"Anxious Days for American Workers"

In today's New York Times: Lost in Recession, Toll on Underemployed and Underpaid.
Throughout the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery, the most commonly discussed measure of misery has been unemployment. But many middle-class and working-class people who are fortunate enough to have work are struggling as well...

These are anxious days for American workers. [Many] are underemployed. Others find pay that is simply not keeping up with their expenses: adjusted for inflation, the median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier, according to data from a forthcoming book by the Economic Policy Institute, "The State of Working America, 12th Edition." Good benefits are harder to come by, and people are staying longer in jobs that they want to leave, afraid that they will not be able to find something better. Only 2.1 million people quit their jobs in March, down from the 2.9 million people who quit in December 2007, the first month of the recession.

"Unfortunately, the wage problems brought on by the recession pile on top of a three-decade stagnation of wages for low- and middle-wage workers," said Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, a research group in Washington that studies the labor market. "In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there has been persistent high unemployment as households reduced debt and scaled back purchases. The consequence for wages has been substantially slower growth across the board, including white-collar and college-educated workers."

...Though inflation has stayed relatively low in recent years, it has remained high for some of the most important things: college, health care and even, recently, food. The price of food in the home rose by 4.8 percent last year, one of the biggest jumps in the last two decades.
And while the cost of healthcare rises, access to health insurance is increasingly elusive: "The real entry-level hourly wage for men who recently graduated from high school fell to $11.68 last year, from $15.64 in 1979, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute. And the percentage of those jobs that offer health insurance has plummeted to 22.8 percent, from 63.3 percent in 1979."

None of this is news, of course. I don't know a single household of working people that hasn't been experienced unemployment, underemployment, or underpayment during this recession.

We aren't "lost in the recession" from our perspectives, and we aren't "not discussed" amongst ourselves. The media have failed to give us a voice, and now the media ponderously observe that our stories haven't been told.

Meanwhile, the entire economic structure of the country is collapsing, because it was built on the premise that workers were well-paid enough to be consumers, and now workers are lucky if they're paid enough to survive, no less spend lots of disposable income.

And the best we're offered by our political leaders is tax cuts and bootstraps, solutions so wildly insufficient it's like they literally have no idea what the fuck is going on in this nation anymore.

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