A Pew Research Center poll last year found that 51 percent of respondents had a favorable view of labor unions. Seattle used to be a big union town, although business ultimately won the famous General Strike of 1919. They are still important here, with the International Association of Machinists, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (“No Nerds, No Birds”, Teamsters, International Longshore and Warehouse union, Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees among others.
Lately, organized labor has been at the forefront of the battle to raise the minimum wage. On the other hand, only only 6.7 percent of the private-sector workforce was unionized in 2013. In the 1950s, it was about 32 percent. That era was also the height of the middle class and saw low inequality.
With Labor Day being a holiday dedicated to organized labor, I’ll risk bringing out the trolls and ask you…
This Week’s Links:
• Washington recaptured — not by the British but by the big banks | Simon Johnson
• When do we start calling this ‘the Greater Depression’ | Brad DeLong
• Amazon is not an e-commerce company | Stratechery
Today’s Econ Haiku:
It’s John L.’s birthday
Natural law, property rights
Made us Locke and load
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