Archive for February, 2011

A stronger America starts with American workers

Friday, February 18th, 2011

“I’m standing with the teachers, nurses, social workers, and everyone battling Wisconsin’s terrible anti-worker bill. If you’re with me, please spread the word.”

You may wonder why.テつ Aren’t those public union people overpaid?
It depends.
Recall that we’ve all learned that American workers in aggregate have been losing ground economically for more than a decade.テつ Coincidentally, union membership as a percentage of the workforce has fallen.
Public workers are doing well compared to non-union workers, it’s true.
The false assumption is that public workers should be knocked down to match the (steadily losing ground) private sector workers.テつ That policy will only create more losses for the working class, and more spread between the highest earning people and the lowest-earning workers.
If you really want an American economy that’s edging toward a system of serfs and wealth-holders, then by all means break the unions, and start in Wisconsin.

I want an America with a strong, prosperous, well-compensated middle class.テつ In an ideal world we’d (somehow) get that without labor unions, but history gives no such examples.テつ To get there, we have to give labor the tools to improve their bargaining position.

In the longer run, the economy and the country will benefit.

Paradox Lost

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Pundits have been fussing about the mis-match between the recent relatively small number of jobs added (per the employer survey) relative to the much larger decrease in the unemployment rate (per the household survey.)テつ I believe they are all missing one crucial point:

The household survey contacts random households, and asks about the number of household members working.
The employer survey contacts large existing businesses– it can not measure new employment at newly created companies.
Research has made it very clear that new jobs come overwhelmingly from new small companies.

These two measures often diverge when the economy is shifting directions, or in this case starting to really grow more strongly.

It is reasonable to believe that the employment survey is the more accurate one at the moment.