90% of Americans Aren’t Expecting a Raise

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zack-attack/399240900/#/">Zack Mccarthy</a>/Flickr

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In keeping with MoJo‘s latest cover story, here’s a new stat to piss you off: 9 out of 10 Americans aren’t expecting a pay raise this year. So, with gas averaging $3.74 per gallon and skyrocketing food prices, that means 89.9% of you will essentially have to do more with less.

American Pulse recently asked 5,000 Americans about their best penny-pinching strategies to cope with the grim financial forecast, and here’s what they said:

  • 70.5% will only buy the necessities
  • 63.4% will drive less
  • 58.9% will spend less on clothing
  • 53.1% will comparison shop
  • 50% will stick to a strict budget
  • 49.9% will opt for generic products
  • 42% will spend less on groceries
  • 6.6% will do nothing

That’s not to say no one is getting pay raises; it’s just that they’re ending up in the wrong hands. Case in point: Miami’s interim school superintendent will receive a $16,000 bump for three months of work despite a $170 million budget shortfall. And the incoming CEO of the Chicago Teachers Union is getting an extra $20,000 to round out his $250,000 salary, even though teachers there can’t convince the school board to give them a 4% raise. Plus, five top county officials in Orange County have received a 33% pay raise in the past six months, while hundreds of lower level employees are being laid off.

These stories all too familiar, and consistent with the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” theme. What to do other than heed Peter Finch’s advice and yell outside your window? Well, read more and find out.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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