I am not a professional statistician, but an amateur one. I had estimated that if GDP (and therefore wages) had gone up as they should have from the middle 1950's, the average salary would be in-between $90,000 and $100,000 a year. Economists, professional and amateur, have estimated the same thing.
However, two economists, John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State, went back to the 1940's and extrapolated from that time, and estimated that without the government interference we have suffered from since then, the average yearly income would be $330,000 a year.
Yes. $330,000 a year. Hard to believe, isn't it? Almost sounds like someone made a very bad mistake. There was a mistake, all right: it's called the State.
Specifically, Dawson and Seater went back to 1949, removed all the ridiculous and indeed crushing federal regulations, and took it from there.
They noted federal regulations have increased six-fold since 1949. They estimated that annual output in 2005 (almost eight years ago), "is 28 percent of what it would have been had regulation remained at its 1949 level."
"If regulation had remained at the same level as in 1949, current GDP would have been $53.9 trillion instead of $15.1 in 2011. In other words, current U.S. GDP in 2011 was $38.8 trillion less than it might have been," writes Reason magazine.
"An average household income of $330,000 per year would buy a lot in the way of health care, schooling, art, housing, environmental protection, and other amenities," the article concludes.
How did this catastrophe happen?
Personally, I agree with philosopher Sheldon Wolin's theory of Inverted Totalitarianism.
From the article at Wikipedia:
"According to Wolin, there are three main ways in which inverted totalitarianism is the inverted form of classical totalitarianism.
1. "Whereas in Nazi Germany the state dominated economic actors, in inverted totalitarianism, corporations through political contributions and lobbying, dominate the United States, with the government acting as the servant of large corporations. This is considered 'normal' rather than corruption.
2. "While the Nazi regime aimed at the constant political mobilization of the population, with its Nuremberg rallies, Hitler Youth, and so on, inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the population to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the population has given up hope that the government will ever help them.
3. "While the Nazis openly mocked democracy, the United States maintains the conceit that it is the model of democracy for the whole world. Wolin writes,
'Inverted totalitarianism reverses things. It is all politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.'"
Looks like St. Paul was onto something: "The lust [not love] for money is the root of all evil."
In a sentence, rule by a combination of State and Corporations. Mussolini wrote something very enlightening about that unholy marriage: he called it Fascism, which he said should really be called Corporatism.
What we have now in the United States could be considered a soft fascist/socialist state.
Perhaps none of this would have happened if the South had been able to pull away and the U.S. had not turned into a Superpower - the only one in the world. (By the way, it doesn't mean I am a supporter of the South; it just means we wouldn't have the Leviathan we have today.)
Corporations are creations of the State (I call them Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporations). They have the legal status of persons, and that is not a good thing.
The Founding Fathers understood what corporations are, and looked at them with a jaundiced eye. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
He also wrote, "I swear upon the altar of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
"Tyranny over the mind of man" is today called propaganda, the worst purveyors of it being the media (which for all practical purposes is an arm of the government.) Being that is it, I do not read newspapers, very few magazines - and I do not watch the news.
It was in fact a corporation that caused the Revolutionary War. The war was not started by by taxes; it came about because the biggest Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporation of that time - the East India Company - was given a tax rebate of millions of pounds by the Crown to drive out of business its small American competitors. That's what brought about the Boston Tea Party.
It'd be the same thing today if Wal-Mart or McDonald's started WWIII to make a few more dollars.
The fault ultimately lies with democracy, which the Founding Fathers despised. We're the ones who voted these narcissists/psychopaths into office because to their ability to charm and manipulate the stupid, ignorant masses. These manipulative, lying people are only interested in power, domination and control.
There were a few in the past wanted what he have today. Alexander Hamilton, for one (it's why we should celebrate Aaron Burr Day). Abraham Lincoln, for another (it's why we should also have a John Wilkes Booth Day). Both were corporate fascists who wanted impose exactly what we have.
Our current system is unstable. Unlike those who think it's purposely designed to drive us mad, I don't. But unwittingly, that's what it's now doing to some people. So they drop out to keep their sanity - and their freedom.
Of course, as has happened every time in the past, none of this will last. The U.S. will collapse economically. The country will survive; the government will not.
I don't see that, in the long run, as a bad thing. I see it as a very good thing, considering that most people are pretty much indentured servants. I hope when things sort themselves out, and economic and political freedom are established, we can look forward to that over $300,000 a year for workers.