Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Speedo and Black Socks to rule them all

I think I keep informed on important events. I might as well have been sleepwalking, turns out. 

It's normal but distressing to me, who puts pride in his up-to-date knowledge and hands on facts. More distressing is being confronted by my lack of intellectual curiosity and scepticism. Case in point, you've seen this graph of productivity vs. wages.

I've always taken this chart as a weapon of outrage. Speculated on what happened Q2 1972 where productivity and wages part for good. And I'm not the only one that speculated, including a fairly knowledgable economist so I don't feel so bad. My guess was the rich had attained escape velocity and no longer needed the rest of us. 

But an essay Debunking the Productivity-Pay Gap by Blair Fix made me humble. Not once did I question how productivity was a measure of what. And as it turns out it a measutre of aggregated average income which makes the chart a tatuology. Empty propaganda.

Well, shit. So, what should we see? How about this?

It shows stagnation beginning in Q2 !972 and a relative drop in compensation for production workers. So again I ask, what happened? I still guess the rich achieved escape velocity.

1 comment:

  1. This is just the USA. The what is complex, so throw in bullshit jobs, which, funny, I worked through peak bullshit.