Mother Jones Special Report: The 'Speedup'

Doing more with less.


Mother Jones magazine is doing a special report on the speedup - the increased workloads American workers, managers and executives are being asked to take on, often for no increase in pay.

"For 90 percent of American workers, incomes have stagnated or fallen for the past three decades, while they've ballooned at the top, and exploded at the very tippy-top: By 2008, the wealthiest 0.1 percent were making 6.4 times as much as they did in 1980 (adjusted for inflation). And just to further fuel your outrage, that 22 percent increase in profits? Most of it accrued to a single industry: finance.

In other words, all that extra work you've taken on—the late nights, the skipped lunch hours, the missed soccer games—paid off. For them."

I've always thought that part of the American Dream could be expressed by the saying "a rising tide lifts all boats."

That no longer seems to be the case, though. The record profits corporate America is enjoying seem to be coming, in large part, from an increasingly squeezed labor pool.

If there's a Laffer Curve that tracks the relationship between corporate profits and U. S. employment, I'd venture a guess that we're on the wrong side of it.


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