Let's be honest, America. The corporate "job creators" don't need additional tax cuts to do their job-creating magic. All they need to do is click their heels three times -- and then spend a little of the billions in cash that they're either paying to themselves or stuffing under their mattress:
In the third quarter of this year, "corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago." Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low,...
Meanwhile, workers are getting the short end of the stick. As CNN Money explained, "a separate government reading shows that total wages have now fallen to a record low of 43.5% of GDP. Until 1975, wages almost always accounted for at least half of GDP, and had been as high as 49% as recently as early 2001."
A couple of things. Thing one -- it's not surprising that that wages were such a higher percentage of GDP in 1975, since that was right at the moment when the organized labor movement began to dramatically lose clout. How this happened -- a fascinating and also vitally important story -- is chronicled in an outstanding book that I recently completed reading called "Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class," by Jefferson Cowie. I won't digress right now into a long discussion of whether the death of organized labor was inevitable, necessary or lamentable, but no one can dispute that blue-collar Americans were better off when unions were strong.
Thing two -- as appalling as most of the so-called "fiscal cliff" debate is, it does seem like this could be a rare moment to re-write the tax code. Few would argue that -- like it or not -- our tax code is written to incentivize and reward certain activities, like owning a home or making charitable donations. This time around, it would be nice to see tax changes that punish over-the-top executive pay and reward companies that actually create jobs in the United States. I'm no tax attorney, but I'm sure smart people can figure out how to do that.