One of yesterday’s Wait, What? Blog posts dealt with the reality that, here in Connecticut, we taxpayers are giving the world’s largest hedge fund, $115 million dollars to stay and expand in Connecticut. The public subsidy will cost us about $150,000 for each of the 800 jobs they are scheduled to create over the next ten years.
Meanwhile, as a member of the dwindling middle class, it will cost me, after the available public subsidies, about $160,000 to pay for my child to get an undergraduate degree in her chosen field.
We are witnessing modern capitalism in which taxpayers are giving money to a company that paid its CEO $3.9 billion last year while a person making an income at about the state average builds up a debt that drag me down for the rest of my life.
And we are told that things are getting better.
Things might very well be getting better, but that misses the point.
Today, Connecticut Voices has released a report that drives the point home in way that everyone, across the political spectrum will be able to understand.
Entitled, The State of Working Connecticut 2012: Employment, Jobs and Wages in the Wake of the Great Recession,” the report reveals that “the wage gap between the wealthy and others has grown over the recent economic recession and recovery, with the highest wage workers enjoying wage growth four times that of median wage workers, while wages stagnated for low wage workers…”
The report examines the period from 2006 – 2011 and key findings include:
- “The gap between Connecticut’s wealthy residents and everyone else has continued to widen. Connecticut’s median wage grew by only 2.4 percent (after adjusting for inflation) over the lowest paid workers actually saw their wages fall by 0.2 percent.
- “Connecticut’s higher paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing and being replaced by lower paying jobs in healthcare, hotels, and restaurants.” 14 percent of Connecticut manufacturing were lost between 2006 and 2011, while healthcare and social service sector jobs grew by 11 percent.“ The Problem: Healthcare and Social service jobs pay “78 percent of the statewide average weekly wage,” meaning those that are getting jobs are getting them in fields that won’t allow those workers to even reach Connecticut’s existing middle ground.
- “Connecticut’s Black and Hispanic workers have not experienced an economic recovery.”
- “Connecticut’s youngest workers are most likely to be unemployed, but Connecticut’s oldest workers are most likely to face long-term unemployment.” As of 2011, almost in one in five younger workers were officially unemployed. Meanwhile, of the unemployed workers 55 or over, a shocking six in every ten have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Losing a job when you are 55 or over is becoming a death sentence when it comes to ever finding work again.
This study should be mandatory reading for every legislative candidate seeking office. In fact, perhaps some Wait, What? readers could print off the executive summary or full report, send it to your local legislative candidates and ask, no demand that they provide the voters with some substantive response.
The Executive Summary is here: http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/econ12sowctes.pdf
The Full Report is here: http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/econ12sowctfull.pdf