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Wondered why your wages aren't rising? Tenn. Senator Corker does too


WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE)  --  Have you puzzled over why your salary isn’t keeping pace with rising cost of everything from cars to corn flakes? If so, you’re not alone.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker also wants to know why American workers aren’t seeing their wages increase at a time when the economy is booming.

In a Senate Banking Committee meeting Tuesday in Washington, Corker questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about why salaries are failing to keep pace with inflation.

It wasn’t an idle question. Corker made it clear he thinks the problem is contributing to political instability here in the United States.

“The anticipations that people had relative to where they were going to be in life is not being achieved, which is creating some extremes as it relates to the political environment and actually in some ways beginning to destabilize.”

Powell responded that salary increases are directly tied to how productive workers are. In turn Powell says productivity is a function of whether workers have the education and skills they need to succeed.

Credit cspan.org
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

Powel argues American workers had the right level of education up through the 1970s. At that point they began to lose their competitive edge on the world stage.

“U.S. educational attainment was rising, technology was coming in and it was asking for more skills on the part of the people. They had those skills. So you had productivity rising you, you had incomes rising, you had inequality declining.”

Powell also told Corker American companies have failed to invest the right kind of resources in new technology in recent years, adding to the loss in productivity.

Use the link below to listen to the complete exchange between Senator Corker and Chairman Powell.