Up $3? From when? 1971? Prove your ass-ertions.
The average wage in the U.S. has certainly gone up $3.00 an hour and you don't have to go back very far at all to prove it. If you look here you'll find that since 2000, the average hourly wage for all workers in the private sector has increased from $14.00 per hour to $16.99 per hour. That's an increase of $2.99 per hour. That's pretty darn close to $3.00.
For workers in manufacturing, the news is almost the same. In 2000, the average hourly wages was $15.27. Today it's $18.25. Again, A $2.98 per hour increase is pretty close to $3.00 (not bad for a country that doesn't make anything any more, eh?). If you include the rapidly increasing cost of benefits in this calculation, the average worker earns about $26.00 per hour. According to economist Stephen Moore, when all forms of benefits workers receive today are taken into consideration, compensation to workers is about 27% higher today in real terms than 25 years ago.
No doubt you're as concerned about the middle class as Phyllis Schlafly. The chart below clearly shows that in real terms, the American middle class has been getting wealthier, not poorer. It's no wonder the real median net worth in this country is at an all time high.
Conservative economist Alan Reynolds, makes a solid case that the methodology the BLS uses to measure average wages is seriously flawed:
Since 1973, as the BLS explains, there have been "persistent long-term increases in the proportion of part-time workers in retail trade, and many of the service industries have reduced average workweeks in these industries." Millions of previously nonworking spouses and students sought and found part-time work, which diluted average earnings, particularly on a weekly basis. Substituting a low-wage job for an unpaid job makes average earnings appear lower, yet results in higher family incomes. Adding millions of low-skilled immigrants in recent years has likewise diluted average earnings without affecting typical earnings.
Reynolds believes, as I do, that a better measure of our increasing incomes is to look at real consumption per capita. In those terms, real per-capita consumption has doubled since 1973. It's hard to consume that much more without real earnings increasing along with the consumption.
As a matter of fact, Reynolds says that:
Reynolds concludes by saying:
Whatever the gloomy worrywarts choose to write about next, Reynolds can be assured that it will appear on FR first.