Opinion

David Cay Johnston

First look at US pay data, it’s awful

By David Cay Johnston
October 19, 2011

Anyone who wants to understand the enduring nature of Occupy Wall Street and similar protests across the country need only look at the first official data on 2010 paychecks, which the U.S. government posted on the Internet on Wednesday.

The figures from payroll taxes reported to the Social Security Administration on jobs and pay are, in a word, awful.

These are important and powerful figures. Maybe the reason the government does not announce their release — and so far I am the only journalist who writes about them each year — is the data show how the United States smolders while Washington fiddles.

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There were fewer jobs and they paid less last year, except at the very top where, the number of people making more than $1 million increased by 20 percent over 2009.

The median paycheck — half made more, half less — fell again in 2010, down 1.2 percent to $26,364. That works out to $507 a week, the lowest level, after adjusting for inflation, since 1999.

The number of Americans with any work fell again last year, down by more than a half million from 2009 to less than 150.4 million.

More significantly, the number of people with any work has fallen by 5.2 million since 2007, when the worst recession since the Great Depression began, with a massive taxpayer bailout of Wall Street following in late 2008.
This means 3.3 percent of people who had a job in 2007, or one in every 3330, went all of 2010 without earning a dollar. (Update: the original version of this column used the wrong ratio.)

In addition to the 5.2 million people who no longer have any work add roughly 4.5 million people who, due to population growth, would normally join the workforce in three years and you have close to 10 million workers who did not find even an hour of paid work in 2010.

SIX TRILLION DOLLARS
These figures come from the Medicare tax database at the Social Security Administration, which processes every W-2 wage form. All wages, salaries, bonuses, independent contractor net income and other compensation for services subject to the Medicare tax are added up to the penny.

In 2010 total wages and salaries came to $6,009,831,055,912.11.

That’s a bit more than $6 trillion. Adjusted for inflation, that is less than each of the previous four years and almost identical to 2005, when the U.S. population was 4.2 percent smaller.

While median pay — the halfway point on the salary ladder declined, average pay rose because of continuing increases at the top. Average pay was $39,959 last year, up $46 — or less than a buck a week — compared with 2009. Average pay peaked in 2007 at $40,764, which is $15 a week more than average weekly wage income in 2010.

The number of workers making $1 million or more rose to almost 94,000 from 78,000 in 2009. However, that was still below some earlier years, including 2007, when more than 110,000 workers made more than $1 million each.
At the very top, the number of workers making more than $50 million rose in 2010 to 81, up from 72 the year before. But average pay in this group declined $4.5 million to $79.6 million.

What these figures tell us is that there was a reason voters responded in the fall of 2010 to the Republican promise that if given control of Congress they would focus on one thing: jobs.

But while Republicans were swept into the majority in the House of Representatives, that promise has been ignored.
Not only has no jobs bill been enacted since January, but the House will not even bring up for a vote the jobs bill sponsored by President Obama. His bill is far from perfect, but where is the promised Republican legislation to get people back to work?

Instead of jobs, the focus on Capitol Hill is on tax cuts for corporations with untaxed profits held offshore, on continuing the temporary Bush administration tax cuts — especially for those making $1 million or more – and on cutting federal spending, which mean destroying more jobs in the short run.

At the same time, nonfinancial companies are sitting on more than $2 trillion of cash — nearly $7,000 per American — with no place to invest it profitably. This money cannot even be invested to earn the rate of inflation.
All this capital is sitting on the sidelines waiting for profitable opportunities to be invested, which will not and cannot happen until more people have jobs and wages rise, creating increased demand for goods and services.

More of the same approach we have had for most of the last three decades and all of the last ten years is not going to increase demand, create more jobs or enable overall prosperity. In the long run, continuing current policies will make even the richest among us less well off than they would be in a robust economy with government policies that foster job creation and the capital investment that grows from increased demand.

On top of this are the societal problems caused by something the United States has never experienced before, except during the Depression — chronic, long-term unemployment.

Having millions who want work go years without a single day on a payroll is more than just a waste of talent and time. It also can change social attitudes about work and not for the better.

The data show why protests like Occupy Wall Street have so quickly gained momentum around the country, as people who cannot find work try to focus the federal government on creating jobs and dealing with the banking sector that many demonstrators blame for the lack of jobs.

Will official Washington look at the numbers and change course? Or do voters need to change their elected representatives if they want to put America back on a path to widespread prosperity?
(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh)

Comments
97 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

America is done. Face it.

Posted by Mithan | Report as abusive
 

It is amazing that the President is escaping this and blaming the banks. Any other time in history a sitting president with numbers this bad would be on his way out. Same with all incumbents really. I guess the media has to protect the chosen one.

Posted by UnPartisan | Report as abusive
 

I’m pretty sure he is on his way out.

Posted by Missinginaction | Report as abusive
 

“Will official Washington look at the numbers and change course? Or do voters need to change their elected representatives if they want to put America back on a path to widespread prosperity”?

Who said those were the only two alternatives?

Posted by lambertstrether | Report as abusive
 

The reason the President escapes blame here is that he is doing something to stem the tide of job losses and economic malaise, and he is doing what he can over the opposition of Republicans in Congress, who only want to see him out of office. When people who have no jobs see Republicans in Congress only wanting to replace the President, they can be forgiven for blaming Republicans in Congress for doing nothing.

Posted by yrbmegr | Report as abusive
 

If you really think that his jobs bill will do anything more than spike numbers like his census hiring stunt, you might as well believe that republicans and democrats are somehow fundamentally different, and not just paid off mouth pieces by whatever major lobby dominates their respective districts.

Posted by billt568 | Report as abusive
 

Just make offshore outsourcing only 50% tax deducible and jobs will return instantly.

Posted by robb1 | Report as abusive
 

Actually, the President is not being protected by the media, as the following PEW media analysis suggests (see below). But the fact that his approval numbers have not dropped as far as Congress’, suggests that the public recognizes where the road jams lie. The constant drum beat he’s making from the bus tour of swing states for Republicans in Congress to vote on the very same jobs proposals they’ve supported in the past, surely will further draw this distinction. It seems more and more plausible that Congressional Republicans, perhaps not even at the direction of their leadership, are going to do everything short of supporting substantial near-term job creation in order to help bolster their party’s chances of winning the White House next year. They pretend that tax increases on income over $1 Million, which is supported by the vast majority of Americans (including a majority of Republicans), won’t do anything to reduce the short and medium-term deficit. Here’s that Pew report: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2116/media-p rimary-news-coverage-blogs-republican-pr esidential-race-barack-obama-rick–perry- herman-cain

Posted by jimrl8 | Report as abusive
 

Why do people think Obama can single-handedly reverse multiple decades of ignorant policy? Or rather, why does anybody blame Obama for not being able to single-handedly undo the mistakes of several generations in just a couple of years? Mr Johnston sums it up, if you want to point the finger, you need to point it in the other direction:

“But while Republicans were swept into the majority in the House of Representatives, that promise has been ignored. Not only has no jobs bill been enacted since January, but the House will not even bring up for a vote the jobs bill sponsored by President Obama. His bill is far from perfect, but where is the promised Republican legislation to get people back to work?”

Posted by Nullcorp | Report as abusive
 

These figures don’t lie.The fewer taxes, The more unemployment, the less spending, less investing, the fewer taxes, the more unemployment, the less spending,less investing……………..

Posted by mitchitoo | Report as abusive
 

Vote all incumbents out. Everyone must go, on every level, regardless of party, race, etc. 100% turnover should send the message. And while we’re at it, eliminate all political contributions. Tax every American head $10, or $20, or whatever, and divvy it up for all political campaigns. Until there are no lobbyists, special interests, etc. politicians don’t work for the American people. They are all bought.

Posted by somethingstinks | Report as abusive
 

The “Census Hiring Stunt” happens every 10 years regardless of the party in office….tax the “real” millionaires like the CEO of Ford ( 20 + million in compensation ) and others like him….nobody but nobody is worth that kind of money for any job!

Posted by terry641 | Report as abusive
 

Obama was handed one of the worst hands in the history of the united states. Yeah he’s made some mistake; one that he should’ve introduced a job bill earlier.

But one thing he successfully did was stop the hemorrhaging of job losses. Hate him all you want; blame him for every mistake in the world. But at the end of the day he likely prevented the 2nd great depression. Which was the current trend as Bush walked out of his office.

Posted by Anonhah | Report as abusive
 

Actually, the President is not being protected by the media, as the following PEW media analysis suggests (see below). But the fact that his approval numbers have not dropped as far as Congress’, suggests that the public recognizes where the road jams lie. The constant drum beat he’s making from the bus tour of swing states for Republicans in Congress to vote on the very same jobs proposals they’ve supported in the past, surely will further draw this distinction. It seems more and more plausible that Congressional Republicans, perhaps not even at the direction of their leadership, are going to do everything short of supporting substantial near-term job creation in order to help bolster their party’s chances of winning the White House next year. They pretend that tax increases on income over $1 Million, which is supported by the vast majority of Americans (including a majority of Republicans), won’t do anything to reduce the short and medium-term deficit. Here’s that Pew report: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2116/media-p rimary-news-coverage-blogs-republican-pr esidential-race-barack-obama-rick–perry- herman-cain

Posted by jimrl8 | Report as abusive
 

President Obama and his big government is the problem. With all the regulations and upcoming Obamacare, the business leaders are scared stiff to invest money in jobs or major corporate purchases. They are sitting on that pile of money because they are afraid they will need it to counter government mandates. President Obama is not in favor of capitalism, and I don’t know why people expect him to get economic recovery going when he doesn’t believe in the economic system or in America. It is lack of leadership and vision that are keeping this country back. That is what a change in the White House can accomplish in 2012 – leadership and an attempt to let the economy recover. We need to reduce the size and scope of government. The example of Greece should be enough to tell us that huge government social programs cannot be sustained.

I think the Republicans were voted into office to stem the flowing red ink, and they are attempting to do that. The deficit is over a trillion dollars MORE per year, in the past three years, than any year that President Bush was in office. As a Republican, I have no problem increasing taxes on the rich, so long as every penny goes to reducing the debt, and as long as every income level above poverty pays something, however small, in taxes – so that people realize that any benefit comes at a cost.

Posted by stevedebi | Report as abusive
 

It is incredible how people in general see Obama an example as a family man, in his integrity, idealism and his view of a better society… (well , pretty much what any country wants as a guide) but cant see that the president alone cant guide the nation…
For the elite and the finantial interests the difference between Republican and Democrat is simple… Convenience…
No matter wich one has majority on Senate or Congress… it is just a matter of lobby the way through to achieve a special interest goal… just a matter of money and time… and one path may just be easier and cheaper than another…
And if it is not of interest … simply leave them divided arguing to the last breath…
It is more possible to have a guy with integrity, idealism and a better view of the future as president… highly improbable is to have hundreds in congress and senate… same thing all around the world…
Take my country for example… since people dont see a congressman or senator as a key important figure, often take only a few thousand votes for the worst kind of politician get there… not mentioning we still have former clows, former pop singers, former athlets, actors… who got there…

Posted by VonHell | Report as abusive
 

Why are the wealthiest always referred to as “job creators” now? Do they have some kind of immunity under the assumption that because they’re rich they’re creating American jobs? Because looks like they’re not creating anything at the moment!

Posted by mgmetz | Report as abusive
 

You people blaming just the President (and not Congress) are all idiots. Go back to a Civics Class.

Posted by KyuuAL | Report as abusive
 

You lost me when you started saying they have not done anything on jobs-this is a failure of both parties. The Democrats want to solve it with government spending and the Republicans want to solve it through deregulation and lower taxes. You show your bias to the former as you believe the only think that will create jobs is government spending. If individuals in the media would fault both parties for their failure to negotiate and find compromise problems would be solved more easily. The media is equally, of not at more fault than the parties.

Posted by Eeskin | Report as abusive
 

Republicans do not want an employed work force; they want a slave race readily available to mow the lawns of their sprawling estates on the cheap.

Posted by DisgustedReader | Report as abusive
 

I have a small business and I am petrified to invest in more workers. Business is down and Obama’s policies are going to keep it down. As long as he is president we will not expand. In other words, we will not hire.

Posted by Onceagain | Report as abusive
 

Just from looking at the chart, I see that our steepest job loss was 2008 – 2009; President Obama didn’t take office until January 2009, where job loss started evening out. Did y’all even read the article? Heck, you don’t even need to read, there’s a picture and everything.

Posted by thrdkllr | Report as abusive
 

@KyuuAL

The Republican Congress has been there for eleven months. Obama had 2 full years to address the economy, he did so and his policies didn’t work. He campaigns constantly against the Republicans, calls them his enemy, and then wonders why they aren’t working with him. He is either to blame for the mess, or powerless to change it which shows his lack of leadership. There is no other other way to get around that.

Posted by UnPartisan | Report as abusive
 

This is a message for thrdkllr. It is true that Obama didn’t take office until 2009, but he was running in 2008. We were told by the vast majority of our customers that they were afraid he would win and they wanted to hold on to their money. They did indeed hold on to it and the business suffered horribly and still is. Apparently many, many business people were afraid of what he would do and the country is suffering as a result.

Posted by Onceagain | Report as abusive
 

Minor correction to an otherwise informing piece:

1 in 33 does not equal 3.3%. The fraction you’re looking for is 1 in 30.

Posted by mathblaster | Report as abusive
 

The fact that people say businesses are not hiring because of fear of taxation and regulation is ridiculous. Business is about one thing. Profit. And if there is not a customer base that demands innovative products to consume, then there is no reason to innovate or hire. If a business thought they could turn a profit, they would hire in droves, regardless of taxation or regulation.

The market is stagnate. And I can understand businesses being apprehensive to make the leap and hire a bunch of people if other companies don’t follow suit. Obama seems to be the only one who recognizes that someone needs to start hiring. If not the government, then who? Come up with a plan republicans and stop just mocking the President.

Posted by inane_username | Report as abusive
 

It is evident that individual income would have turned direction by 2007, but for the case that income figures and associated federal tax revenues were skewed higher by a peaking corporate merger mania. By 2008, the downtrend starting to assert itself, and the trend has been down since that time.

This is the current President’s show, and he should have been smart enough to recognize that supply side policies including support of three decades of federal deficit spending and reliance on consumer debt expansion were not prescriptive for this economy. Just as Reagan’s drive for supply side spending pulled the US out of an inflationary recession, so too must the Presidental office holder lead COngress to neutralize those policies while containing the engine of deficit growth.

Posted by SanPa | Report as abusive
 

And this is why we’re so screwed. The tea partiers don’t want to do anything; the rest of the Republicans are pushing their tired supply side baloney that hasn’t worked for thirty years, and the Democrats are missing in action. So three years into this and nobody in Washington is doing anything effective to deal with this and industry is sitting on their hands.

Posted by majkmushrm | Report as abusive
 

“Will official Washington look at the numbers and change course?”…. Now that would be a historical moment… Too bad it won’t happen…
And that post by stevedebi offends the senses… Man, this person needs an education. Of course I understand how hard that is to obtain now-a-days, because the Republicans have cut education budgets so drastically….

Posted by edgyinchina | Report as abusive
 

1/30 = 3.3%, 1/33 = 3.0303%

Posted by mathblaster | Report as abusive
 

Point the finger at yourselves America. You live in a democracy and you don’t vote. Instead, you complain. You let this happen by years of abdicating your democratic responsibility. You love to tout your patriotism. What could be more patriotic than voting? And yet you don’t. You have willing handed your democracy over to the special interest groups and fringe fanatics. And now you are, finally, waking up to it. Wall Street excess, the bailout, the Tea party, are all symptoms of the real problem, which is you.don’t.vote. You want to change things, don’t engage in ultimately meaningless protests, VOTE!

Posted by ConcernedCanuck | Report as abusive
 

@unpartisan…

You ever hear of this thing called the filibuster? It was used an unprecedented matter of times in the last Congress. The Dems had a super majority (and barely one, even if you included people like Lieberman, Nelson, Tester, Spectre, and a few others) for all of a few months before Kennedy died. Talk about bad timing. He was VERY conciliatory to the GOP over the first two years, in fact most think most of his problem was that he took the GOP on their word (the pledge of office to work for the people) when in fact they where simply working to, and I quote because this was said verbatim, their “primary goal is for Obama to be a one-term president” by their leader, Mr McConnell. He even said this in the first year, so what we get 3.5 years of ‘trying to make Obama a one-term president”. And then you, and others have the gall to say it is Obama’s fault! Personally I find it bewildering and it gives insight into the logic that brings you to the ideological conclusions of those on the right.

Ok now back to this article, sorry when I see complete mis-characterizations I have to try and correct them…..I am interested in seeing the trends starting in the 80′s and during the more sensible taxation policies of the 90′s.

Posted by USAPragmatist | Report as abusive
 

I would hope at some point, America as a whole realizes that we are all to blame for the mess we are in. Be it by living beyond our means, not stressing the importance of education, saving, and work ethic to our children, cheating on our taxes, welching off the system, by being less productive in our workplaces then we know we could be, etc…., over the past twenty plus years, there’s no magic legislation, regulation, program that can fix that.
It’s going to take a couple of generations to reverse
those behaviors.

Hopefully the younger generation is taking note of what is going on and will teach their children the importance of family, education, leaving within their means, work ethic, and their greater responsible to society and all of humanity as a whole.

Posted by timdogs | Report as abusive
 

Median pay started to slide before Obama was pres. SO it is his fault how?

Posted by gordo365 | Report as abusive
 

Looking at these numbers as a tea party member – the obvious solution is to repeal 17th amendment. No – to make all students carry guns. No – abolish taxes and we all go live in caves. Yes that’s it.

Posted by gordo365 | Report as abusive
 

As commander-in-chief, Obama can’t blame others before him nor the republican tax-cuts not to convert war costs to non-military jobs. Democrats are even bigger military spenders.

Posted by null1 | Report as abusive
 

@ thrdkllr, well said

Fixing joblessness in America is a lot more complicated than the president snapping his fingers and approving a bill. Take a few things into consideration,… the digital revolution(we’re ADAPTATING); America’s resistance on switching over to clean energy and creating millions of jobs and setting a good Worldly example(we’re STUBBORN); every other Country will do our jobs for half the price(we’re GREEDY); The top one percent earns over 99 percent of the profit(we’re SLAVES); Marijuana, a plant that is a renewable energy resource and is used to produce dozens of consumer goods and not to mention millions used it for medicine and tens of millions more use it “under the counter” for relaxation, creativity, and depression, and it’s still almost completely illegal(We’re Ignorant); Tens of Thousands of Americans are graduating College every year now which is unproportional to jobs created even in a booming economy(we’re OVERLY QUALIFIED).

Our country is in a state of transition, between analog and digital, crude and clean, greedyness and reality, slavery and emancipation, ignorance and rationality, and between experience and qualifications. The money is there to be earned, but change is always hard to adapt to. So until Americans emancipate themselves from the shackles of 20th century capitalism and open their minds, recession it will be.

Posted by CCMabe | Report as abusive
 

The problem with America?

Derp I’m a Republican I hate Obama it’s all his fault…
or Derp I’m a Democrat it’s all the Republicans’ fault in congress…

In other words: Too many uneducated Americans voting based only on party lines, not what candidates actually DO.

Note: over half of the time of congress is spent raising money to be reelected (IE lobbying).
How much has your candidate of choice raised from corporate interests?

Posted by JH818 | Report as abusive
 

Wow! Sure are a lot of finger pointers. There’s plenty of blame to go around. At this point I’m more interested in doing what is needed to fix this mess. “It’s the economy stupid”. It always has been and it always will be. It needs to be protected like a child. Unfortunately, a large portion of our leaders are hell bent on cutting spending. Can you spell “spending”? I can, JOBS. Now, everytime you hear someone say spending cuts, insert the the word JOB and you will begin to understand why we’re in such a mess.
Cutting spending is the worst thing we could do right now. We need spending, spending, spending. But the spending has to be on American jobs. Construction jobs. Infrastructure jobs. I don’t care who spends the money, but if private industry won’t do it, then who will? The federal government, that’s who. For every $1.00 spent on “American” jobs, a $1.90 comes back into the treasury in the form of income taxes. You see, jobs beget jobs and jobs and jobs. And they all generate income taxes. The treasury grows, puts more dollars out there for more projects and so on. It’s like a pyramid, with the investor as the beneficiary. That’s us, the tax payers. We are the government. The faster this goes, the faster the treasury grows. At some point we are sailing along at an appropriate pace that doesn’t produce adverse effects. While everybody works, the treasury gets flush, then it balloons. This is when you pay down the debt. Then when that has been accomplished, you start cutting the tax rates. And you stop at a point that is appropriate to run the government and take care of the people.
This was tried before. A guy named Ford had this modest work force that struggled along on what they were paid. Ford had this idea. He thought that if this work force had more money, they would spend it, hopefully on what he was selling. So he doubled their wages. It worked, the workers prospered and so did Ford. He continued to reinvest creating more jobs. The cycle never stopped. Millions of American jobs were created by his actions.
Since the “Fords” of the country these days are not willing to make the investments, it is critical that the government do it. Once it starts to happen, you’ll see the money free up and we’ll be rolling again.

Posted by Bwaggener | Report as abusive
 

Reuters are you now failing in line with Social Media??? Right out of the box you are defending and support OWS. Shame on you. I started coming here 10 years ago to get the news!!

Posted by Crash866 | Report as abusive
 

@USAPragmatist

And the filibusters are not a way to completely stop legislation as you surely know. Republicans did not want the Heatlh Care bill, how did it get through if filibusters are 100% effective. Because they are not, and you shouldn’t pretend that they are. If you can not convince 20% of the other party to work with you, your bill shouldn’t get passed, that is checks and balances and used to prevent government from running wild.

Ever hear of cloture?

Posted by UnPartisan | Report as abusive
 

I think the real reason businesses are afraid to invest in anything and are holding on to their cash is because of the unpredictability of the future. They have no way of knowing whether or not, in the long run, their taxes will be higher or lower, so they are playing it safe and holding on to their money. The only way for this economy to recover is for politicians to think long term (something that is impossible for them, both Democrats and Republicans, since they only think about their next re-election campaign and appealing to whichever lobbyists will help them finance said campaign) and develop long-term sound taxation policies that foster small business growth, not an unregulated Wall Street. Wall Street does not PRODUCE anything. Trading in markets does not make anything of substance for most Americans.

Posted by GradStudentNC | Report as abusive
 

Our leaders are mostly millionaires, completely reliant on the rich to keep their jobs, and take more than they give. This is an interesting time for America and the world. In the 18th century the enlightenment thought included that Countries will always require corrections via the blood of aristocratic tyrants and patriots (e.g., the French Revolution). Of coarse we are not yet in the same state as 18th France, but now would be a good time to peacefully correct the trajectory of equality in this Nation. We need to get over the virtual non-issue of Democrat vs. Republican, they are more similar than not, and find a new fiscally responsible and “Square deal” focused leadership. My hope is that the internet and movements like Americanselect.org will become a productive mechanism for generating new parties and “non-connected” patriots to enter leadership.

Posted by ConstFundie | Report as abusive
 

Yeah its kind of odd, that that is the main breaking news headline!

Also, even though a lot of what this dude says is reasonably correct, a 4.2% increase in the population doesnt necessarily mean a 4.2% increase in the workforce. The national median age is 36.8 years, so any increase in the population likely means a greater % increase in the workforce, being that at 18 you enter the workforce. So things are somewhat worse than the picture painted here! enjoy.

Posted by Shukla | Report as abusive
 

10:15 pm EDT@USAPragmatist

And the filibusters are not a way to completely stop legislation as you surely know. Republicans did not want the Heatlh Care bill, how did it get through if filibusters are 100% effective. Because they are not, and you shouldn’t pretend that they are. If you can not convince 20% of the other party to work with you, your bill shouldn’t get passed, that is checks and balances and used to prevent government from running wild.

Ever hear of cloture?

__

(1) Ever hear of 50%+ being the MAJORITY?? That is how it is supposed to work.

(2) You want 20% of republican to say yes? (Aside from sounding like you believe in the Easter Bunny), you must be out of your mind.

If it is split 59 (D & I) and 41 R, you think things should only get done it a super-majority of 20% of the R’s (8.2 of’em) vote for something along with the majority of the 59?

GUess what – that is NOT how my ancestors drafted the documents creating the US. Not once. Not ever. Not ever ever ever was a super-majority required regularly

(3) Prior to the Rep knickers-in-a-twist-non-stop-tempertantr um-screaming-no-no-no, the filibuster was very infrequently threatened and used even less.

As far as I am concerned, the next time the R’s flounce around shrieking ‘no no no – do only what we want or we will filibuster’ , Reid needs to grow a pair and tell them to do it – really do it but getting up on the floor of the Senate and talking without stop around the clock. LBJ would have made them stay on the floor talking until they dropped – and bet they wouldn’t have pulled that again!

Cloture was NEVER inteneded to be the standing rule and the only way to get anything through on every piece of legislation ws to have a super majority.

Posted by onthelake | Report as abusive
 

That is why most of the people who are dismissing the demonstrators or laughing at them at present might find themselves on the streets too, not just by joining the protesters but because they will lose their homes too.
And the truth is that as the crisis will go deeper even those companies and people sitting on the trillions of cash might find themselves on the go as well, as the cash might be only useful for toilet paper.
We are in a system failure which is going to affect all of us regardless of social status, class, cast or nationality.
The 99% slogan will soon turn to 100%, simply those still sitting on money do not want to understand that their money, and position does not worth anything anymore.
We have to understand the new global, interconnected conditions around us, and that in these new conditions our whole previous way of life and political and economical machinery has become useless, moreover harmful.
The sooner we all realize we are sitting on the same sinking boat, the sooner we can start the mutual, equal discussion on how to build new human, social and economical systems based on the new conditions.

Posted by ZGHerm | Report as abusive
 

The other thing that everyone is overlooking is the price of fuel…or I should say “has been conditioned to overlook.”

Earlier this year at the start of the Arab Spring uprising, oil shot up to $120 a barrel purely on speculation there would be an oil shortage. Gasoline within a week shot up to $4 a gallon all over the country. Since then it’s only dropped about .50 cents while oil prices have seen lows down to $75 a barrel earlier this month. THERE WAS NEVER AN OIL SHORTAGE!…and yet all the speculators, and big oil, have been screwing everyone over for the last 6 months…and everyone just rolls over and takes it now. No questions asked.

Posted by gruven137 | Report as abusive
 

When the Wall Street boys stopped getting their million dollar bonuses, naturally the median (mid-point) pay would drop some.

Posted by Glenn-LgvwTx | Report as abusive
 

Why is Obama “on his way out”? There will practically only be a Republican alternative, a single candidate. This person will be for continuing and probably expanding our country’s disastrous wars and war spending. Support for expanded police powers over US citizens, especially regarding arbitrary search and surveillance, is a certainty from a Republican nominee. Spending cuts and laying off hundreds of thousands of non-police related Government workers is very likely.

In short, our Republican alternative is to shift government employment spending from things like health care, social security and food stamps to hiring more soldiers to invade more Muslim countries. And to continue to drive up deficit spending together with suppression of every single civil liberty you can think of. Just ducky. Those people do not live on the same planet as I do.

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive
 

Why anyone thinks that their paycheck is dependent on the faults or the virtues of the sitting President is beyond imagination, save for personal jealousy or hate. These are also out-dated and irrelevant facts at this point. If anything this data should be an indicator of the unwillingness of businesses (and governments) to play fair with employees. As if they resent having hired workers or hiring new ones, this attitude of objectifying people as merely “workers” or “consumers” or “voters” is the illness that Occupy describes. Bigger profits for the “shareholders” and executives is the reason for smaller paychecks. It is class warfare, but it is being waged by those that pay the salaries. Eventually there will be no masses to buy the mass-produced goods made by cheaper labor.

Posted by nieldevi | Report as abusive
 

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