Saturday, June 08, 2013

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jillian Berman reports on research showing that the predictable effect of decreased unionization is a transfer of wealth from workers to shareholders:
The jump in corporate profit over the past few decades can be explained largely by a decline in union membership over the same period, according to a study by Tali Kristal, a sociologist at the University of Haifa in Israel. The boost in companies’ bottom line comes at workers’ expense, Kristal wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

“It’s a zero sum game: whatever is not going to workers, goes to corporations,” Kristal said. “Union decline not only increased wage gaps among workers, but also enabled capitalists to grab a larger slice of the national income pie at the expense of all workers, including the highly skilled.”

The findings, published Thursday in the American Sociological Review, add a new dimension to the debate over income inequality in the U.S., suggesting that policies aimed at boosting unions may help. Corporate profit soared to a record high share of the economy earlier this year, according to Bloomberg, while workers' wages have remained largely stagnant. The rise in profit comes as union membership has dropped to a record low.
- Nora Loreto discusses the importance of including younger workers in the benefits of unionization - rather than conceding future losses to protect past gains. And Trish Hennessy offers some numbers on working women - including confirmation of the role of unions in pursuing pay equity.

- Thomas Walkom writes that the Cons' PMO-controlled slush fund looks to be the missing link connecting Clusterduff to the broader party apparatus. And as Colin Horgan points out, the Cons aren't helping their already-lacking credibility any through feeble attempts to deny the obvious facts about a fund - particularly after confirming them a day earlier.

- Meanwhile, Alex Jordan Himelfarb comments that Stephen Harper's choice to flee questions about his party's patronage system reflects disdain for democratic transparency. And Chantal Hebert wonders whether resignation may soon be in the cards for Harper.

- Finally, Adrienne Silnicki observes that funding health care is a matter of political choice - and that the governments who demand that we accept fewer services in the name of tax breaks for the wealthy be held to account for that readily-avoidable state of affairs.

[Edit: Fixed attribution, typo.]


  1. Anonymous10:55 a.m.

    If Harper resigns before the next election, I think it would be next summer, not this one.

  2. Anonymous12:07 p.m.

    Jordan Himelfard rather than Alex.