My response to: Three Ways to Help the Working Class: ... In graduate school, I was once told that “people don’t have marginal products, jobs do.” What does this mean? ...http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2016/01/three-ways-to-help-the-working-class.htmlThat's right ... You cannot make the retail clerk any more productive. That's talking about the people I care about: bus drivers (taxi drivers -- me :-]), home carers, janitors, etc. But, you can make the economy they inhabit more productive -- and then the economy can pay them more (not less every year!): why barbers in France get paid more than barbers in Poland (classic example).US per capita income in 1968, $15,000. In 2016, $30,000.Minimum wage nearly $4 an hour below what it was in 1968 (adjusted). Ditto for the price of US labor across the mid-to-lower board.US mid-to-low labor price so extraordinarily low that half (HALF! -- 100,000!) of Chicago's gang age, minority males would rather join a street gang. Then there's my gang, Chicago's old (mostly retired) American born taxi drivers. Wouldn't get us into that job today for $500, if lucky, for 60 grueling hours.http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/The core American trouble isn't wages not keeping up with productivity per se (though that parallels); the core labor sickness is wages not even remotely approaching what the consumer (not the boss) might be very willing to pay.We do not need to attract businesses that provide good jobs -- the jobs cannot be good if the pay is miserly. High wage opportunities don't happen -- they are made (ask Jimmy Hoffa).Educational resources are not needed to help retail clerks reach their full potential. Good pay for retail clerks is needed to help Detroit's schools reach their full potential. Nationwide: poverty area schools don't work because students (and teachers!) don't feel it worth making the effort -- given the job market doesn't promise anything remunerative enough to strive for when it's time for them to go to work.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00332EXDM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1"I believe this is mainly due to differences in bargaining power." Which is mainly due to absurdly unenforceable labor laws in this country which -- uniquely in all markets -- allows one side in the labor market to bully the other side out of being able to meaningfully bargain. Simple enough solution: make union busting a felony (like every other kind of market warping -- try to take a movie in the movies and telling them you were only kidding).The labor laws enabling collective bargaining have long been in place; the need for collective barraging presumably settled. So when are progressive states going to begin -- one state at a time; forget Congress -- to make these laws enforceable? Federal preemption means individual states cannot subtract from national law, but states may add. In Maryland for one, Democrats have a 33-17 edge in the State Senate and a 91-50 edge in the House. WA, OR, CA, IL, NY, anybody listening?IS ANYBODY, ANYWHERE LISTENING?! Retail clerks (and their hungry families) desperately want to know.
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