T Nation

Scary New Wage Data



Note that the most economicly prosperous period we've seen in the last 100 years, the golden age of capitalism (~1945-1971), was under "socialist" tax rates. Also note how post-Reagan, when the top tax rate was cut the "job creators" (aka the rich) got even richer while the other 90% got the shaft.


Oy Vey, everyone forgets to look at the subsidies and taxes on business, as if voters are the only ones that get taxed. In 1946 when most of the New Deal programs were cut, production went up (biggest in the century 30% in one year). Yes, personal income taxes have a big impact on our economy, but they still do not hold up to what the businesses are allowed to do and what the government does to them.

Once the government stopped with all the welfare programs, business boomed. People were being hired left and right, people producing all kinds of gadgetry.

And, no I am not shocked by this data, I saw this data a long time before the "report" came out. However, I saw the full data, not half the data.

Next time you wanna come play in PWI, come with the full stack of information instead of this chopped and skewed version of events. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Use common sense.


Second World War was the best thing that ever happened to the American economy. Huge surge of industry, and billions of savings in government bonds, and no physical damage from the war itself. So i don't think you can just say it was the cutting of the New Deal that prompted those gains. But yeah I get your point

EDIT: No physical damage on the mainland


the "golden age" was not an american thing. it was a global phenomena and happened in the same time in western Europa and Japan.

it was due to many factors (the re-opening of the industrial economies after WWII, the birth of consumerism, the green revolutions, etc) but it had (next to) nothing to do with tax or tax cuts.


Enlighten me.

My comment was meant more as stab at Reaganonmics leading to decreasing wages for most of the population. I didn't intend to imply that tax policy was soley responsible for the economic growth, but I wasn't very clear so that's on me.

I agree it was due to many factors, the control of capital flows between countries though the Bretton Woods system probably being the most significant.

Specifiaclly talking about the United States, I don't think its accurate though to say that taxes had nothing to do with it. Taxes being as high as they were post-WWII was a big reason that the economic gains were shared by most of society. On the other hand, our recent economic growth that benefited primarly the wealthy has left us with inadequate demand. Do you not think that stagnant wages for the bottom 90% over the past few decades is related to the lack of economic demand that the US faces today?


How is sending over labors to die ever a good thing for the economy? How is sending over products to be destroyed a good thing for the economy? The economy boomed after the war stopped, after the programs, not during the six years of war. Not during the 14 years of welfare programs. War helping an economy as a whole is a myth. I have yet to see anyone prove that fighting a war does anything but spend money and give money to the military-industrial complex. It does not increase living standards, it reduces them. As I am sure you read in elementary that during WWII, certain things were rationed in order to send products over to Europe.


I don't like Reaganomics anymore than you do. Probably for different reasons. The amount of wages is irrelevant, the standard of living is key.


Actually you are wrong, the war did a lot to help the economy. Most people do not realize that before Pearl Harbor there was a mass mobilization underway. The British bankrupted themselves buying weapons from the US before the 1941 lend lease act.

All the money they poured into American armaments manufacturers started putting people back to work and got the American industrial base onto a war footing before Pearl Harbor. That is an important historical fact that most people are totally ignorant of. It took 18 months for American industry to mobilize for world war 2. That 18 month mobilization was begun by the British buying arms in 1940. A lot of Americans think that right after Pearl Harbor we were suddenly producing massive amounts of weapons because the US can do anything, but that is not true and people have unrealistic ideas about America because of it.

For example there was the naval expansion act of 1938 followed by the much bigger naval expansion act of 1940 then the second naval expansion act of 1940. Most people do not realize that all the new aircraft carriers and battleships that fought in world war two were already being built at the time of Pearl Harbor. In fact a good number of those ships hulls were already in the water being fitted out when Pearl Harbor was hit.

The American economy was starting to pick up at the time of Pearl Harbor and the US was only at war for four years. The 330,000 dead was a terrible loss of life, but it didn't cost much. During that time a lot of consumer goods like automobiles were not being made or rationed. Because of that at the end of the war there was a huge pent up demand from a populace that had money to spend.

During the war there was a massive expansion of the industrial base and none of it was damaged. There were 14 million men in uniform getting food, housing and a paycheck. There were millions of armaments workers making good money and not having much to spend it on, so there was a lot of savings. There had been revolutionary advances made in technology.

There were a lot of people who had received advanced technical training in the military. ie after the war there were thousands of trained pilots, aircraft mechanics. That combined with new paved runways, bigger, better, faster airplanes ushered in a new era in air travel.

As tragic as the war was it worked out well for the US.