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Gatis Sluka | A Fast Growing Economy

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Section(s): 

The Path Back to Equality Leads Through Unions

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  • The Nation summarizes an important new finding: Americans of the mid-twentieth century had unions to thank for their booming, egalitarian economy.
  • Related: New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off.

Nathan Pippenger, Democracy


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June 1, 2018 | rom the end of World War II until about 1980, the United States was in the fortunate position of benefiting from two simultaneous trends: The economy prospered as wages became more equal (an era known as the “Great Compression”). There’s still some debate among economists about exactly why this happened, an argument with obvious relevance to our own era of deep inequality. But according to a new study highlighted by Mike Konczal in The Nation, the role of one factor is now undeniable: unions. Summarizing the new research, Konczal writes that “the growth of union membership—to a height of nearly 30 percent in 1955, before falling to its current low of 10.7 percent—explains the Great Compression every bit as much as theories about education or any other single factor.”

  http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie_0.jpgKonczal knocks the economics profession for “casually dismissing the role of unions” and gently ribs the idea that anybody would be surprised by “the statement ‘unions help workers.’” But as he acknowledges, detailed data on union membership was unavailable until recently—and moreover, there’s at least the possibility that unions could actually increase overall inequality, by widening the wage gap between their members and non-unionized workers. As Timothy Noah noted in his book The Great Divergence, this was actually what most economists believed until the 1980s. Konczal doesn’t precisely comment on the older idea that unions might actually exacerbate inequality, but he does refer to the theory that “since unions merely transfer wealth among workers, they wouldn’t lower inequality overall and might even slow economic growth.” It turns out that idea is probably mistaken as well. In fact, the results seem to effectively counter all the familiar theories about the possible negative effects of unionization on either income equality or economic growth—all while demonstrating that unions were more diverse, in terms of both skill and racial composition, than is widely believed.

Nathan Pippenger is a contributing editor at Democracy.

Read more …

Related:

New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off. Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/McDonald%27s%20Employees%20Fight%20for%20Higher%20Wages.jpgWhy we fight. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

(Trump's) right to claim that Americans are getting the short end. But the primary cause of that fact isn’t bad trade agreements or “job killing” regulations — its the union-busting laws and court rulings that the president has done so much to abet.
 

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David Culver, Publisher and Editor, Evergreene Digest

Section(s): 

Special Report | The Franklin Hiawatha Encampment, Week Ending September 22, 2018

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Story 1: Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment * Story 2: Frequently Asked Questions * Story 3: How To Help * Story 4: ‘Wall Of Forgotten Natives’ Lays Bare Mpls. Housing Crisis * Story 5: ‘A blessing,’ ‘a family,’ and ‘a shame on Minneapolis’: Voices from the Hiawatha Avenue homeless encampment * Story 6: Minneapolis officials pledge action to help residents of homeless encampment

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon_0.jpgEvergreene Digest Editor's Note: The situation described in these stories - the Franklin Hiawatha Encampment - is a very fluid one, changing day-to-day, almost moment by moment. These six stories will give you a grounding in the situation. For recent developments google https://www.franklinhiawathacamp.org/. Of course we'll do our best to keep you up-to-date as well.

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Week Ending September 22, 2018 |

Story 1 Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors
Sep
6,2018 | Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) stands in solidarity with our community and partners and we are committed to dedicating our organization’s resources to support this effort. To read MUID's full statement on this issue, please click on MUID Statement above.
Full story …

Story 2: Frequently Asked Questions, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors
Sep
6,2018 | Below are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the camp. Note that this is an ever-changing situation.
This page will be updated regularly.
Full story …

https://res.cloudinary.com/hrscywv4p/image/upload/c_limit,fl_lossy,h_1440,w_720,f_auto,q_auto/v1/803058/Logo_for_camp_cropped_square_xijlxj.jpgStory 3: How To Help, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors
Sep
6,2018 | Here are some ways you can directly contribute financially and materially to the organizations that are working both on the ground at the camp or volunteer and otherwise participate on mid and long term solutions.
Full story …

Story 4: ‘Wall Of Forgotten Natives’ Lays Bare Mpls. Housing Crisis, Angela Davis, WCCO-TV (Minneapolis, MN)
September
12,2018 | A housing crisis has turned into a very visible problem for the city of Minneapolis.
Full story …

Story 5: ‘A blessing,’ ‘a family,’ and ‘a shame on Minneapolis’: Voices from the Hiawatha Avenue homeless encampment, Jim Walsh, MinnPost
09/12/2018 | The Monday afternoon sun beat down hard on the intersection of Hiawatha and Cedar Avenues, as the estimated 300 citizens of the largest homeless encampment in state history began another week of living in the shade of the Little Earth housing complex.
Full story …

Story 6: Minneapolis officials pledge action to help residents of homeless encampment, Nina Moini, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)
Aug
23,2018 | Minneapolis officials said Thursday that the number of people at a homeless encampment on the city's south side has doubled in a week — and the city outlined steps it plans to take to help the camp's residents.
Earlier: Groups work together to help Minneapolis homeless encampment
Full story (Audio) …

 

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Select Articles | Labor, Week Ending September 15, 2018

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  • Part 1: Steelworkers Vote To Strike If They Don’t Get Piece Of Corporate Windfall
  • Workers seek pay raises and protection of health care and pension benefits.
  • Part 2: UPS Contract Vote Starts this Week.
  • Here's What You Need to Know.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Steelworkers Vote To Strike If They Don’t Get Piece Of Corporate Windfall

Workers seek pay raises and protection of health care and pension benefits.

Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Labor%20Getting%20Its%20Fair%20Share%20of%20the%20Pie_0.jpg09/10/2018 | Workers for U.S. Steel will head back to the bargaining table on Monday, armed with a nationwide strike authorization vote.

With corporations awash in tax cuts and protected from competition by Trump administration tariffs, United Steelworkers (USW) leaders say members want a contract deal that provides them with a portion of that windfall.

Mary Papenfuss <>, Trends Reporter, HuffPost <>

Read more …

Part 2: UPS Contract Vote Starts this Week. Here's What You Need to Know.

UPS Teamsters

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/teamstersunited/mailings/1433/attachments/original/vote-no-blast.jpg?1536416179UPSers Are Getting Ready to Vote No

UPSers are getting ready to Vote No in big numbers to reject givebacks and send them back to the table to negotiate a better offer.

Members are Voting No to stop two-tier 22.4 drivers, take on harassment, subcontracting, and excessive overtime, and win $15 starting pay and catch-up raises for part-timers.

UPS Teamsters United is a grassroots campaign to prevent givebacks and win the contract we deserve.

Read More …

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No Justice!  No Peace!  Please share this post.


 

New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off

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Why we fight. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

(Trump's) right to claim that Americans are getting the short end. But the primary cause of that fact isn’t bad trade agreements or “job killing” regulations — its the union-busting laws and court rulings that the president has done so much to abet.

Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

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July 6, 2018 | America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this.

And yet, most Americans’ wages aren’t getting any better, at all. Over the past 12 months, piddling wage gains — combined with modest inflation — have left the vast majority of our nation’s laborers with lower real hourly earnings than they had in May 2017. On Wall Street, the second-longest expansion in U.S. history has brought boom times — in the coming weeks, S&P 500 companies will dole out a record-high $124.1 billion in quarterly dividends. But on Main Street, returns have been slim.

Eric Levitz: Political writer at New York Magazine

Full story …

Related:

How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives? Felicity Lawrence, the Guardian

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  • Society abhors exploitation but we are complicit. The cheap goods and services consumers expect makes exploitation inevitable.
  • Related: Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all.


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