Sunday, September 28, 2014

In 30 years 1% may take 50% of income -- check the math!

If the top 1% income continues to receive all the economic growth, then, by the time the output per person expands 50% (25-30 years?) the top 1% income will “earn” half of a half-larger economy (25% + 50% = 75% of 150%). By the time output per person doubles (typically 40-50 years) the equation will read 25% + 100% out of 200% = 62.5% of a twice-as-large economy.

Throw in Piketty’s projections — inherited rentier incomes swallowing up even more income share (like the England of old) -- and the bottom drops out for pretty much everyone.

There is a decades old, around the world tested answer. Ask Jimmy Hoffa as I always say — who spent 30 years, fighting (by fair means and admittedly sometimes foul) to spread the negotiation of one, single collectively bargained contract for all employees doing similar work with all employers — spreading outward from the jungle of Detroit’s Depression era labor market, finally to the whole country with the Teamsters 1964 National Master Freight Agreement (covering 400,000 truckers then, 50,000 now). Without so-called centralized bargaining every union these days is subjected to the race-to-the-bottom if employers can point to someone down the road paying less — more is needed than just organizing, as with card check. Ask poverty level wage supermarket employees since Walmart, etc., destroyed their middle class one-union-with-one-employer contracts.

Oddly enough to an American (me), legally mandated, centralized bargaining was instituted by the industrialists in post WWII Europe — something about fending off a labor union race to the top; thereby conserving more money for rebuilding. Today centralized bargaining can be found over the world from nearby French Canada to Argentina to Indonesia.

Which is to say that the most successful labor union (relatively speaking *) in this country and the most successful economies in the world have instituted the only labor setup I have ever heard of that results in a fair and balanced market. The way back for America must begin by everyone talking about that way back -- to everyone.

Campaign financing and lobbying equal to the 1%'s plus 99% of the vote would neatly fall into place.

A Pattern of Retreat: The Decline of Pattern Bargaining

PS.  Where the would the money come from to pay a $15 an hour federal minimum wage: the 55% of the workforce that takes 90% of income share would pay 3.5% higher prices -- shift approx. 3.5% income -- to the 45% who take only 10% share today.  Not going to lay off 45% of the workforce.  The economy grows that much every few years!  :-)  70 million X average $8,000 raise = $560 billion out of our $16,000 billion economy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The best (only?) way to reach Democratic voters -- even if you only care about their votes

RE:  Republicans Make Big Advances Thanks to Citizens United
by Alex Kotch
September 10, 2014,  American Prospect

The Rising Tide: Will All Boats Be Lifted?,  August 01, 2014,  by Richard Reeves
... The crucial factor, Podhorzer found, is Democrats’ vote share among voters making less than $50,000: ... whether Democrats win these voters by a 10-point or a 20-point margin tells you who won every national election for the last decade. ... To reach these voters, Podhorzer believes, candidates need to focus on the economic issues of the working class. ‘Economic populism decides who wins elections in America,’ he said.
There is only one realistic way to re-make America economically and politically: legally mandated, centralized bargaining.  All employees doing similar work (e.g., retail clerk) must be able to negotiate one common contract with all firms.  Automatically rebuilding America's unions by law (waiting for the resurrection? -- little things like card check will only find a few new unions on the race-to-the-bottom with all the others) would automatically rebuild and rebalance the political forum too, as the average persons' combined financing and lobbying matched ownership's -- to go with our 99% of the votes.

Even if Democratic candidates don't believe in centralized bargaining for labor contracts (a.k.a.. sector-wide labor agreements), actually don't even want or like them, just cynically pushed them to get votes -- guess what? -- (after explaining the game changing advantages) they will surely get the votes.

The most successful economy in the world, Germany, has the most thorough version of centralized bargaining (ask Lufthansa employees).  The most successful union in this country, the Teamsters, spent 30 years fighting to expand one single labor contract from sea to shining sea, succeeding in 1964 with its National Master Freight Agreement (ask retiring drivers at my old local 804,
30-and-out, $3900 a month).

Centralized bargaining is not some new look or new kook idea -- it is an established practice for almost seven decades, world-wide, from continental Europe, to French Canada, to second-world Argentina, to third-world Indonesia.  Somebody just has to say the words ("centralized bargaining") out loud here -- even if the only thing they want to accomplish is to turn the tide heavily in favor of Democratic candidates.