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Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low

Pat Garofalo
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Monday 3 December 2012
Corporations made a record $824 billion in profits last year as well, while the stock market has had one of its best performances since 1900 while Obama has been in office.
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A constant conservative charge against President Obama is that he is inherently anti-business. However, businesses keep defying the storyline by making larger and larger profits, rebounding nicely out of the Great Recession.

In the third quarter of this year, “corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago.” Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low, as this chart shows. (The red line is corporate profits; the blue line is private sector wages.):

Corporations made a record $824 billion in profits last year as well, while the stock market has had one of its best performances since 1900 while Obama has been in office.

Meanwhile, workers are getting the short end of the stick. As CNN Money explained, “a separate government reading shows that total wages have now fallen to a record low of 43.5% of GDP. Until 1975, wages almost always accounted for at least half of GDP, and had been as high as 49% as recently as early 2001.”



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ABOUT Pat Garofalo

Pat Garofalo is Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Pat’s work has also appeared in The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, the Washington Examiner, and In These Times. He has been a guest on MSNBC and Al-Jazeera television, as well as many radio shows. Pat graduated from Brandeis University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis’ community newspaper, and worked for the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

You should pay attention to

You should pay attention to the corporate propaganda perpetuating the "Skills Shortage Myth." This narrative would have us to believe that there are shortages of various necessary skills. And the only solution is to import immigrants with those skills, when in fact the immigrants are imported from third world countries to reduce labor costs and displace native workers.

One such narrative is the skills shortage myth justifying the H-1B visa and other work visas that displace and disenfranchise US STEM workers. Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Larry Ellison increase their salary by pushing a skills shortage myth supposedly for "highly skilled" workers that allows Gates, et al, to import cheap, entry level, third world workers, primarily from India and Communist China that have displaced hundreds of thousands of US STEM workers.

As it turns out these workers that Gates, et al, import are not "highly skilled" at all. In fact, according the the GAO, 94% of the recipients of H-1B visas are not even "Fully Competent." In 2011, the GAO completed a study for Congress that found a mere 6% of recipients of H-1B visas are "Fully Competent" with 54% of the recipients of H-1B visas being "Entry Level" workers. In fact, many disenfranchised US STEM workers had to train their replacements in order to receive a severance package.

Obviously, corporate America is training the recipients of these work visas, like the H-1B visas. Instead of training foreign workers, we should be training the 50% of recent college grads who do not have full time employment. Instead of training foreign workers, we should be updating the skills of disenfranchised US STEM workers.

But then again, Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Larry Ellison wouldn't making as much money. Would they? :'(

The ones in the counter

The ones in the counter culture of the 60's who stay dropped out had the right idea. We have lost half a century learning to same lesson all over again. If we haven't learned it we are delusional. The under-belly of the profiteering motive is now openly displayed with cries of "let them die!" and the law of the jungle and the police state with gloves off and empowered to preemptive enforcement just like preemptive warfare for any lame excuse at all has replaced the rule of law.

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