The recent announcement by the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, that his company would give substantial raises to its lowest-paid employees should not blind us to the fact that most American workers are not receiving big wage increases. In fact, the real wages (that is, wages adjusted for inflation) of average American workers are declining.
When justifying the Republicans’ December 2017 $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed that it would result, in 2018, in wage gains for American workers ranging from $4,000 to $9,000 each.
But, in reality, nothing like that has materialized. Instead, as the U.S. Labor Department reported, between the second quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018, the real wages of American workers actually declined. Indeed, the second quarter of 2018 was the third straight quarter―all during the Trump administration―when inflation outpaced wage growth. The last time wages grew substantially above inflation was in 2016, during the Obama administration. Consequently, by August 2018, as the Pew Research Center reported, the purchasing power of American workers’ wages was at the same level as in 1978.
Why did the Republican promises go unfulfilled? A key reason for stagnating wages lies in the fact that U.S. corporations used their windfall derived from the slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent under the 2017 GOP tax legislation to engage in stock buybacks (thereby raising their stock prices) and to increase dividends to share-holders. This practice produced substantial gains for big corporate investors but did nothing for workers. Although it appears that some workers (a reported 4 percent) did receive pay raises thanks to the tax cuts, it’s estimated that corporations spent 88 times more on stock buybacks than on pay increases for workers.
Another important long-term factor that has depressed workers’ wages is the dwindling membership and declining power of America’s labor unions. Once a force that created a more level playing field between workers and their bosses, unions have been badly weakened in recent years by Republican-sponsored anti-union measures, such as so-called “Right-to-Work” laws and the subversion of the National Labor Relations Board.
The Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage has also undermined wage levels. In the past, numerous Republican Presidents backed legislation that increased the minimum wage. But that position has radically changed as the Republican Party has turned sharply to the Right. Although the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 for more than nine years, Trump and Congressional Republicans have blocked legislative efforts to raise this pathetically low wage floor, contending that they saw no need for a federal minimum wage. Moreover, Republicans have used their control of state governments, as in Missouri and Iowa, to block cities and counties from raising local wage levels through legislation.
By contrast, Republican policies have done wonders for the wealthy and their corporations. By the fall of 2018, the stock market had reached new heights and the fortunes of the wealthiest Americans had grown remarkably. According to Forbes, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans averaged $7.2 billion each―a hefty increase over the previous year, when they averaged $6.7 billion. Moreover, the ten richest Americans possessed $730 billion among them―an increase in their wealth of nearly 20 percent over the past year. And the very wealthiest American, Jeff Bezos, nearly doubled his wealth during this time―to $160 billion. From the Republican standpoint, their programs had been a great success. Accordingly, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted in late September to make its steep tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy permanent.
So let’s stop saying that Republican rule in the United States―from the White House, to the Congress, to the Supreme Court, and to the states―has been dysfunctional. It’s been very functional―not for American workers, of course, but certainly for those people Bernie Sanders has referred to as “the billionaire class.”
A West Virginia lawmaker who left the Democratic party because he felt it was “anti-Christian” is under fire for taunting women to get their “coat-hangers ready” in anticipation of Roe v. Wade being overturned with the help of newly-installed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In the now-deleted Facebook comment that was screen-captured by several commenters, Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber was busted for the comment that drew the ire of others on Facebook who were appalled at his grotesque reference to back-alley abortions.
According to the Friendly Atheist, Barber wrote the ungrammatical, “Better get you’re [sic] coathangers ready liberals,” in response to West Virginia’s own Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he would support Kavanaugh.
Barber had previously made a big show of the leaving the Democratic Party one year ago after saying the party was “anti-Christian.” After leaving the party, he annouced he had become an independent.
After complaints were made about his tasteless Facebook post, Barber deleted it and accused anyone who took a screenshot of it of trying to get him fired while also making more jokes about a woman’s right to choose.
You can see screenshots of the offensive comment below:
Here’s a new page on our site that discusses the role of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in supporting the KKK; erecting Civil War statues (35 years after the war); supporting racial segregation; and, spreading the nonsense about “The Lost Cause.”
Why I Am a Daughter of the Confederacy
I am a Daughter of the Confederacy because I was born a Daughter of the Confederacy. A part of my heritage was that I came into this world with the blood of a soldier in my veins…a soldier who may have had nothing more to leave behind to me and to those who come after me except in heritage…a heritage so rich in honor and glory that it far surpasses any material wealth that could be mine. But it is mine, to cherish, to nurture and to make grace, and to pass along to those yet to come. I am, therefore, a Daughter of the Confederacy because it is my birthright.
I am a Daughter of the Confederacy because I have an obligation to perform. Like the man in the Bible, I was given a talent and it is my duty to do something about it. That is why I’ve joined a group of ladies whose birthright is the same as mine…an organization which has for its purpose the continuance and furtherance of the true history of the South and the ideals of southern womanhood as embodied in its Constitution.
I am a member of The United Daughters of the Confederacy because I feel it would greatly please my ancestor to know that I am a member. It would please him to know that I appreciate what he did and delight his soldier love to know that I do not consider the cause which he held so dear to be lost or forgotten. Rather, I am extremely proud of the fact that he was a part of it and was numbered among some of the greatest and bravest men which any such cause ever produced.
I am a Daughter of the Confederacy because I can no more help being a Daughter of the Confederacy than I can help being an American, and I feel that I was greatly favored by inheriting a birthright for both.
Written by Mary Nowlin Moon
A member of Kirkwood Otey Chapter 10, Lynchburg, Virginia
First read at a Chapter meeting on June 2, 1915
Emblem of the UDC
The emblem of the UDC is a cotton boll superimposed on a five-pointed star. At the tips of the points are the words of the motto:
Here are surveillance camera photos:
Check out these two photos.
Now, tell me: Which of these is a Trump rally and which is a Hitler rally?
We have posted a long article describing in detail Donald Trump’s financial history from the days when he was a spoiled brat flashing his father’s money around Manhattan, to today now that he is heavily in debt to Putin and the Russian mob.