Meteor Blades of the Daily Kos digs into the issues of pay gaps between men and women. And what he finds is very depressing. While women still are still paid less on average than men, they are gaining. That sounds good. However, Blades points out the women’s pay is rising because men’s pay is falling. Over the last ten years, the wages for both men and women have fallen. Men’s wages are falling faster, harder.
We can talk about consecutive months of gains in private sector jobs. We can watch the unemployment rate tick up and tick down. Wages are the real story. If working people and the middle class can’t spend, sooner or later our national economic house of card will fall. Brother and sister, can you spare a dime?
Ralph Nader has been trying to keep Americans safe for over 50 years. He has written an essay for Common Dreams that considers the gap between CEO compensation and pay for working people. Today CEOs make 340 times average worker pay. In 1980, that figure was only 42 times average worker pay. Nader suggests that this difference is a good reason to increase the minimum wage. As Nader says, that’s a good “first step.” However, we need to look beyond the minimum wage. Whether we change the income tax structure or add a wealth tax, those who have the most – including very profitable corporations – need to contribute more to the common good. We need to move beyond the greed ethic and think more about how to preserve our common culture.