More than five years into the recovery from the Great Recession and employers are still not willing to raise workers’ wages. As a result, real median household income in the United States has fallen dramatically—and threatens to stay down for the foreseeable future.
As I wrote back in December, the best they can come up with—in the face of stagnant wages and incomes for workers and their families—is the decline in oil prices. Employers aren’t willing to pay workers any more than they currently do but at least the working-class will have a bit more in their wallets and pocketbooks because the prices of oil to heat their homes and gasoline to run their cars continue to decline.
For working people like April Smith and her husband Eddie, “the decline in energy prices means being able to put meatloaf on the table instead of serving their four children hot dogs, ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese.”
But Smith understands what’s going on:
“Us small people, we just see it go up and down, up and down,” she said. “We throw a party when it’s down — but not too much of a party because we know it’s going up.”