Bosses getting raises, working stiffs not

Stock markets have been swooning, in no small part because last Friday’s U.S. employment report showed that average hourly earnings (AHE)—the average wage, excluding benefits, received by private sector workers—rose smartly in January. This prompted fears that inflationary pressures are mounting, wages will eat into profits, and the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates more aggressively than had been thought as recently as last Thursday. Or, as the New York Times put it in a headline, with its patented mix of dullness and alarm: What these scaremongers aren’t telling you is that it’s only bosses… Read More

Fresh audio product

Just uploaded to my radio archives: March 27, 2014 Philip Shelley on firing tenured faculty in Maine (for more search this Twitter hashtag) • César Ayala (UCLA) and Rafael Bernabe (University of Puerto Rico), authors of Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History since 1898, on the Puerto Rican economic mess

The Fed and the class struggle

Mike Konczal assembles some striking quotes from Federal Reserve transcripts showing how obsessed the monetary overlords are with keeping wages down. I won’t recycle any of the quotes—check out his post for the full flavor. Reading these, Mike wonders what the contribution of the Fed has been to wage stagnation over the last few decades. My sense is, not much since Volcker left in 1987. There’s no doubt that the Volcker crackdown of 1979–82, with a second-wave attack in 1984–85, did cause a major shift in the relative power of capital and labor. What… Read More