If Minimum Wage Kept Up With Wall Street Bonuses, It Would Be $61.75 an Hour

A new report has found that Wall Street workers’ bonuses have increased to their highest levels since the Great Recession. However, worker pay has remained stagnant.

In an analysis of New York State Comptroller data, the Institute for Policy Studies found that the average bonus for Wall Street employees rose to $257,500 in 2021 – or roughly five times the average salary for U.S. workers. This represents a 20 percent increase over 2020. However, the average American saw a wage rise of only 2 percent in 2021, far less than the inflation rate at 7 percent.

These bonuses are a significant increase over previous decades. Since 1985, when the average bonus was $13,970, the average bonus for Wall Street workers has increased by 1,743 percent. Minimum wage would have been $61.75 per hour if Wall Street bonuses were included. This is 8.5 times more than the $7.25 current minimum wage.

“Millions of low-wage essential workers are struggling to make ends meet while taking care of our country’s basic human needs. Meanwhile, Wall Streeters are getting massively rewarded for high-risk behaviors that endanger the entire economy,” report author Sarah Anderson told Truthout. “Fourteen years after the financial crash, we still have no meaningful controls on the reckless Wall Street bonus culture.”

Anderson also pointed out that even though the Dodd-Frank Act required reforms of Wall Street, Anderson did not agree with them. restrictions on Wall Street bonuses, regulatorsHave failed to enact such guidelines — even though they were supposed to be put in place by 2011.

“Regulators were supposed to implement this new rule within nine months of the law’s passage but have dragged their feet — despite widespread recognition that these bonuses encouraged the high-risk behaviors that led to the 2008 financial crisis, costing millions of Americans their homes and livelihoods,” Anderson wrote.

Wall Street lobbyists have been fighting againstThe enactment and implementation of Dodd-Frank reforms for yearsThe law was effectively repealed after it was passed. Any attempts to implement the ruling to limit Wall Street bonus payments were abandoned by Trump’s administration. were dead.

The recession-inspiring guidelines have failed, but the minimum wages has remained stagnant ever since 2009. $7.25 an hr is insufficient to live. nearly anywhere in the U.S., it’s also considered poverty wages in many places. With each year that goes by, that wage is worth less; with inflation, $7.25 in today’s dollars is equivalent to only $5.50 in 2009 dollars.

“These two failures speak volumes about who has influence in Washington – and who does not,” Anderson said in the report.

One80,000 Wall Street employees based in New York made $45 billion last year just in bonuses. The report shows that this is enough to fund more than 1 million jobs at a $15 wage.

Progressives have reacted to the report and condemned Wall Street figures as greedy. “The average Wall Street bonus in 2021 increased by 20 percent – up to a staggering $257,000. Meanwhile real weekly earnings for workers declined,” wrote Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) on Twitter. “The problem isn’t scarcity; it’s corporate greed.”