The Bad Bargain

Wages are largely stagnant. Data suggest that growing profits earned by corporate investors is coming from shrinking incomes of workers. “Labor's share of national income has been falling slowly since the 1970s in rich countries around the world,” writes Daniel Altman for Foreign Policy. Increasing technology along with global integration and competition has pressured unions and eroded labor’s bargaining power. Also, businesses have become more concentrated, Altman adds. Fewer employers have more employees and power. All this adds up to inequality, as demonstrated by the statistic that although some workers are investors, too, “three quarters of families received less than 2 percent of their income directly from financial assets over the past decade, versus close to 80 percent from wages” in the United States. Workers with good educations have more bargaining power and flexibility, and some local governments impose minimum wages. Altman concludes the only sure way for most workers to regain bargaining power is through global organization. – YaleGlobal

The Bad Bargain

Competition, technology, global integration erode labor’s bargaining power, adding to dangerous rise in income inequality; labor could organize globally
Daniel Altman
Friday, December 27, 2013
©2013 The Foreign Policy Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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