The Genesis of Occupy Wall Street
(May 1, 2012) Over the past decade, income for 90% of Americans has been relatively unchanged. This shouldn’t be news to anyone, or at least 90% of you! And more non-news: The super wealthy are getting much richer, as all other incomes are practically stagnant. In 2009, the richest 10% of Americans accounted for about half the nation’s wealth.
If you can stay awake, please bear with me.
There was a time in the post-depression era, starting around 1947 until around 1974, where there were two chickens in every pot, a car in the driveway and a giddy anticipation when walking out to the mailbox.
And many lived well even beyond 1974, albeit increasingly beyond their means. Why? Because American wages were essentially frozen at that time.
A chart from the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan economic think tank, graphically explains what happened in 1974: Stakeholders and management of corporate America got greedy. Where employee compensation had been a consistent function of productivity since 1947 (and probably before), beginning in 1974 those who were enabled to change such constants, did just that!
Some might argue that “corporations” do not notice income equality. It’s true that as an inanimate organizational structure, Incs don’t have morals, values and ethics – but the Boards that run the corporations do… or should have!
Today’s Occupy Wall Street May protests are meeting the pre-game hype. There will be lots of stories to come.