For years, the bargaining power of American workers has also been eroding because of the ever more efficient means of outsourcing abroad, new computer software that can replace almost any routine job, and an ongoing shift of full-time to part-time and contract work. And unions have been hit hard. In the 1950s, more than a third of private-sector workers were members of labor unions. Now, fewer than 7% are unionized.
All this helps explain why corporate profits have been increasing throughout this recovery (they grew more than 18% in 2013 alone) while wages have been dropping. Corporate earnings now represent the largest share of the gross domestic product — and wages the smallest share of GDP — since records have been kept.
Hence, the Great Redistribution.
Check out Reich's documentary on income inequality, Inequality for All (2013).
- Reich: The four biggest right-wing lies about income inequality (May 21, 2014)
- Reich: Debunking the myth that 'you're paid what you're worth' (March 19, 2014)
- Reich: The great U-turn (March 11, 2014)
- Reich: Minimum wage increase woes are wrong -- again (March 9, 2011)
- Reich: Lousy wages are the real job killers (March 1, 2014)
- Reich: The American right focuses on poverty, not inequality, to avoid blame (February 22, 2014)
- Reich: America, we have a 'we' problem (February 19, 2014)
- Reich: America can't afford to forget post-war economic booms (February 13, 2014)