Wages in the U.S.

Editors Note: Work for government and get the best Pensions, most days off, best health care, yearly increase in wages, Higher wages, and rarely get laid off.

By Briton Ryle
Written Monday, May 23, 2016
I wish I knew what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s problem is. I wish I had a clue why he keeps siding with big business to screw the average American over.

Paul Ryan is the most powerful man in the House of Representatives. He is the young face of the Republican Party, and he will presumably make a run for the White House at some point. And I guess if getting the backing of big business is all you need to further your career ambitions, then he’s on the right track. Because he’s certainly not doing anything to help the average American get ahead. In fact, he’s trying to make it so businesses can keep taking advantage of you…

First it was the fiduciary rule. If you don’t know, the fiduciary rule means an investment advisor is required to put your interest above his or her own. Investopedia defines a fiduciary like this:

The fiduciary is expected to manage the assets for the benefit of the other person rather than for his or her own profit, and cannot benefit personally from their management of assets.

Without a fiduciary rule, it is perfectly legal for an investment advisor to tell you to buy an asset because he will make a big commission on it. Paul Ryan thinks this is perfectly fine. He’s actively trying to kill the fiduciary rule so Wall Street can continue to take advantage of you. And I’m sure Wall Street has made the appropriate campaign donations to make sure their interests come before yours.

Yeah, it stinks. I’ve written about it before. But no one seems to care. Still, it ticks me off when politicians lie right to your face, tell you they support the American people, and then screw you over…

Who knows, maybe Speaker Ryan’s latest assault on your standard of living will get you fired up.

Do You Deserve a Raise?

Have you seen the charts about how wages for the American worker haven’t risen in like 10 years? It’s true, and it’s one of the biggest reasons Americans are struggling…

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It’s also no coincidence that Corporate America has more cash in the bank than ever. Quite simply, they are making money by paying workers less.

Now, when he was elected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan gave a nice little rah-rah speech about how he was the friend of the American people. He said:

Here’s the problem. They’re working hard. They’re paying a lot. They are trying to do right by their families. And they are going nowhere fast. They never get a raise. They never get a break… They are working harder than ever to get ahead. Yet they are falling further behind.

If you didn’t know, the Department of Labor just issued a new rule about overtime pay to try and make sure workers get paid their due. Here’s a brief explanation of the new rule:

The threshold that currently stands at $23,660 — meaning anyone earning less than that it is owed time and a half for working more than 40 hours a week — hasn’t been updated since 1975, the number of salaried workers who were guaranteed extra pay for extra work has dropped from 12 million to 3.5 million.

The new rule, when it goes into effect in December, will increase that threshold to $47,476. The administration has estimated that 4.2 million workers will become newly eligible for extra pay, leading to a $12 billion increase in wages over the next decade.

As it now stands, if you make more than $23,660, you don’t have to be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours a week! Now, more people will get paid overtime when they work overtime. If you look back to that Paul Ryan quote, you’d think this would be exactly the kind of rule he would support.

You’d also be wrong.

Here’s an excerpt from the statement Ryan released:

This regulation hurts the very people it alleges to help. Who is hurt most? Students, non-profit employees, and people starting a new career… By mandating overtime pay at a much higher salary threshold, many small businesses and non-profits will simply be unable to afford skilled workers and be forced to eliminate salaried positions, complete with benefits, altogether. We are committed to fighting this rule and the many others that would be an absolute disaster for our economy.

Wait, what? Didn’t Ryan say earlier that Americans are working harder but never get a raise, never get a break? Well, which is it? Do you deserve to get paid for your work or not?

Why Making More Money is Bad for You 

I’d love to hear exactly why you making more money is bad. Ryan says companies won’t hire new workers and will eliminate current jobs. That doesn’t make any sense.

The reality is, if your company is asking you to work more, it means there’s plenty of business to be done. No company is going to eliminate jobs when there is plenty of work on the books…

And in fact, both Goldman Sachs and the National Retail Federation have studied the issue, and they say new overtime rules will add between 100,000 and 120,000 jobs. Why? Because instead of paying the overtime, companies will simply add workers.

Bottom line: It is a lie to say that companies can’t pay people more.

Remember when Wal-Mart raised its hourly wage by $1? People freaked out that it would hurt the company. And sure enough, the first quarter after the wage hikes went in place, Wal-Mart profits were down $1 billion. The stock got creamed, as it was obvious that higher wages were hurting…

But did you see Wal-Mart’s earnings report last week? They crushed it, and the stock jumped +10% the very next day.

Again: It is a lie to say that companies can’t afford to pay people more. They can. If you want to see American economic growth pick up, and if you want to see your standard of living rise, then don’t listen to Paul Ryan. He’s part of the problem.

Until next time,

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