The Recession

The Past Decade the Worst for American Workers

| by AFL-CIO

Whoa. This from The Washington Post:

The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times…

WaPo is the kind of newspaper that leans heavily toward emphasizing happy economic news, even in the face of 10 percent unemployment. So its coverage of the decade of disaster means the stuation must really be bad. How bad?

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

How bad?

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999–and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

How bad?

It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers.

But not for the CEOs of the corporations who fueled the nation’s growing economic inequality. Take AIG, which taxpayers bailed out at a cost of $182.3 billion. When one of its execs balked at a salary cut required by the Obama administration because AIG was surviving on taxpayer funds, the corporation paid her $3.8 million in severance.

The cataclysmic widening of the income gap between the obscenely rich and the rest of us is the very definition of the decade of disaster.