Regardless of what you have been lead to believe about the evils of unions, there is no question that organized labor is responsible for creatiing the middle class and the good life as we know it today. But all that is in decline as anti-union sentiment grew in response to organized business interests in the 1070’s. I say this because I don’t see anyone else point out these facts. Here is another graphic view of how middle class income has declined in lock step with union membership over the years. Also, you will see that the savings in employee wages have gone directlty to the top 1% creating the huge income and wealth disparity we have today. Check it out:
It is clear to me, at least, that the heart of our economic woes is due to 40 years of wage suppression. This results in a declining middle class, a growing number of people falling into poverty, a decline in federal income tax revenue and an added burden on government to support a growing number of poor, working poor and unemployed Americans. You can’t separate chronically lower wages from our declining consumer spending. Regardless of what the economists say, if people don’t have money to spend the economy slows down and jobs disappear. Stocks are doing so well because so much of our financial sector is based on even more depressed foreign labor, yes, but also on depressed wages here at home.
If corporations what to stimulate consumer spending here, and make America attractive to foreign investors, they need to raise wages. They won’t do that because they personally benefit, financially, by keeping labor costs down. Their corporations benefit from the artificially cheap US labor pool created by government aid to the working poor for housing assistance, WIC, food stamps, daycare, etc. And then these bastards making all the money have the nerve to pit us against each other by promoting the lie that the working poor are somehow less worthy, or that they are stealing from us. If corporate leaders don’t see the light then the only alternative is for the work force to re-organize itself and demand higher wages.
There’s just one problem, demand higher wages where? Many work in small companies (not the ones creating the suppressed wages, but companies that must compete against the larger goliaths. For them it’s tough. We’ve off-shored the types of jobs that typically organize. Only the goliaths remain, and look at the efforts they’ll go to to continue the wage suppression and anti-union policies.
1. Pass a minimum wage that is at, or above the current poverty line (about $11 or $12/hr) and index it to inflation. This puts upward pressure on the whole wage scale.
2. Press forward for a living wage laws (about $23/hr on average) so that no one who works has to rely on any tax payer assistance for basic necessities, such as housing, etc.
3. Kill off “right to work” laws and other anti-union legislation.
4. Enforce current collective bargining laws to protect workers in places like McD’s and Walmart who would like to consider unionizing.
5. Collect reimbersments from employeers whose wages and benefits require us to subsidize their work force.
Just a few ideas.