The treatment of workers by American corporations has been worse — far more treacherous — than most of the population realizes. There was no need for so many men and women to be forced out of their jobs in the downturn known as the great recession.
Many of those workers were cashiered for no reason other than outright greed by corporate managers. And that cruel, irresponsible, shortsighted policy has resulted in widespread human suffering and is doing great harm to the economy.
The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.
In many cases, bosses told panicked workers who were still on the job that they had to take pay cuts or cuts in hours, or both. And raises were out of the question. The staggering job losses and stagnant wages are central reasons why any real recovery has been so difficult.
In short, the corporations are making out like bandits. Now they’re sitting on mountains of cash and they still are not interested in hiring to any significant degree, or strengthening workers’ paychecks.