Remember Who We Are: The Facts

We have let public good be subordinated to corporate greed.

Corporate profits have climbed 13 percent a year in the six years after the 2001 recession ended. Productivity has also increased by 11 percent since the recovery of the 2001 recession.

“Worked and Over Worked.” New York Times. Pg. 3. 20 April 2008.
Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz. The State of Working America 2008/2009. (Advance Proof). Economic Policy Institute. Pg 121. Ithaca, New York: Cornel University Press, 2008.

Furthermore, it takes an average worker a whole year to earn what a CEO takes home in one day. In 2007, the chief executives of the 500 largest companies in the United States made an average of $12.8 million apiece—$51,200 a day—while the average weekly wage earner makes $42,650 a year.

Scott DeCarlo. “Top Paid CEOs.” Forbes. 30 April 2008.
United States Department of Labor. Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2008. Data compiled: 12 September 2008.

However, since 2000, median household income has declined by 1 percent ($324.00); employer provided health insurance for workers has decreased by 8 percent, a decline of almost 2 million workers; and employer provided pension coverage receded by 2.8 percentage points from 2000 to 2006 to 42.8 percent, 7.8 percentage points below the level in 1979.

United States Census Bureau. Current Population Survey 2007. Table A-1: Households by Total Money Income, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder: 1967 to 2007. Pg 31. August 2008. (Adjusted 2008 Dollars)
United States Census Bureau. Current Population Survey 2007. Table A-1: Households by Total Money Income, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder: 1967 to 2007. Pg 61. August 2008.
Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz. The State of Working America 2008/2009. (Advance Proof). Economic Policy Institute. Pg 121. Ithaca, New York: Cornel University Press, 2008.

Policymakers, egged on by Wall Street lobbyists, enacted policies that let financial institutions govern themselves. They rejected the warnings of financial experts who saw a disaster in the making. Only now are the apostles of deregulation admitting, in Alan Greenspan’s words, “shocked disbelief” at the result.

The New York Times. “The Reckoning,” (series). September 28-October 23, 2008.


We’ve let our economy be run into the ground, as bankers ran wild.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury provided over $900 billion in the government bailout of reckless financial institutions.

“FACTBOX: Government Bailout Tally Tops $900 Billion.” Reuters. 16 September 2008.

Since 2001, the overall cost of living has increased 21.5 percent; driven by big increases in living essentials; such as gas, home-heating oil and food. Gasoline and home-heating oil prices have increased 108 percent and 99 percent since 2001, respectively. Prices of some staple foods have increased disproportionately as well; for example, the price of eggs in this period increased 61 percent.

United States Department of Labor. Consumer Price Index: All Urban Consumers-(CPI-U); U.S. City Averages. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 14 August 2008.
Oil Price Information Service and AAA. Daily Fuel Gauge Report. 2008. (Adjusted 2008 Dollars).
Energy Information Administration. Weekly U.S. no. 2 Heating Oil Residential Price. 19 March 2008. (Adjusted 2008 Dollars)
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index: Average Price Data. 2008. Data compiled: 12 September 2008. (Adjusted 2008 Dollars)

Wages haven’t kept pace: Since 2000, median household income has declined by 1 percent ($324.00).

United States Census Bureau. Current Population Survey 2007. Table A-1: Households by Total Money Income, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder: 1967 to 2007. Pg 31. August 2008. (Adjusted 2008 Dollars)

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported United States’ home prices fell 4.8 percent between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008—back to 2005 levels.

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Monthly Seasonally-Adjusted and Unadjusted Indexes: January 1991 – June 2008. 26 August 2008.

Since 2000, we’ve lost one out of five manufacturing jobs. Between September 2000 and September 2008, the United States has lost over 3.8 million manufacturing jobs—a decline of 22 percent. Fully twenty million more are at risk.

United States Department of Labor. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics Survey (National).” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data Compiled: 3 October 2008.

American business is steadily moving finance, technology, production, and marketing beyond our borders. Some 50 percent of all U.S.-owned manufacturing production is now located in foreign countries, and 25 percent of the profits of U.S. multinational corporations are generated overseas—and the shares are rapidly growing.

Martin Crutsinger. “Factory Jobs: 3 Million Lost Since 2000.” Associated Press. 20 April 2008.
Jeff Faux. Globalization that Works for Working Americans. Economic Policy Institute. Briefing Paper #179. 11 January 2007.


We’ve let labor unions be attacked…

Since 2000, the number of workers belonging to a union has decreased 600,000 to 15.7 million workers.

United States Department of Labor. “Union Members in 2000.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. 18 January 2001.
United States Department of Labor. “Union Members in 2007.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. 25 January 2008.

Some 60 million U.S. workers say they would join a union if they could, based on research conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates in December 2006.

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. “60 Million Workers Would Join A Union If They Could.” 2007.

However, when faced with organizing drives, 25 percent of employers fire at least one pro-union worker; 51 percent threaten to close a worksite if the union prevails; and 92 percent force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. “Employer Interference by the Numbers (Private-Sector Employees).” 2007.

… and our middle class be weakened.

The personal savings rate is the lowest it has been since the Great Depression (since 1933, the last year it was negative).

United States Department of Commerce. National Income and Product Accounts Table; Table 2.1 Personal Income and Its Disposition [Billion of Dollars] Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates. Bureau of Economic Analysis. 28 August 2008.

In 2007, the total value of all forms of household debt was at its highest on record—nearly 20 percent of all assets. All debt, as a share of annual disposable personal income, was also at its highest at 141 percent.

Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz. The State of Working America 2008/2009. (Advance Proof). Economic Policy Institute. Pg 121. Ithaca, New York: Cornel University Press, 2008.

Employer-provided health insurance for workers has decreased by 8 percent since 2000—a decline of almost 2 million workers.

United States Census Bureau. Current Population Survey 2007. Table A-1: Households by Total Money Income, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder: 1967 to 2007. Pg 61. August 2008.

Employer-provided pension coverage receded by 2.8 percentage points from 2000 to 2006 to 42.8 percent, 7.8 percentage points below the level in 1979.

Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz. The State of Working America 2008/2009. (Advance Proof). Economic Policy Institute. Pg 121. Ithaca, New York: Cornel University Press, 2008.