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What’s Happened to the Big Wage Increases Promised by Republicans?

What’s Happened to the Big Wage Increases Promised by Republicans?

Lawrence Wittner

The recent announcement by the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, that his company would give substantial raises to its lowest-paid employees should not blind us to the fact that most American workers are not receiving big wage increases. In fact, the real wages (that is, wages adjusted for inflation) of average American workers are declining.

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Voting against one’s best interest is what Makes America Great Again for the Republicans. Sure, they had to win via the electoral college, but rabid voters are very dangerous and need their brains examined.


Those same tax cuts came with automatic reduced income tax withholding starting back in February, giving those “rabid voters” and other voters more net pay in each pay check.

Seeing how the “rabid voters” won’t find out until next year that reduced withholding and actual tax cuts are two different things, this reduced withholding will give the GOP more votes next month.

Unfortunately, none of the fake news (from the far right to the center-left) has yet pointed out that reduced withholding does not equal tax cuts for the 99%.

To its credit, NPR did recently interview a family whose accountant told them to be prepared to cough up more money for income tax next spring due to the automatic withholding reduction. NPR did not, however delineate the difference between reduced withholding and tax cuts, they left that up to listeners to conclude.


Nothing new here, republicans have been repeating these lies for 3/4 decades and we don’t here about it on lamestreet media. Maybe it is because the 1% own the media. We need to fix that problem also or things will never get better. Fox New is a lying machine and that’s just okay. Right?

Those December 2017 tax cuts just weren’t big enough to enable corporations to increase wages !

Seeing how the added tax cuts (that the GOP recently slipped through while the masses were fixated on the Animal House SCOTUS confirmation) are way bigger for the 1% and their corporations than last December’s tax cuts were, workers should be getting even bigger wage boosts post haste, right ?



I’ll miss you, Dan. You’re a voice of reason.

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The union bosses have also weakened unions by repeatedly capitulating to corporate criminals and their extortion tactics.

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As I understand it, the new tax cut of $3 Trillion was passed by the House, but not yet by the Senate. Is this actually a new tax cut or a law making the current tax cut permanent?

Even well-meaning writers like Prof. Wittner fail to give us the important background and context for today’s extreme wealth inequality and burgeoning poverty. We’ve had 40 years of stagnant wages, as computer automation and off-shoring have robbed working American (and their labor unions) of wage-bargaining power. This phenomenal structural change has given the billionaire class all of the profits from the great productivity gains since the mid-1970’s.

If these profits aren’t taxed and returned to the workers, we will continue with the profound voter unrest that has given power to a moron like Trump.


Both political parties are to blame.

The reality that is America and only in America: Nobel winning physicist sells Nobel Prize medal to pay medical bills. Dies last week at the age of 96.

"Leon Lederman won a Nobel Prize in 1988 for his pioneering physics research.

But in 2015, the physicist, who passed away Wednesday, sold his Nobel Prize medal for $765,000 to pay his mounting medical bills. The University of Chicago professor began to suffer from memory loss in 2011, and died in an Idaho nursing home."

This is obscene. He should’ve sent his medical bills to Congress and/or Obama.

Leon Lederman, an experimental physicist who won a Nobel Prize in physics for his work on subatomic particles and coined the phrase “God particle,” died Wednesday at 96.

"Lederman directed the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago from 1978 to 1989.

He’s described as a giant in his field who also had a passion for sharing science, resulting in his book, “The God Particle.”

The title refers to a subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, long theorized until a powerful European particle collider confirmed its existence."


Duly noted, again.

Bezos granted a raise to $15 because of Sanders’ very public campaign plus the threat of union.

A standard Republican lie is that you get more because your boss gets rich. A standard Democratic one is that Democratic corporatists are on the workers’ side somehow. A contemporary variation on that is that staffing a steeply hierarchical system with people of different demographics will by itself make that a more egalitarian system.

These are all variations of the same myth: the idea that rulers share extensive perceived self-interest with those from whom they extract wealth and power.

Here’s to union, the inclusion of all demographies, and the recognition of solidarity across professions and over many differences of culture. The co-opting of a nominal “left” by a corporatist Democratic party has pushed many towards a post-Randian and Friedmanite sort of libertarianism–and with it, this particular Republican lie.

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But are those rich people really so rich? If America went off the old standard with Nixon----and America used to store the gold of others–but Russia and Germany have taken their gold home----- China has lots of gold–if everyone takes their gold back------what is backing the America dollar? Nothing?
Then there wouldn’t be any rich people left in America either-----would there?

The pot of wealth will continue to dwindle for all except those at the top of the pyramid scheme. Money is the ultimate free speech guarantee while poverty guarantees ignored speech by design.

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And what is the value of gold? It has some use in electronics but otherwise…
Why not back the dollar with lead? Its all arbitrary in reality.
Besides, its not rich people that create jobs. Rich people don’t just hire on more staff because they can afford to do so; it would be nice of them to do so but they don’t because they are greedy.
Rather, growing, expanding businesses create jobs and even then the new staff is hired grudgingly. How many of those businesses are there?
Reducing corporate tax rates doesn’t automatically mean more jobs. I wish people would realize that- not saying you’re such a person, I’m just sayin’.

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Most people in the US don’t earn nearly that much. And would you bet that my income taxes for 2018 will be less than my 2017 income taxes?

Another clear, concise article, Professor. What are the sources for the info in paragraphs four and five?

Hi Mossonarock, and LOL, because the GOP promised raises and they speak, mostly , with forked tongues! GOLD is the world standard of wealth. probably since Croesus, and that is what once backed America’s money. We don’t have anything backing our money now except maybe ----war.

My curiosity was peaked about the rich—because if there is no gold , or very little of it—can people be rich in paper? Probably not, as we can read in American history of how many leaped from tall buildings during the Depression—as all their “paper,” was worthless.

It seems to me that if the corporates keep buying up their stock to make it seems higher in value------ then what gives it the value? I am thinking that when the next crash comes stock paper might as well be toilet paper for all the good it would do. So, in a way, with nothing to back the American dollar-------even the rich with , all their stock papers. will be paupers too.
Sad for the people---------but in a perverse kind of way----a great equalizer.


The dollar is mostly backed by arms.


HI Bardamu… sigh—arms -----and that is so depressing. : (

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “when there is no food, you can’t eat money.” White people like to knock American Indians for not having impressive technology, weapons and all that. However, Native cultures had very different values than the colonists. In their hubris, white people failed to learn that lesson. Many Native people believe that white people were sent here to learn to become civilized- Not the other way around as arrogant white people like to assume.