What Happens If America Loses Its Unions
washingtonpost.com — What would America look like without a union movement? That’s not a hard question to answer, because we’re almost at that point. When unions are powerful, they boost the incomes of not only their members but also of nonunion workers in their sector or region. Deunionization is just one reason Americans’ incomes have declined, of course. But the declining share of pretax income going to wages is chiefly the result of the weakening of unions, which is the main reason American managers now routinely seek to thwart their workers’ attempts to unionize through legally questionable but economically rewarding tactics (rewarding, that is, for the managers). Some liberals are searching for ways to arrest the economic decline of the majority of their fellow Americans in a post-union environment. If workers can’t bargain with their employers, it can’t be done. If and when Big Labor dies — it’s on life support now — America’s big middle class dies with it.