from Angela Rachidi at AEI, For poverty, work is more important than wages, but only half of American adults work full-time
Among working age adults who were poor in 2014, Census data show that, 61.7% did not work at all and another 26.6% worked less than full-time for the entire year. Only 11.7% of poor working-age adults worked full-time for the entire year in 2014. Low wages are not the primary cause of poverty; low work rates are. And if Gallup is correct, the full-time work rate may already be peaking.
This may be one of the most critical data points for our understanding of where the poverty rate is headed. The vast majority of people who work full-time all year are not in poverty. So unless more people can find a way into the labor market through full-time work, we are unlikely to see meaningful declines in poverty in the near future.
Also at AEI Mark Perry shows what would happen if you confiscated all of the S&P 500 CEO’s pay. Spoiler- another four cents an hour.
The implication and prescription is clear. Raising the minimum wage will do little, and attacking CEO pay will accomplish nothing. More productive jobs are the answer and that that requires capital investment, an encouraging fiscal policy and a responsible political debate.