Jul 1, 2011

What does recovery look like?

A recent study has confirmed what many of us already knew from experience: the economic recovery we've been hearing about since 2009 isn't really reaching average Americans. Instead, “corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1 percent,” according to the study just released from economists at Northeastern University.

"The lack of any net job growth in the current recovery combined with stagnant real hourly and weekly wages is responsible for this unique, devastating outcome,” wrote the report’s authors, Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, Joseph McLaughlin and Sheila Palma.

Sounds like we've got to start making our lawmakers clarify what they mean by recovery. Is it when corporations are comfortably raking in dough, or is it when the rest of us can all pay our utility bills?

UFCW President Joe Hansen said it best in a letter to the editor in the Washington Post this week:
The decision by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to pull out of budget talks with the White House [“GOP declares impasse on debt,” front page, June 23] highlights the GOP’s disconnect from the realities of everyday Americans. Instead of offering solutions for job creation, the GOP is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class while insisting that revenue increases of any kind are off the table.

Instead of playing risky games with the U.S. economy, pitting workers against workers, engaging in anti-union rhetoric and turning a blind eye to the growing gap between the rich and the poor, our lawmakers must focus on creating economic policies that create and sustain good jobs. If our elected officials fail to address this issue, our country will never fully recover from this economic downturn.

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