domestic lunch is eaten by Komatsu, Mahindra, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.

    But that place I worked was making all their final product build in the United States, and has high labor costs. So their big push was to outsource as much as possible of the sub-assembly and component parts to China. That results in a lot of our sub-contractors losing work and thus putting lots of pressure on their wages to remain even somewhat competitive. Complain about it all you want, but the world is a smaller place now. Is it fair? heck no, but where does fairness get mentioned in your life-contract?

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Fairness is a human-invented concept. It varies. That variation results from how we choose to design societies.

  3. thedogfacedboy says:

    This was a great country to live in. While it lasted…..

  4. Larry says:

    I find it shocking that the “Socialist / Communist” countries of Scandinavia and Western Europe that repeatedly rank ahead of us in so many categories (health, longevity, happiness, etcetera) have generally much lower income inequality, higher wages (yet higher minimum wages), more time off for their work force, etcetera… It seems that the countries with high income inequality are more frequently non First World countries with a very small (proverbial 1%) “upper elite”.

    Excepting the USA… but then as its middle class evaporates and the wealth concentrates and grows amongst that upper 1%, we seem to sinking towards a semi Third World status (that gray area like where Russia is at).

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