Caption: Goats to working class: "Let's roll."
This Goat Rope post comes to you from The City that Never Sleeps, a trait it shares in common with El Cabrero. Manhattan is OK, but I can't figure out where people keep their goats, chickens and peacocks...
The occasion for the trip was the death of El Cabrero's brother, John Wilson, who worked as assistant to the science editor at the New York Times. Here's his Times obituary.
Many thanks to all who have sent condolences at this difficult time. Goat Rope will attempt to resume regular posts today.
(Note: while the Times is no Goat Rope--and such comparisons are so unfair--it does appear to be a pretty decent paper. They do they best they can with what they have, although they seem to suffer from an acute shortage of gratuitous animal pictures.)
Meanwhile, back at the class war, a headline in the obscure periodical mentioned above reports something most working people figured out a while back: "Real Wages fail to Match a Rise in Productivity."
The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. The drop has been especially notable, economists say, because productivity--the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation's living standards--has risen steadily over the same period.
As a result, wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960's. UBS, the investment bank, recently described the current period as "the golden era of profitability."
Until the last year, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by the rising value of benefits, especially health insurance, which caused overall compensation for most Americans to continue increasing. Since last summer, however, the value of workers' benefits has also failed to keep pace with inflation, according to government data.
All of this is another clear indication that the country is headed in the wrong direction. This Saturday in the capitol of El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, hundreds came together in an effort to move the country in a better direction. Here is coverage from the Sunday Gazette-Mail and the Head On Radio Network.
There were actually two events that day. The first was a rally and parade by West Virginians United, a diverse coalition of groups and individuals concerned with social and economic justice, peace, the environment, and the future of democracy. The second was a labor rally sponsored by the WV AFL-CIO, also a key member of West Virignians United. It sounds like a good time was had by all.
El Cabrero's brother would have approved.
To quote from the legendary labor organizer Mother (Mary Harris) Jones: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living..."
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED