A central feature of the American economy in the three decades after World War II was a mass upward mobility in which each generation lived better than the last and workers experienced earnings gains through much of their careers. The central drivers of mass upward mobility were real wages that grew roughly in line with labor productivity.
The panel discussion "Unions in the Public Eye" took place at New York University School of Law as part of the "Annual Survey of American Law Symposium: The Continuing Vitality of Unions" on Feb. 23. Panelists were Thomas A. Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management professor and past Labor and Employment Relations Association president; Steven Greenhouse, New York Times labor and workplace reporter; and Randy Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
For video of keynote speech by Professor Benjamin Sacks (Harvard Law), click here.
To view the panel discussion "Unions in the Poltical Process" click here.
To view the panel discussion "The Future of the NLRB" click here.
For years, activists who pushed hard for local policies to improve low-wage jobs feared that their small successes would have only marginal effects. But now, as the debate over proposed increases in the federal minimum wage heats up, their grit and determination may pay off.
In her essay in a new edited volume, “What Works for Workers?,” Stephanie Luce points out that more than 125 living-wage ordinances have been put into place since Baltimore first implemented one in 1994. While the number of workers directly affected has been relatively small, no ill economic effects have been documented, and the political demonstration aspect of it has been heartening. <Read more>
First published online by the New York Times Feb. 24, 2014.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on "Obamacare" was loosely reported in the news media and led to some charges that the program would cause jobs to be "lost." A more correct question is whether the program causes labor market distortions. And then the question is, distortions relative to what?
On October 1, 2013, two key provisions of the US Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) designed to extend health insurance to the close to 41 million uninsured Americans took effect. The one that garnered all the political and media attention was the individual mandate provision, requiring individuals with no insurance to buy private health insurance policies. The law allows states to set up their own online health insurance exchanges to offer these policies, enter a state-federal partnership, or default into the federally created exchange. Twenty-seven states, in part to protest Obamacare, decided not to set up their own exchanges and left it to the feds. As everyone exposed to US media knows by now, the federal exchange website messed up big time, temporarily precluding people from being able to sign up in October and parts of November. The glitches have pretty well been resolved and people are enrolling. Read more...
First published online by Feminist Economics Jan. 17, 2014.
The "business climate" and its relation to taxes has been a major issue of contention in California. But the information on business openings and closings doesn't seem to have responded negatively to a recent boost in taxes through a ballot initiative. Quite the contrary.
Our EPRN and LERA community lost an extremely talented and creative colleague who, for many of us, was also a dear friend. This past weekend, Casey Ichniowski died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm.
After an acquisition by a new owner, The Patch - a group of online local newspapers - laid off staff by phone call.
A recent California poll suggests a turn in public opinion toward skepticism about unions. What happened?
“Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought in here so insidiously designed so as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers, and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people.”
Thus did Representative John Taber, Republican of New York, condemn the Social Security Act of 1935.
Rhetorical attacks on paid family leave proposals have been less grandiloquent. But in 2007, Randel Johnson, a vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, proclaimed that the business community would wage “all-out war” against it. <Read more>
First published online by The New York Times Jan. 27, 2014.
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