The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers
The Mirage of Employment
pensions and unbearable working conditions. And while this trend was in effect before trump
came into the White House, his policies are proving to have a tremendous negative impact
on the working class.
The disparity pay gap between CEOs and workers has been growing exponentially. A recent
study by the Harvard Business School found the pay of greedy CEOs to be 350 times that of
an average worker, not the 35 times number believed by most Americans. This is
unparalleled in the world economy. The average Fortune 500 CEO is pulling in $12 million a
year. The average annual pay of a service worker is a paltry $28,000.
The working people who I know and who I fight with for $15 an hour wage may be fully
working but they are not fully paid. They are cobbling together two or three low-wage jobs at
places like McDonalds and Walmarts where they still may not earn enough to make ends
meet. Many of their salaries are deliberately low so that taxpayers can subsidize them
through food stamps and other entitlements. Far too many working people are part of the
homeless or unhoused ranks. Add to this scenario the fact that many Black and Brown
people have stopped looking for jobs, so those numbers aren’t even showing up in the
reports; only the people who claim unemployment benefits are being reported.
The Labor Department’s stats claim a rise in manufacturing jobs. The state of Wisconsin is
in those numbers with 15,000 new manufacturing jobs in the last year. Yet the fine print
reads that 5,300 private-sectors jobs were lost. The public never gets the real picture of the
economy; we get the shell game of jobs and income without the contextual facts.
The tariff wars launched by trump could also have devastating effects on the U.S. economy
and working families. Tariffs as high as 25 per cent are expected to be levied against
imported steel and aluminum from U.S. allies like Canada. Do you really think that
consumers won’t bear the brunt of these testosteronic actions when they purchase cars,
jeans, bourbon, air conditioners and so on?
The next time you hear trump or some other deceiver in his administration crowing about the
booming U.S. economy, reject the dunce hat they are trying to give you to wear. Put on your
critical thinking hat and know that the super-profits by U.S. corporations are made from
depressing wages, forcing employees to be temporary so that benefits don’t have to be paid
and by getting h-u-u-uge tax breaks in many forms.
It’s past time for U.S. workers to stand up, stand together on these shores and with other
workers around the world. We better realize that we’re all in the same sinking boat and the
captain at the helm is our common corporate exploiter.
I cringe whenever I hear trump talk about the employment picture in glowing terms. My teeth gnashed and gnarled when he took credit for the last employment report —
even jumping ahead to comment before the official release from the Department of Labor. But I absolutely saw red when #45 beamed that the unemployment rate for
African Americans was at a historic low, conjuring up the singular time in U.S. history when Blacks had full employment — during slavery.
Andrew Puzder is a conservative businessman and former head of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s. He went so far as to tout that trump’s
policies had a “tremendous positive impact on the lives of Americans of all classes and backgrounds.” My memory is a bit fuzzy on if this statement was made before or
after trump nominated Puzder for Labor Secretary. The nomination fell flat due to the lack of votes needed for confirmation.
No matter how trump and his minions spin the employment numbers, the reality is that working people continue to suffer jobs with low wages, no health benefits, no