Open thread April 18, 2017 Dan Crawford | April 18, 2017 1:04 pm Tags: open thread Comments (15) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Paul Krugman: ” … we can limit the human damage when they do happen. We can guarantee health care and adequate retirement income… We can provide aid to the newly unemployed. And we can act to keep the overall economy strong — which means doing things like investing in infrastructure and education, not cutting taxes on rich people and hoping the benefits trickle down.”
We can rebuild union density so half the workforce isn’t getting paid way less than they would be paid if we had say German union density.
If McDonald’s can pay $15 an hour with 33% labor costs, Target pay pay $20 with 10-15% labor costs, Walmart can pay $25 an hour with 7% labor costs. At least that’s the hope — and labor being able to flex its bargaining muscles in the (truly) free market is the only way we are going to find out.
Labor unions are the only way to end punishing just-in-time work scheduling.
Labor unions are the only thing ever going to end endemic abuses like …
big pharma gouging,
ever growing financialization,
etc., etc., etc.
by supplying the permanent political machinery to back up the average person.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
A look at the not-so-workable approaches other than labor unions:
If EITC could somehow be used to restore the 10% overall income share lost by the bottom 45% over a couple of generations — IOW could be used to double (!) their incomes — that would come in at something like $1.4 trillion a year, not today’s $70 billion (equals 1/2 of 1% of overall income). Before we tear out hair out figuring out how we would distribute that — it would obviously upend the whole (consumer) market-based direction of production.
I’m not nearly as interested in the min wage as I am in rebuilding labor union density. That would sort out production by the max the consumer would put up with rather than the minimum labor will up with (starting with the most vulnerable workers and working up).
I’m guessing if the mid 54% pay 14% more of their incomes through higher prices (10% of overall income) — they in turn with their new union generated political power can just confiscatory-tax back the 10% overall the top 1% squeezed out over the last two generations.
Their moral question there could be phrased as do they want to keep the 54% in penury (may not be a choice if the 45% refuse to show up for work [strike]) or do they want pro quarterbacks to work for a million a year instead of ten million. When faced with questions like this I ask myself: what would Jimmy Hoffa do? 🙂
Finally occurred to me that the bottom 45% will heartily encourage the mid 54% to lay that confiscatory-tax (90% on all income over say $2 million?) on the 1% — so they can get at some of that money! :-O
If it is to be a “truly free market,” will a non-union worker be allowed to offer his services for $20/hr. when the union workers demand $25?
I’m far less worried about the 390 players averaging 7 million in the NBA and 30 owners averaging 94 million than I am everyone else in the country.
Sports is the most thoroughly unionized and nearly egalitarian industry in the country by far.
Except the NFL, where people are treated pretty much like chattel, the contracts have no guarantees, and there’s no guarantee that the injuries you suffered on the job won’t kill you before you’re 40.
When the 99% squeeze 90% out of incomes over $2 million a year I’m sure we’ll feel better. Natural monopoly no more efficient than man made monopoly. Anyway we have the votes to “exploit” the millionaires. 🙂
There is no such thing as a “truly free market” and for good reason. It is impossible for one to exist.
Right, Jerry. And we probably would not want a “truly free market,” but one free of fraud. That requires some government oversight.
If we allow people, through unions, to bargain together with companies, why would we not allow companies to bargain together against employees?
If you want to evaluate the power of labor and good practices in sharing income, sports is your place.
Just resenting laborers because they average salaries in the millions is misplaced annoyance. If they didn’t make it, the owners would take it all.
The revenue is the revenue. The laborers deserve a large slice of the pie for what they produce.
Even if you look at things like Gini coefficients in sports leagues among the players, there is far more equality in MLB than there is in the United States as a whole. Throw in owners and managers and the number will shift around some, but not nearly enough to make it more unequal than the nation.
J G Not sure I understand your comment. Do you mean the spread from high to low? The average? It’ hard to compare mlb compensation with the “nation”.
The MLB minimum is $535,000. The average is $4.2m.
Kershaw will get $33m. (About $1m a game.)
Include the minors, and it gets a lot more unequal.
It was Unions that lost millions of production jobs in the US by creating excessive growth of GDP per capita that attracted capital flows to such a high level, the US became a consumption whore and lost any will in investment. The last thing we need is more unions in a market economy. They simply don’t work in the long run.
Unions were absolutely necessary. They were literally a matter of life and death to many people. And, frankly, the government (and the law) was on the corporations’ side.
Calvin, it was not unions that attracted foreign capital inflows.
It was the Republican tax cuts. If you look at the US as an open economy and remember that their are two prices — interest rates and the dollar — that assure that the current account deficit is equal to the domestic savings investment gap it is obvious that the expanded federal deficit after 1980 that destroyed US manufacturing jobs. We had crowding out, but it worked through the strong dollar,not high interest rates.
I mean the ratio of the curve created by the cumulative low to high ranked salaries.
You can crank that number pretty easily since the numbers are public.
Most minor league baseball players are not members of MLBPA, so it’s not really relevant to the discussion. If you’re saying the players who are not members of MLBPA who play for the associated and independent minor leagues should be unionized, I think the probably should be, because, look upstairs.
There is an interesting twist to Trumps tax plan moving to a 15/30k standard deduction. Add to this the idea of ending the deductablity of state and local taxes and an aweful lot of folks in the center of the country will find live easier as they won’t have to itemize. Assuming mortgage rates to to 5% That would mean that likley (depending on charitable deductions) you would need a mortgage of over 20k for the MID to make any difference, so the plan would mean that folks in the states that voted for trump would no longer have to itemize in many cases.