David Cay Johnston: The National Memo » Wages Fall At Record Pace:
My former employer, The New York Times, not only failed to report this awful news affecting the vast majority of Americans who work, but gave a misleading account in both a news report and a blog post:
Average weekly hours and average hourly earnings, for example, have shown little improvement in recent months, according to the Labor Department.
That is true, by the way. Misleading and incomplete, but true. It is also in line with that paper’s tradition of focusing readers on any silver lining in an economic storm…. It is not like this new wage news can be dismissed as an anomaly, either. It is evidence of a troubling trend – falling incomes for the 99 percent…. From 2007 to 2011 the average pretax income of the bottom 90 percent fell from $35,173 to $30,437. That is a drop of more than $4,500. It is also a decline of nearly 13 percent. The 2012 data are likely to show that drop has worsened….
During the same period, the threshold to enter the top 10 percent fell by 6.5 percent, a drop of $7,665 to $110,651, analysis of the latest IRS data by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty shows…