Part 4 Booms and busts punctuate the history of capitalism; it is a systemic problem.
Remember General Motors, producer of automobiles? Over the last thirty years, General Motors created a subsidiary called GMAC, General Motors Acceptance Corporation. It is a bank. It lends money. It began by lending money to people to buy cars because their wages couldn’t pay for them. Then GMAC discovered they could make more money off the interest of the loan than they could make…Continue
Part 3 We reached the limits of the kinds of capitalism this society can endure.
Turning, now, to the big business community, the last thirty years have been spectacular. Everything about the working class, with the introduction of computers, U.S. workers became more and more productive. We had a thirty-year period of rising labor productivity. Each year the worker produces more, and the wages stayed the same.
The gap between what the workers…Continue
Part 2 How do people cope with so many changes taking place in such a short period?
First, wage-workers dealt with the end of rising wages by adding women and other family workers to the paid labor force, and they worked more hours per year. Between the 1970s and today, the average number of hours worked per year by a U.S. citizen rose by about 20 percent. We worked 20 percent more hours on the job than we did thirty years ago. By comparison, for example, if you…Continue
Part 1 Why did the wages stop going up? There are four reasons.
There were a hundred and fifty years of rising standard of living for all people. Workers every decade enjoyed more because their wages rose, and they could buy more. They understood more and more work meant they could buy more stuff, i.e. homes, cars, education, health care, retirement, and recreation.
In the 1970s, that history of the United States stopped. Real wages…Continue