It’s bad enough that unemployment is so high in the country. It’s even worse, though, that income increases have gone stagnant while costs of living continue to grow – those who are lucky enough to have a job aren’t making enough to pay their bills.
When you add in the fact that the employers of those strapped-for-cash Americans are raking in even more big bucks for their own pockets, though … well, that takes the cake.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be silent, though. In fact, you can offer your opinions to the general public, right on radio airwaves, tonight on WOIC 1230 AM.
This evening’s “The Power Hour” show, guest-hosted by David Calef, will focus on this topic of “Income Inequality: why the 99 percent are fighting back.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. EST, listeners can call in (803.742.1230 or 888.671.7278) and tell their own tales. The Columbia radio show also broadcasts on the internet (click here and use the “listen live” link on that page.)
“In today’s economy, the majority of workers can’t afford to buy the products their own employers make or sell,” says Calef. “That’s because of income stagnation on everyone but the executives of those companies.”
A recent Congressional Budget Office report shows that income for the top quintile grew 275 percent between 1979 and 2007, almost quadrupling.
Americans in the middle-income group, however, had only a 40 percent growth in income. The lower 20 percent had income growth of only 18 percent in this 28-year spread, according to CBO data.
“Our government hasn’t been doing much to help us in this circumstance, either,” Calef says. “After all, many of them are part of the ‘one percent’ themselves.”
In a similar time period of 1984 to 2009, the median net worth of congressional representatives almost tripled, growing from $280,000 to $725,000.
Aggravating the circumstances most is the exorbitant level of executive pay and bonuses, which not only demonstrates disparity in income, but also challenges the basis of the country’s high unemployment level.
Consider just a handful of financial institutions, for example. A report recently released from the Service Employees International Union states the bonuses paid to executives at only six banks amounted to $143 billion. That’s enough to pay 3.5 million Americans a living wage, SEIU concludes.
That same banking industry has laid-off about 230,000 employees, however, and anticipates an additional 150,000 layoffs in 2012.
Calef, whose regular “Inside Politics” show airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on WOIC, is filling in for regular “The Power Hour” host Lopez Martinez.