Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Underlying principle: monopoly of union balances monopsony of employers

My caveat about one concept in a great, comprehensive survey:

Unions in the Precarious Economy, How collective bargaining can help gig and on-demand workers
Katherine V.W. Stone February 21, 2017

“If gig workers in the United States are found to be independent contractors rather than employees, they cannot benefit from federal and state laws guaranteeing” … “as independent contractors, any collective action they might take to change their working conditions could make them liable for antitrust violations.”

I’m thinking, UPS and FedEx are identical companies (UPS 550 planes, 60,000 trucks; FedEx 650 planes, 45,000 trucks). If the First Amendment guarantees the right of UPS truckers to collectively bargain, how to justify denying the same right is possessed by FedEx drivers -- even if they had been (are) found to be individual contractors, not employees.

Underlying principle: monopoly of unions needed to balance the monopsony of employers. Country founded on balancing competing interests.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gang members are not interested in the up-to-date kitchen or ...

Some stuff I'm working on -- while reading James Kwak's book Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality.

Nations are just like people -- nations are just as free to decide to consume more and invest less or vice-versa.  Do individuals always obsess on containing every possible dime of consumption so as to invest more later?  Let's look at what (who!) Republicans think our nation should conserve less of to invest more later.

Let's see: less Medicaid, less food stamps, less education, less ... .  Wait a minute; looks like the lowest people on the economic totem pool, the poorest are expected to consume even less (through lower government spending) so that the rich can save more (through heavy tax cuts) and invest ... and make all our futures brighter later.  Mmm.

Doesn't seem to be working in Chicago at least where our quarter back Jay Cutler has a $126 million contract for 7 years -- and 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 minority, gang age males are in street gangs. 

Gang members (and their out of work blue collar, rust belt, former manufacturing counterparts) are not interested in the up-to-date kitchen or two mini-vans sitting in the garage.  They just want a decent life.

A $10 an hour job is not a decent life -- a $20 an hour job or jobs is.  Most $10 an hour jobs could pay $20.  The min wage was $11 when per capita income was half today's.  45% of today's workforce takes 10% of overall income -- used to be 20%.  2/3 of workforce will always be non-college -- only way to $20 is through collective bargaining with the ultimate consumer -- able to not show up to work for the 55% if they won't fork over.  Oh, uh, top  1% used to take 10% overall, not 20% -- all of which means the money's there -- somewhere.

Labor is sold sort of on reverse-margin.  Meaning labor can raise the price of Walmart's goods for instance only 7% while getting 100% raise for itself.  The money's there.