Yes, Union Decline Affects Everyone
In today’s issue of The New York Times, columnistadmits something too few are willing to say — “I was wrong,” he writes. Wrong, it turns out, about the importance of unions and the effect they have overall on the economy and the lives of the middle class.
Kristof says he used to be wary of unions, thinking they hampered economic growth. But after looking at study after study, he’s come to realize that the facts show the opposite: Unions have been an important force for economic growth and equality.
Most studies suggest that about one-fifth of the increase in economic inequality in America among men in recent decades is the result of the decline in unions. It may be more: A study in the American Sociological Review, using the broadest methodology, estimates that the decline of unions may account for one-third of the rise of inequality among men.
Here’s to more Americans coming to the same realization as Kristoff, and working to strengthen the labor movement so that more of us can have access to a living wage and a chance at the American dream.