Before the figures were revised, it appeared that wages and salary income
in 2012 amounted to 44 percent of G.D.P., the lowest at any time since 1929
, which is as far back as the data goes.
But the revisions cut that to 42.6 percent, which matched the revised 2010 figure as the lowest ever.
The flip side of that is that corporate profits after taxes amounted to a record 9.7 percent of G.D.P. Each of the last three years has been higher than the earlier record high, of 9.1 percent, which was set in 1929.
U.S. Companies Thrive as Workers Fall Behind
By FLOYD NORRIS
New York Times
Published: August 9, 2013
There’s also growing literature suggesting that direct cash transfers — the term of art for “giving poor people money” — is more effective than most programs providing goods like food or housing.
Join Wall Street. Save the world.
By Dylan Matthews,
Social protection must be reformed on the principle that everybody has a right to basic economic security
, an unconditional basic income
on which to survive in dignity. There are three standard objections.
Critics say it is unaffordable. This is untrue. Vast subsidies are given in handouts to corporations, the middle-class, and special interests, costing far more than providing everybody with a basic monthly grant. Moreover, after the financial crash, governments paid out billions to rescue the banks, enabling bankers to resume their lavish lifestyle. Instead, they could have provided their citizens with modest monthly stabilization grants, which would have revived growth much more effectively.
Critics say a basic income would give people ‘something for nothing.’ This is hypocritical; the wealthy receive something for nothing every time they inherit. Many have obtained their wealth not by brilliance but because policy changes have provided astronomical rewards for certain types of skill.
Society’s wealth depends far more on the contributions made by our forebears than anything we do ourselves. But we cannot say whose ancestors made which contributions. As inheritors, it would be fair if we all had a share of the proceeds of their collective investmen
t, a sort of social dividend.
Critics say a basic income would induce laziness. This insults us as human beings. Almost everybody wants to better him or herself and would not be content with a basic income. And if there were a few idle people, it would scarcely matter; identifying and coercing them into jobs would cost more than letting them be.
Aristotle argued that to be civilized, we need aergia, laziness, so that we can reflect, deliberate, and take part in political life. We also need more time to do the work of caring for others, our community, and our environment. So, less labor, more self-chosen work and more real leisure! Basic income
would help achieve that.
Pleasure before Business
thanks to Geneva Hagen