Everyday Americans continue to struggle to earn enough to keep a roof over their heads and pay the bills. As has been stated repeatedly in this space, part of the problem is the thousands-upon-thousands of jobs that have been shipped overseas due to lousy trade deals. In return, displaced workers are forced to accept low-wage employment, making it nearly impossible to make ends meet.
Between 2000 and the second quarter of 2015, the share of income generated by corporations that went to workers’ wages (instead of going to capital incomes like profits) declined from 82.3 percent to 75.5 percent, as the figure shows. This 6.8 percentage-point decline in labor’s share of corporate income might not seem like a lot, but if labor’s share had not fallen this much, employees in the corporate sector would have $535 billion more in their paychecks today. If this amount was spread over the entire labor force (not just corporate sector employees) this would translate into a $3,770 raise for each worker.
Workers deserve dignity and respect in the workplace, and the chance to earn a fair wage for an honest days work. That is happening less and less, unfortunately. Which is why the Teamsters rolled out a platform earlier this month called "Let's Get America Working" that addresses the needs of creating better paying jobs and protecting workers in the job, among other things.
The U.S. cannot afford to leave the majority of its citizens behind. But that's what is happening right now. Only when a bipartisan majority of lawmakers come together to challenge corporate America and ensure that more good jobs are made available will that change.