1. Workers’ real incomes are declining
Americans are working harder and more hours than ever, yet their real incomes have been in decline over the last decade and have not moved up at all over the last twenty years. Without the negotiating power that comes from collective bargaining, many workers simply don’t have the leverage to stop the decline of their purchasing power – even as their productivity increases and their employers get richer.
2. As unions go, so does the middle class
It is no secret that there is a strong correlation between union membership density and the fortunes of the middle class. Unions are the strongest champions of workers, fighting vigorously for wages that give the middle class the piece of the economic pie that it deserves. With higher union density comes fair distribution of wealth to the middle class that it earned.
3. Inequality is at unprecedented levels
The rich are getting richer at the cost of the middle class’s wealth. As productivity goes up, the gains are going to the top 10% rather than to those who are actually doing the work to create all this new wealth. This trend has the disastrous effect of removing the ladder of upward mobility that is so integral to the American Dream. Unions have historically been a check on excessive greed and inequality, helping to ensure that workers receive the fruits of their labor.
Did we miss another reason? Let us know in the comments!