Today will bring both paeans to the labor movement that used to be and sorrowful laments to the labor movement that’s nearly extinct today. But really, the entire story can be boiled down to a single chart:
If union density and income share had remained at their level of 50 years ago—before Reaganomics put an end to all that—working class households would be earning $10,000 more than they do now and middle-class households would be earning $15-20,000 more. That’s real money.
Instead it’s all been hoovered up by the top ten percent—and especially the top 1 percent—and there’s been no countervailing power big enough and powerful enough to keep the rich from taking it. And that’s just the way they like it.