Load Sixteen Tons, And Waddaya Get?

Saturday, September 02, 2006 at 08:35 PM

Like we needed more proof that while Chimpy does his worst impression of a failed water-colorist, the worker in this nation still hasn't gotten a better shake....

From CNN, and you're welcome...okay, sort of:

Between 1995 and 2005, productivity -- a measure of the quantity and quality of what workers produce per hour -- grew 33.4 percent. But hourly wages rose only 11 percent, with almost all of that increase coming during the late 1990s, according to EPI.

Looking back even farther, the disparity is greater. Since 1979, productivity rose 67 percent, while wages rose only 8.9 percent.

"The economic expansion continues to bypass most working families," said EPI economist Jared Bernstein, a coauthor of the report.

No, the economic expansion only favoes those who got those sexy tax cuts, not me or Lee or anyone who punches a clock!

But, wait, it gets even better!

When it comes to benefits, pension and health coverage has fallen in the past five years.

The percentage of full-time private-sector workers whose employer sponsors a retirement plan fell from 66.3 percent in 2000 to 59.7 percent in 2005, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Among part-time private-sector workers, the percentage covered fell from 45.3 percent to 39.9 percent during the same period.

In terms of health insurance, coverage for all private-sector workers fell from 58.9 percent in 2000 to 55.9 percent in 2004, according to EPI's report. In 1979, by contrast, 69 percent of workers had health coverage from their employers.

Employers who do provide coverage are picking up a greater percent of the premiums than they did in 2003. However, even though the percentage of the premium that workers must pay has declined, dollar-wise they are shelling out more since premium costs have risen so steeply -- by 73 percent since 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

No wonder we all feel like poor Oliver Twist!