Latest Anti-Labor Canard: "If Workers' Productivity Increased, Workers' Wages Would Rise"
By David Sirota
March 17, 2009 - 4:31pm ET
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In the Washington Post, we get this little nugget of anti-labor corporate PR posing as empirical economics:
Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist with the consulting firm LECG who produced a study predicting job losses if the bill passes, said in a conference call organized by employers that increased productivity had not resulted in larger wage gains in recent decades because the growth was mostly the result of technology. "If the productivity of labor went up, then the wages of labor would go up," she said.
It's the old "Workers Are Paid Poorly Because They Are Lazy and Unproductive" Canard - and, of course, it is refuted by the actual data:
Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity
With the economy beginning to slow, the current expansion has a chance to become the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers...
The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. The drop has been especially notable, economists say, because productivity — the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation’s living standards — has risen steadily over the same period.
Workers stagnating wages has nothing to do with decreased productivity - as the Times article notes, wages are stagnating despite increases in productivity. The truth is what business and its anti-labor front groups don't want to admit: That workers' wages have stagnated because workers have not been able to collectively bargain for better pay. That's what the Employee Free Choice Act aims to fix.
(h/t Adam T)
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