Declining worker power and American economic performance

Increased monopoly power is commonly believed to explain the trends in labor income and corporate profits—but it is hard to reconcile with the substantial falls in average unemployment and inflation over the period, argue the authors, Anna Stansbury and Lawrence H. Summers of Harvard University. A decline in worker power can explain all these trends, they argue.

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Days later, the Federal Labor Relations Authority published a little-noticed rule that would make it easier for federal workers to stop the withholding of their union dues, saying it would increase wages at a time of economic crisis. Everett Kelley, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, called the proposed rule “just another in a series of activist steps the F.L.R.A. has taken to advance this administration’s goal of busting unions.”

The authors of the Brookings article accept government figures on unemployment as reliable but they are false.
People are classified as unemployed if they have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks and are currently available for work. By that definition, the twenty something crowd smoking dope in mom’s basement and the gangbangers shooting up the hood are gainfully employed. Multiply the government percentage by a factor of 7 or 8 to get a more realistic picture.

There are several ways of measuring unemployment. U1 - U6. It’s a good bet Larry Summers is aware of that.

In any case as long as the methodology used in getting the number doesn’t change significantly economists should be able arrive at good results even with errors or bias in the numbers. All models are wrong, some are useful.

Perhaps has nothing to do with this discussion. AMO president Paul Doell suspended dues payment by all members for this quarter. Every little bit helps. The one cruise ship they have under Jones Act trade in Hawaii is in need, they pay taxes to USA. Not the other fellows.

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Cliff Notes: Political Messaging on Unemployment Figures
When your party is in power:

  • Low unemployment numbers are accurate.
  • High unemployment numbers are inaccurate.

The reverse holds true when the other party is in power.

Economist don’t derive data from political rhetoric.

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Nor does political rhetoric shack up with data very often.

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