Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pre-Empting Bush's Spin

I'm starting to get dizzy ahead of tonight's SOTU address. Some political spin that is being pushed by the Administration and the corporate world: people are being squeezed by health care costs and that's why wages aren't going up.

It sounds reasonable, right? Wrong.
[As the Economic Policy Institute points out], the real problem is that escalating corporate profits are not being diverted to wage increases. As Sylvia Allegretto and Jared Bernstein write, "The evidence presented below refutes this claim. First, nearly half (47%) of the workforce do not get health coverage through their job. Second, employers' health care costs rose more slowly in 2005 than any year since 1999, in part because rising costs have led to less coverage (Gould 2005). Third, not only did wage growth slow last year, but overall compensation growth also slowed and by the third quarter, it too lagged inflation. Finally, the growth of corporate profits in recent years has solidly outpaced that of compensation as employers are trading away wage and benefit increases for higher profits."

Here's the link to read the rest of the report for yourself.

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