Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Not Your Imagination, You Really Are Working Harder for Less Money.

By Susie Madrak via Crooks and Liars

See, Republicans and corporatists will love this - they'll say, "See how much they're producing with fewer people? Obviously, they were slacking off before."

Remember, Republicans believe they're entitled to cheap, disposable labor without any pesky legal rights or protections that may get in the way of their profits.

Kind of reminds me of that scene in "Schindler's List," where Ralph Fiennes as the camp commander shoots a very sick man who somehow did the impossible task he was ordered to perform.

"Why did you shoot him? He did what you asked," another guard says.
Fiennes replies, "Why didn't he work that hard for me all the time?"

Yes, welcome to America, where "Work Will Make You Free". (Or is it "You'll Work Almost for Free"?) Hey, at least they don't shoot us - those of us who still have jobs, I mean:

Feel like you’re working a lot harder these days, putting in longer hours for the same pay — or even less? The latest round of government data on worker productivity indicates that you probably are.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the American work force produced, at an annual rate, 6.4 percent more of the goods they made and services they provided in the second quarter of this year compared to a year ago. At the same time, “unit labor costs” — the amount employers paid for all that extra work — fell by 5.8 percent. The jump in productivity was higher than expected; the cut in labor costs more than double expectations.

That is, despite the deep job cuts of the past year, workers who remain on the payroll are filling in and making up the work that had been done by their departed colleagues. In some cases, that extra work came with a smaller paycheck.

The higher worker output and lower labor costs have been good news for companies struggling through the worst recession since World War II. So far, some 70 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have turned in better-than-expected profits for the latest quarter.

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