Strong labor unions are much needed in this country. There maybe room for improvement in them, but without them the American worker is doomed to ride the wage train to the bottom in the search for corporate profits.
One of the things that often makes it more difficult for labor to negotiate with owners is monopolies. Too often we get caught up in the definitions. There doesn’t have to be only a single competitor in the field for the Public’s interests to be harmed.
Mergers like the impending AT&T and Time Warner merger will severly limit competition and severely impact labors’ ability to negotiate fair wages and conditions.
collectively, mergers at this scale are reconfiguring the American economy in ways that seem to be tilting the scales toward the interests of ever-larger corporations, to the broad detriment of labor.
As Senator John Sherman, the principal author of the nation’s core antimonopoly law, put it more than a century ago, a monopoly “commands the price of labor without fear of strikes, for in its field it allows no competitors.”
Three years ago, the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz proposed that increasing profits from companies managing to avoid normal competitive forces — what economists refer to as “rents” — appeared to be an important factor in the rising share of the nation’s income flowing toward corporate profits and top executive pay in recent years. He surmised that weak labor unions — which represent barely over 7 percent of workers in the private sector — did not have the clout to protect the workers’ share.
In a competitive market, companies will vie with their rivals to hire the best workers, lifting wages up to workers’ “marginal product,” the last cent where their employers could still turn a profit. As productivity grows, wages will be bid up further. Prosperity will spread. But when there are few or no rivals in a labor market, employers will pay much less.
How Waning Competition Deepens Labor’s Plight http://nyti.ms/2e9EV10
Somebody has to look out for the worker. Big Biz won’t do it. This is a great example of how the government can and should set and enforce regulations. They may not be the best at it but no one else will if the gov doesn’t.
At last, the government has devised a means to better protect American workers and ensure that companies obey the law. Why would anyone stand in the way?
Fair Pay, Safe Workplaces, Republican Objections http://nyti.ms/2bNG01n
what Congress really needs to do is close the loopholes that allow H-1B abuses.
Visa Abuses Harm American Workers http://nyti.ms/1rrpWpJ
Three myths about aging and the economy dispelled.
Myth No. 1: Older adults don’t work, so they weigh down the economy.
Myth No. 2: Older workers are not productive.
Myth No. 3: Older workers are blocking younger workers from the job market.
Disproving Beliefs About the Economy and Aging http://nyti.ms/24Qbs1E
It’s time that we recognize the true cost of labor. If it takes overtime to get goods and services to market then workers should be fairly compensated for it.
These changes in the labor laws are a good start to limiting the profiteering corporations enjoy at the expense of their labor. Workers must share in the fruits of their labor.
Making Overtime Fair Again http://nyti.ms/250ZCBM
Forget ‘The Innovators’: ‘Maintainers’… Advance… Technology – CityLab
Another article hitting the same notes about income inequality and what we are missing about discussions of the value of labor and where the country should head.
We’ve got to stop glamorizing entrepreneurship and innovation. And we’ve got to stop seeing this path as the solution to our problems. This is not to say that higher ed, innovation, startups, small biz, and entrepreneurs aren’t necessary. They’re just not the solution nor should they be the goal for the majority of people. That’s like asking every high schooler to bet on a major league sports career as their future path.
We need to recognize the value of the ‘Maintainers’, the labor force that drives this country. We don’t need to put them on a pedestal, and we don’t need to cry about lost manufacturing jobs, but we need to make sure that this large group in the middle is doing well. Their work keeps the country afloat, not the innovators. We need to make sure they earn their share of the profits. We need to support policies which keep these wages growing not shrinking over time.
nothing against “innovators” such as Jobs and his ilk—it’s just that “maintainers” are doing so much more. “The vast majority of technologies that surround us and underpin our lives are not innovations,” Vinsel says. “And the vast majority of labor in our culture is not focused on introducing or adopting new things, but on keeping things going.”
Is There a Better Way to Think About Income Inequality? – CityLab
The staff came across some articles which articulate what we are missing about inequality in most of our conversations. Labor is the bedrock of our economy and we should treat it as such. We should compensate it as such.
We often say that higher education isn’t going to solve our equality issues. Some folks aren’t meant to seek degrees. Besides if everyone had degrees the marginal value would be much.
We need to talk about a world in which labor itself is valued more equitably. If you put in a solid 8 hours a day your pay should be sufficient to sustain a modest life. Every year that becomes less and less realistic.
we need to focus more directly on labor-market policies that increase people’s earnings and increase the steadiness of their jobs. In the end, fighting income inequality is about fighting income inequality. It’s not about closing educational gaps or getting more people married, or creating a diverse pool of Fortune 500 CEOs.
If where you end up is totally dependent on your parents, or a set of random circumstances over which you have no control, and there’s no individual description of how you get to a stable place in the economic system, then we’ve lost the narrative about how to get ahead. And that’s where things get dangerous