Liberals Can’t Read Graphs, Pt. 2

Just as they can’t tell when there’s a downslope, and read flat lines as downslopes, so do liberals think 7% is zero.

Here is an important chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


The only possible reading of these data is that capital always wins, and has been winning bigger since the ongoing Carter/Reagan Restoration began. But notice: Even in the supposed Golden Age of alleged equality, labor’s compensation growth rate was only 93% of its productivity growth rate. And remember, too, that productivity growth is based on final sales, not just worker pay, so each percentage point of growth there yields a larger absolute amount of money than does any corresponding growth of employee compensation. Hence, even if the growth rate of wages were equal to the productivity growth rate, capitalists would still be winning. But such equality has never existed in the USA since the end of World War II. Even in its supposed heyday, labor was clearly and substantially losing the race.

The plain fact is that the only time in the corporate capitalist epoch that inequality has not grown was World War II, when the state ran the economy and full employment existed.

Nonetheless, the official reading of the above chart is this: “Since the 1970s, growth in inflation-adjusted, or real, hourly compensation—a measure of workers’ purchasing power—has lagged behind labor productivity growth.”

Don;t you just love special pleading?

“Nearly Any”

blinders The New York Times today headlines an interpretive piece, the main claim of which is this:

Yet even as vital signs weaken — plunging home sales, a bleak job market and, on Friday, confirmation that the quarterly rate of economic growth had slowed, to 1.6 percent — a sense has taken hold that government policy makers cannot deliver meaningful intervention. That is because nearly any proposed curative could risk adding to the national debt — a political nonstarter.

Translation: The overclass, as always, prefers Great Depression to a pro-labor shift in the distribution of power. This society remains entirely capable of employing all its able-bodied workers and thereby ending the present economic cliffwalk. What it lacks is a left coherent enough to demand what the elite won’t mention.