'Time to Redistribute Wealth': 1% Thriving While 78% Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Top CEOs may be thriving, but most American workers are drowning in debt, saving little, and living paycheck to paycheck.

That’s according to a new report by CareerBuilder, which found that:

  • 78 percent of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent last year;
  • 71 percent of workers are in debt, up from 68 percent last year;
  • 56 percent believe their debt is unmanageable;
  • 54 percent of minimum-wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet.

The report’s findings—based on a survey of more than 3,400 full-time workers across various industries and income levels—suggest that the stock market boom President Donald Trump has so frequently flaunted has done little to help the workers he claims to support.

As Michelle Smith pointed out in an analysis for the People Policy Project, “the stock market tells us about the prospects of capital owners, but it certainly doesn’t tell us much about the average worker.”

David Hildebrand, a democratic socialist challenging Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for her Senate seat in 2018, observed that the numbers found in the CareerBuilder survey are “nothing new,” and that they show “it’s time to redistribute wealth.”

As Common Dreams reported last month, wages for most workers have remained flat for decades. Meanwhile, CEO compensation continues to soar: a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that the pay of top CEOs rose by an “outrageous” 937 percent between 1978 and 2016.

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Judging by his tax proposals—and by his claim during his presidential campaign that wages are “too high”—Trump appears unlikely to reverse these decades-long trends.

Responding to the CareerBuilder report on Twitter, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, argued the results show the urgent need for “strong unions” and “an economy that works for us,” not merely the wealthiest.


Others echoed Weingarten’s outrage and conclusion:

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