While the cost of living rises, middle class salaries are flat-lining

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The middle class has been caught in an economic vise, trying to pay 2012 prices with paychecks that haven't grown since the good times went bust — or even earlier.

Across the nation, family income was down 8 percent last year from what it was in 2000. And in South Carolina, the median income last year was just over $40,000.

That's the lowest wages have been in the Palmetto State since 1985, according inflation-adjusted figures from the U.S. census.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. Government

Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. drummie wrote:

When we look at what has been happening in the US for many years we see a steady decline in manufacturing. High tech looked great for a while but most of those jobs are not here any longer. The reasons have been talked about and hands rung and not much done. All of the “hope and change” you can talk about it will not change things. What is the root cause? Money of course. Companies can not make a reasonable profit paying the wages and benefits that are demanded of them, particularly by forced unionization. South Carolina found out how the current administrations policies are when Boeing was attacked by the National Labor Relations board for building a plant in SC, a right to work state. It didn’t deny jobs to those in Washington state so what is the problem? The current administration pushes for unionization at all levels of government.  Look at the states that are having the largest financial problems. There is a common denominator, public sector unions are a big one. Look at education. We have thrown millions at education and it is continuing in decline. Why? For one you can not get rid of incompetent teachers because of teachers unions protecting them. My wife is a teacher (non-union) so I am not trying to blame all teachers, but many today look at teaching as a paycheck with retirement and insurance and nothing else. The unions have protected the incompetent and uninspired and uninspiring at the cost of not only money, but our childrens education as well. In every instance I have mentioned, jobs are lost because they cost too much. Forced unionization has created artificially high wage/benefit demands and this has caused a loss of jobs. The article mentioned not being able to compete against overseas lower paid workers. That is a fact and a big reason many jobs have gone overseas.  Business has always been more efficient in its use of funds than government. Government regulations that drive up costs have not helped nor has having the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Until the government gets its spending under control and gets excessive and unwarranted regulations out of the way, it will not get better. Until wages and benefits “reset” themselves, we will not be able to compete on the worlds stage. Look at what has happened with housing. Artificially high prices coupled with easy to get money created an unsustainable situation and the bubble burst. The same thing is happening with wages I believe.  The work ethic of the American worker will keep us ahead of many countries like Greece, Spain and other European socialist countries only as long as this ethic is allowed to function. Driving down the work week, government entitlement spending continuing to push more people down economically and thinking we can spend our way out of trouble will drive the work ethic down and we will become another failed economy just as we see on TV in some countries where the government has tried to do too much.  We have become a country that doesn’t manufacture as much as we once did. We have people making money trading money and not producing anything. How can that be sustained? We are becoming more and more a service economy of low paying, part time, no benefit jobs. Looking around we do not produce any where near what once was done here. What is the answer, I am not sure; but I believe that wages and benefits will “reset” themselves because the rates being paid here have been unsustainable if companies want to continue in business. Costs are not as high for what we buy in other countries because wages are lower. That tells me the true cost of these goods is less than what we have been paying here. Higher costs equal higher prices, and artificially high wages help drive up the costs. I wish ther was a simple painless answer but I do not see one other than quit ridiculous spending, quit printing dollars that drive up inflation and get out of the way and let businesses and the American worker get back to work producing things rather than just serving people in government jobs. Regulations are necessary, but we have far too much government intrusion into business. When I hear a candidate tell us that “you can build a coal fired electrical generation plant but you will go bankrupt doing it because of regulations”, you know that candidates administration is not pro business, pro free enterprise or pro American worker.

October 29, 2:09 pm | [comment link]
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