Dan Crawford | May 30, 2018 7:44 am
Ask the 40%
Democrats cannot “guarantee” (tens of?) millions of $15/hr jobs anymore than Republicans can tax-cut their way to of massive “job creating.” The flaw in both schemes is that an economy is like a living organism and utilizes pretty much all available resources at something all the time (when not in recession). You can’t just go around planting all the jobs you want like seeds on a farm.
40% of US labor force earns $15/hr or less – possibly 60 million hanging on for dear life. Do Bernie and Cory envision a separate “shadow” economy employing many tens of millions of Americans at $20/hr — $20/hr, not $15/hr?
$20/hr jobs barely edge you into the middle class.
Annual Minimum Needs Budget Without Employment Health Benefits — two adults, one child
2001 Ms. Foundation book Raise the Floor, p. 44, table 2-3 (1999 dollars converted to 2018 dollars)
11,792 * Housing
9,722 * Health Care
7,089 * Food
6,987 * Child Care
0 * School Ave Care
3,135 * Transportation
1,741 * Clothing and Personal Expenses
745 * Household Expenses
836 * Telephone
42,052 * Subtotal Before Taxes
3,217 * Payroll Tax
1,759 * Federal Tax (including credits)
631 * State Tax (including credits)
47,661 * Total
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Bernie supports a $15/hr min wage by 2024 – by 2024 $15 may be worth $14 – by 2024 per capita income may grow 10%. 1968 fed min wage: $11.76/hr — per capita up something like 100% since.
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Bernie Sanders union restoration plan “ … would allow employees to form a union by a majority sign-up … require companies to negotiate with a new union within 10 days [of request] … mandate that workers in every state pay some dues … expand the law’s definition of ‘employer’ … .” (I worry why it specifies “new union” — any word on old, long ignored unions?)
Today’s toothless, 80-year-old NLRA is the most flouted law since federal prohibition — while being the law that the average person’s ability/inability to make their weight felt economically and politically rises or falls with. Bernie’s bill makes an honest effort to shore up the long un-shoreupable.
Milton Friedman said in essence that either 100% unions or 0% unions works out best for most labor –- not any percentage in between — because unionized workers automatically scoop a proportionately larger share of the wage divide. A hole in Uncle Miltie’s vision was that any percentage of unions automatically captures a proportionately greater share of the wage/profit divide with (monopsony) ownership — and for some reason he wasn’t okay with that.
We are down to almost 0% unions: only 6% now surviving in private (non-gov) employment. Are American workers uniquely anti-union? Ask the 40% (there’s a way). No; US unions have been subjected to a decades long onslaught of (illegal) union busting.
Bernie’s repair bill might turn out to be Bernie’s Band-Aids on such a toxic battlefield (think McDonald’s). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We can take our direction from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker –- and his Republican free-to-decert (sorry, Miltie) flatterers.
Scott forces his unionized employees to recertify every year (private employees more protected from same by the First Amendment and federal preemption) –- affirmation by majority of all members required, not merely of those who vote (Scott wants to make really, really sure his union members are united).
One of Scott’s admirers, the Republican Party of Iowa, fancied the same deal for their public employees in 2017: 93% voted pro union (under same not-to-vote is a “no” vote). “Of the 33,252 eligible voters statewide, 28,448 voted to retain their unions and only 624 cast ballots in opposition.”
I wonder how union certification votes would play out across the land if our incoming blue Congress (2019) requires union cert/recert/decert-ification elections (not just decert) at every private workplace (one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules).
Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?
Andrew Strom — November 1st, 2017
“Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill that would require a new election in each [private employer] unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule.”
“Remember “The Manchurian Candidate”? The 1959 novel, made into a classic 1962 film (never mind the remake), involved a plot to install a Communist agent as president of the United States. One major irony was that the politician in question was modeled on Senator Joe McCarthy — that is, he posed as a superpatriot even while planning to betray America.
” … Trump’s actions on international trade … are starting to have a remarkably similar feel.”
@Dennis Drew “No; US unions have been subjected to a decades long onslaught of (illegal) union busting.”
Actually, it’s all been entirely legal, because it was legalized by legislators in the pay of corporations. Voters are horrified by corporations paying legislators to pass laws in their behalf, but do not fault the legislators for taking money to betray voters, reelecting them 85% of the time.
Personally, I think the right to collective bargaining by employees should be a required item in articles of incorporation nation wide, meaning that incorporated businesses would be 100% unionized, while 100% of non-incorporated businesses would be free to hire as non union shops. Think about the competitiveness of that position.
Muyunderstanding is that firing organizers or joiners is illegal under the NLRA but the enforcement is a farce. An organizer can get his or her job back (years) later with compensation for the difference keeping their job would have been worth v. the pay of their replacement job. Then, within a year two-thirds of those organizers or joiners are fired for “something else.” No union to protect them from unfair firing of course.
Or management can simply ignore the union if it is certified — apparently without consequences. I was staying in San Francisco about 20 years ago. For two weeks the Marriott Hotel on Fourth Street had a union demonstration going outside. The leader would chant: “Hotel Marriott you’re no good”; the rank and file would shout: “Sign that contract like you should.” “San Francisco should beware”; “Hotel Marriott is unfair.”
After a couple of weeks the demo petered out. A concierge I had in my cab around then told me that part of the deal with the city for building the Marriott was that it would have a union. LOL.