WAGE STAGNATION ON THIS LABOR DAY
I mean, it wouldn't be an American holiday without a little bit of irony involved in it. Yesterday was labor day. It often means you're basically done with summer and the traffic that taking your kids to school creates now just makes my morning drives go nuts, but it's also suppose to mean something than the demise of the time you have to deal with your kids all day
Labor day used to be about honoring the unions and workers that created the labor force. And while unemployment is at a low at 3.9%, the cost of living inflation has not kept up with wages and for some reason wages are stuck in the 80's sort of situation. Add to that, workers rights have been eroded for the last couple of decades and we are now in a very heavy gig economy. Something that is pretty fucked to begin with as it does not provide the stability or even the workers benefits that we are celebrating the holiday for.
basically the paychecks look bigger, but the purchasing power they have has not moved at all. The whole job market and worker's paycheck disconnection has fueld a lot of talk about raising the minimum wage, but in the end, unless you keep it steady in both, the inflation will just fuck over any sort of minimum wage increase
Then you have the gig economy. Places like Uber, Lyft, post mates, and all those quick gigs that really don't offer any benefits and are essentially just band-aids that will get you from paycheck to paycheck. You are ultimately fucked when it comes to your own expenses on the car. You don't get any real benefits and in the end, it's really just a not so great solution to the problem of needing a steady gig.
It essentially becomes a race to the bottom. At one point the only companies that outsourced work overseas were huge corporations, now it seems the outsourcing comes from all angles and does effect the average worker aside from manufacturing shops. When the corporations have so many options, it's only the workers who suffer. The oversupply of worker options make it that the labor markets don't need to pay much to get workers to do the work.
On top of that, the average work for the average pay is no longer actually compensating properly. Again, I point out that after adjusting for inflation, the average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1978, and the inconsistent growth means that the earnings peak came about 45 years ago
The simple of it is that wages have not kept up with pay and with all the worker's rights, the thing we celebrated yesterday, being stripped, it means that the workers will not even reach anything near being approachable to a living wage to match the rate of inflation. What can be done about it? Demand your rights as workers. Be prepared to pay a little more for quality work. Be aware of what sort of products you are buying and where they come from. All these little things make for a huge difference.