Two articles examining low wages in the US:
Squeezed Workers Cloud Growth by Justin Lahart Aug 30, 2012 Wall Street Journal p. C10
"Compensation in the second quarter accounted for 55% of gross domestic income (a GDP equivalent that is the sum of US profits, wages and other sources of income). That was close to the 60-year low and compares with an average of 57.2% in the 1990s and 59.1% in the 1970s.
[Excerpted] "While a majority of jobs lost during the downturn were in the middle range of wages, a majority of those added during the recovery have been low paying, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project.
The disappearance of midwage, midskill jobs is part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a hollowing out of the work force, though it has probably been accelerated by government layoffs....
Lower-wage occupations, with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for 21 percent of job losses during the retraction. Since employment started expanding, they have accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.
The occupations with the fastest growth were retail sales (at a median wage of $10.97 an hour) and food preparation workers ($9.04 an hour). Each category has grown by more than 300,000 workers since June 2009.....
Majia here: Declining wages and opportunities are ushering in a new economic order that has been aptly termed "neo-feudal" by observers such as Michael Hudson and Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert.
As with feudalism, most (global) resources are controlled by a few wealthy individuals and corporations. People working for those wealthy individuals/corporations benefit from their feudal allegiances, unless they represent the serf-like workers that populate the bottom levels of the pyramid.
More and more people are simply "dispossessed" and have no access to jobs that pay living wages. In the developing world these individuals face starvation.
In the US, these individuals attempt to hobble together wages through part-time employment and, when all assets are gone, depend upon federal aid in the form of food stamps and welfare.
Welcome to the New World Order.
Devolution Toward Neo-Feudal Economy (2012) http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/devolution-toward-neo-feudal-economy.html
Wage Divide Grows (2012)
Young Adults See Pay Decline
New Job Growth is Poor Job Growth (2011)
Economic Stability and Wage Equity (2010)
Wages Collapsing (2010)