Here are the seeds of a revolution--and even the elites are starting to see the danger. Used to be, if you worked your ass off and worked more efficiently, that would translate into more money in your paycheck.
Not anymore, as I observe in the most recent installment of my TomPaine.com "Working in America" series. The link between productivity and wages has been decisively broken. What's most interesting about this development, as I found out, is that the elites are starting to get a bit nervous--after all, if people bust their butts but begin to see that the vast majority of the benefits are flowing to corporations and the rich, we're talking about a seriously pissed off population. Revolution anyone?
I'm curious to hear from anyone who can weigh in--beyond rhetoric--with some SPECIFIC examples of corporations whose workers showed big productivity gains but got nothing in return from the company. If we can put together some real examples, it would help paint the gruesome, obscene picture.
Of course, a lot of workers can see the picture already: their wages grow slowly while Stephen Crawford of Morgan Stanley walks away with $32 million after doing his job for just three months--which is about $355,000 PER DAY. Hey, Morgan Stanley, I'm cheap, I'll screw up at a bargain price of $1 million over three months.
UPDATE: I hadn't slogged through The New York Times this morning so didn't catch this article until the p.m.: "How Long Can Workers Tread Water?" (registration required). It makes the point that workers wages have stayed in neutral even though corporate profits, executive compensation and gains from investments are all going way up. It's one reason dry statistics about *overall* income growth can sometimes be misleading--it's the old joke that if you and Bill Gates were in the same room, the average wage of the two of you would be in the billions of dollars.