By Andre Damon
4 September 2015
With the approach of the 2016 elections, the Democratic Party and its trade union allies are once again ramping up their efforts to fraudulently posture as advocates of working people. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have called for raising the federal minimum wage, while the Obama administration has made much ado about a set of trivial changes to miscellaneous work rules that it claims will significantly benefit low-income workers.
But these attempts to palm off the Democrats as defenders of the working class, and in particular of low-income workers, stand in stark contrast to the actual record of the Obama administration, which has waged a systematic and determined campaign to slash the wages of workers in order to further enrich the banks, hedge funds and major corporations.
This reality was made clear in a report published Wednesday by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which showed that, despite the reduction in the nominal unemployment rate and continued increases in productivity, workers’ wages fell sharply under the Obama presidency.
Overall, workers’ wages declined by four percent, after adjusting for inflation, between 2009 and 2014. But the lowest-paid workers saw the sharpest decline: those in the lowest-earning quintile had their wages fall by 5.7 percent, compared with a 2.6 percent decline for the top-earning quintile.
“Stagnant wages have become a fact o