Originally Posted by Eagle43
Also one that claims that today's real wages are lower than 1964. Can this be true?
I guess that all depends on whose statistics you use.
Some would say we're working more, and the real $ / hour today is lower - but I'd have trouble believing that. I think most people just like to complain. I tend to think that some people are happier when they're miserable. I guess if you tell yourself everything is terrible, then when something good, or even not bad happens, then you're pleasantly surprised.
According to the "Labor Research Association", a "New York City-based non-profit research and advocacy organization that provides research and educational services for trade unions", real wages as expressed in 1982 dollars were 302.52/week in 1964 and 277.57/week in 2004.
IN a 1997 letter, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, tries to clarify this problem. "One measure of the real wage that has received substantial attention is the real hourly earnings series...It is obtained by deflating the average hour earnings figure that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) obtains every month from its Current Employment Survey (CES) of establishments by the BLSís Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPIU)...
real hourly earnings peaked in 1972 and are currently about 16% below their historical high...
major methodological problems...they cover only wage and salary compensation. Fringe benefits and contributions for social insurance programs...are left out...earnings data
are also limited to production and nonsupervisory workers... nearly 20% of workers excluded from the average are more likely to be highly skilled and highly paid."
The 1997 annual report of the Dallas Fed also had an interesting article in which they opined that there was a declining cost of living. If nothing else, it illustrates how difficult it is to compare costs over periods of time.