The Grand Larceny of Pinstripe Thieves

If a thief broke into your home and stole a couple of thousand dollars that you'd carefully saved from your paychecks and stashed away over the last three years, you could call the cops and try to get your money back.

But whom do you call when that thief is the CEO of your company? CEOs have been routinely stealing hundreds and even thousands of dollars from the deserved paychecks of each and every worker in America, pocketing much of this loot themselves and converting the rest to corporate profits.

The grand larceny of the CEOs is that they've been filching every workers' share of the enormous productivity gains that America has racked up since the recession officially ended in November of 2001. Productivity is the increase in products or services that each worker churns out -- and Americans have been phenomenal at this, fueling an explosion of new economic growth.

The theory and promise of free enterprise is that if our workforce of millions of people becomes more productive, the workers will enjoy the bulk of economic gains generated by their improved output. Yet, in this current three-year burst of productivity, America has lost jobs, and wages have either stagnated or fallen. In other words, America's working families are being fleeced by the pinstripe thieves sitting high atop corporate headquarters.

Workers' share of the new income they've generated in this recovery is the lowest ever recorded, while the fat cats have hauled off the most on record. An in-depth analysis by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University finds that while the work force usually is rewarded with 65 percent of the increase in national income, this time they've received only 38 percent. Profits, which go overwhelmingly to a few investor elites, usually get under 18 percent of the productivity increase, but now they're getting more than double that.

This is a massive, historic level of theft, and the pinstriped dandies pulling it off ought to be wearing prison stripes.

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