Our Common Good

The “Make Work Pay: Why Empowering Workers & Holding CEO’s Accounable is Vital to Economic Growth” workshop at next weeks Take Back the American Dream conference, will examine why America can’t afford to go the way of Texas on jobs.


As I wrote almost a year ago, conservative think you (and I) need a pay cut.

The underlying factors remain the same. At the time, the GOP had the minimum wage in its crosshairs, but middle- and working-class Americans were already taking a pay cut in the form of unpaid furloughs and reduced working hours. The decades preceding the 2008 economic crisis saw working-class wages stagnate while the incomes rose for the wealthiest. The stagnation and decline in middle- and working-class wages paralleled the decline of organized labor. Increased productivity, added to the mix, means that Americans who still have jobs are working harder for lessFewer of them are quitting their jobs, even if they’re dissatisfied with their jobs cause And in a “no-quit economy,” it’s pretty much true.

The past few years have born more evidence that a American workers, already weakened by decades, are bearing the brunt of the recession.

But perhaps the biggest price tag on low-wage jobs creation is the potential for a “lost decade” of economic growth. Fewer people working means fewer people purchasing goods and services, leading to a drop in demand, which leads to further job loss. Two reports. It’s simple enough, but Republicans swear that lowering wages — like Michele Bachmann, who advocates doing away with the minimum wage in order to “offer jobs at whatever level” — will reduce unemployment to nil.

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