Thoughts on labor day: things to do

by reader drew

Legislatively (re)impose a fair and balanced labor market:

First, double the minimum wage to $13/hr over three years (a dollar every six months?) – and – legally guarantee inflation adjustments for incomes under $100,000.
Doubling the minimum wage could potentially add an average 50% more pay to below 50 percentile earnings ($13/hr being today’s 35 percentile wage) – accompanied by only (an easily computed) 3% direct price increases plus perhaps (?) 3% more after other wages are pushed up – a minimum wage-force multiplier.

Next, legislatively introduce French-Canadian style (lite) sector-wide labor agreements to the US labor market (airline and supermarket employees would kill for sector-wide contracts) – and – legally mandate union certification and re-certification elections (every four years?) at every work place (periodic re-certification could clean up the most common objections to unions: entrenched, complacent or even corrupt leaderships).

Top 10 percentile incomes enjoy 40 percent of the take these days (up from 27.5% in 1973) – plenty of headroom there for the mid 50-90 percentile to rake back more missing share points through higher labor prices – a collective bargaining-force multiplier.

Finally, (at least temporarily?) hike marginal tax rates (75% over $500,000, $1,000,000?). Folks earning 2500% more than folks doing the same work 25-35 years ago will not return all the way to earth through 12.5-25% price increases – erode a force multiplier.

America’s lower 90 percentile earners never think to impose legislative hegemony to recoup the 12.5% income share they have lost to top 3 percentile since 1973 – their unemployed force multiplier.

Denis Drew