Why Aren’t Wages Rising?

American Workers

The economy is strong, unemployment is low, but workers in most industries aren’t seeing the rewards. Wages remain stagnant even as jobs go unfilled – a problem that should not exist in a healthy capitalist economy.

This blog post by a prominent economist discusses his resolve to answer a question important to all of us: “why are wages growing so slowly despite a growing economy and a booming stock market?” Worker productivity is increasing but they are not getting paid for the profits they are creating. Instead, executive pay continues to rise at stunning rates, and business keeps more of the profits. The forces that typically would push back on those trends are not working. His answers should worry all of us because our government is doing nothing to solve these problems. Most importantly, industry is concentrating in the hands of fewer and fewer companies, creating monopolies (where there is only one seller, who can control prices) and monopsonies (where there is only one buyer, who can control what is paid). The monopsonies he discusses are companies that buy labor, who control what is paid because they are the only employer willing to buy that labor. As the author points out, rural areas are hit particularly hard by this problem – which is why so many people across California’s Fourth District continue to struggle to make ends meet, even as the wealthy in this country are getting wealthier.

Tom McClintock has never done anything to fix his growing problem; instead he consistently votes to benefit his corporate donors. McClintock is selling us out, one vote at a time. This is one of the many reasons we oppose Tom McClintock. California’s Fourth District, and this country, deserve better.

Why American Workers Aren’t Getting A Raise: An Economic Detective Story