, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

April 3, 2014

Corporations Need to Step Up

Corporations Need to Step Up

Recently, the American people have been debating front-line economic issues such as the minimum wage, unemployment, job creation, CEO compensation, and income inequality. A then-and-now comparison sheds some light on these issues and leads to harsh conclusions.

The World Bank tracks the minimum wage in countries around the globe. Here’s a snippet from its 2013 report; Canada - $9.95, United States - $7.25, China - $1.19, Mexico and Philippines – 61 cents, India – 28 cents and Bangladesh – 9 cents.

According to, in 1980, a CEO of a large corporation made 42 times more than the typical worker. In 2013, that CEO earned 354 times more than the average worker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker’s yearly salary was $34,053 for all occupations last year. CNN Money says the average CEO compensation in large corporations is now over $12 million a year.

In 1980, with a minimum wage of $3.10 and an average wage of $6.82 for production workers, the cost of a men’s shirt was $15.00. Today, with a minimum wage of $7.25 and an average wage of $20.12 ($6.82 factored for inflation would now be $19.43) that shirt actually costs $39.74. Factored for inflation the shirts would cost $42.50, if they were made in the US, but they are not. The above narrative reveals that in 1980 the labor cost of a shirt, in wages only, was 46% of a shirt’s price, today – 50%. Now, as opposed to 1980, there are hardly any defined-benefit retirement or fully-paid health insurance plans offered by employers so the overall cost of manufacturing in the United States has actually dropped, despite inflationary pressures.

Historically, increased productivity has resulted in increased wages. From 1950 to 1980, the productivity of American workers increased 92% and hourly wages rose 87%; however, since 1980, productivity has doubled while hourly wages have risen only 40%. In the former time period the socioeconomic stratification structure of the US resembled a diamond shape with a large middle class, while in the latter, it would resemble a truncated triangle that continues to flatten.

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US Politics
  • Marie Rose (Robidoux) Audy

    LAWRENCE — Marie Rose (Robidoux) Audy, passed away at her home surrounded by her family, after suffering a stroke in April. She was born in Lawrence and was the daughter of the late Rose A. (Betit) and Alfred Robidoux, originally of Quebec, Canada. She was predeceased by her husband of 28 years, Armand Joseph Audy, who passed away on June 28, 1976.

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  • Charles Anthony "Chuck" Carnival, 79

    Jackson, MS — Charles Anthony “Chuck” Carnival, 79, formerly of Raymond, N.H., passed away Thursday, June 19, 2014, at Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

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  • Francis M. Lurvey, 76

    Bar Harbor, ME — Francis M. Lurvey passed away Sunday, June 22, in Bar Harbor, Maine, after battling cancer. By his side were his sons, Edwin Lurvey and Steven Lurvey and his niece and husband, Debra and Richard Carey, as well as cousin, Marion McDonald. He was the son of Edwin R Lurvey (Bar Harbor) and Delia Amazeen (Dexter). He is survived by five children, a stepson, and their families. His sons, Edwin and wife April, Steven and wife, Pam, David and his daughter, Meghan, as well as his daughters, Lorraine and Ellen and her husband, Paul DiScipio with daughters, Katherine and Julia, and his stepson, Brian Faulkner and wife, Jody with children, Trevor, Rachel, and Keith. He is also survived by his sister, Sheryl, and many nieces and nephews including Frank Lurvey and Elaine Langer. Francis was predeceased by his twin brother, Frank, as well as his brothers, Edwin and Erwin. He was also predeceased by his longtime companion, Brian and Edwin’s mother, Maureen Faulkner and former wife, Roberta Lurvey Gilmore.

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  • Norman R. Cote

    Atkinson, NH — Norman R. Cote, of Atkinson, was called to his heavenly home on June 16, 2014, following a period of declining health.

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  • Frederick M. Hopper, 64

    Epping, NH — Frederick Michael Hopper, of Epping, N.H., passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Predeceased by his wife, Alice Hopper, he is survived by his longtime girlfriend, Joann Peatfield; daughters, Shay Belair and Jayne Pond; sons-in-law, Adam Belair and James Pond; mother, Arlene Hopper; father and stepmother, Frederick S. and Barbara Hopper; siblings, Susan Hardy, Stephan Hopper, Scott Hopper, and Sherri Chagnon; grandsons, Benjamin Belair, Jonathan Belair and Jackson Pond; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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