Rising exploitation

Posted: 22 July 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,


As I explained to students in a course this past spring, the existence of a constant profit-wage ratio (which is often used to argue that income inequality is not getting worse) is consistent with increasing exploitation, i.e., rising S/V.

The reason: a growing share of “wages” is actually executive compensation, i.e., distributions of surplus-value.

That’s one way of interpreting the data discovered by Kevin Drum in an article published by the WSJ:

Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the U.S., according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Social Security Administration data — without counting billions of dollars more in pay that remains off federal radar screens that measure wages and salaries.

The pay of employees who receive more than the Social Security wage base — now $106,800 — increased by 78%, or nearly $1 trillion, over the past decade, exceeding the 61% increase for other workers, according to the analysis. In the five years ending in 2007, earnings for American workers rose 24%, half the 48% gain for the top-paid. The result: The top-paid represent 33% of the total, up from 28% in 2002.

  1. […] Money and Main Street Jump to Comments I just saw found CNN.com has a special section of their website called Money and Main Street devoted to reporting “how economic headlines are affecting everyday Americans.”  Unfortunately, it falls short on its promises.  A quick browse found no in-depth look at the growing ranks of the homeless, discussion of citizen-led alternative forms of economy, or the growing share of executive wages. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s