Policies lowering bargaining power of workers, relative to their employers Decline in purchasing power of minimum wage Decline in unionization rate Economic deregulation Privatization (state and local) Welfare Reform Recessionary macroeconomic policy Pro-corporate globalization
Figure 10: Real value of the minimum wage, 1955-2004
Figure 9: Share of workers in unions, 1948- 2004
Table 6: Health-care coverage rates, by wage quintile 1979-2002
Table 8: Distribution of household wealth, 1962-2001
Figure 11: Prison and jail population, 1980-2003
Reading List John Schmitt. Labor markets and economic inequality in the United States since the end of the 1970s, International Journal of Health Services, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 655-673. [Available in Working Paper form: http://www.noapparentmotive.org/papers/schmitt_ijhs.pdf.] John Schmitt. How Good is the [US] Economy at Creating Good Jobs? Center for Economic and Policy Research Briefing Paper, October 2005. [http://www.cepr.net/publications/labor_markets_2005_10.pdf] Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Silvia Allegretto. The State of Working America 2004-2005. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2005.
Three important economic distributions and the politics that shape them John Schmitt Center for Economic and Policy Research www.cepr.net