It was the New Deal, and the rise of unions that the New Deal facilitated, that rendered the Labor Question seemingly moot. In the three decades following World War II, when unions were strong and prosperity broadly shared, the term receded into the history books alongside other phrases – like, say, “slaveholder” – that evoked a dark and presumably buried side of America’s past. The economic inequality that preceded the New Deal is back with us; the Labor Question has returned. For the last several decades, however, it’s the largely egalitarian spirit of the New Deal that has receded into the shadows. The economic inequality that preceded the New Deal is back with us; the Labor Question has returned. At the core of the problem is the imbalance of economic power, which takes the form of booming profits and stagnating http://bansespoll602548pfm.biznewsselect.com wages. The Financial Times recently reported that the share of company revenues going to profits is the highest in many years, which necessarily means that the share going to the main alternative destination for company revenues – employees’ pockets – has shrunk. Nor is this a short-lived phenomenon brought about by the Republican tax cut. In 2011, the chief investment officer of JP Morgan Chase calculated that three-quarters of the long-term increase in U.S. companies’ profit margins was due to the declining share going to wages and benefits. A study last year by Simcha Barkai, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center, found that labor’s share of the national income has dropped by 6.7% since the mid-1980s, while the share of the nation’s income going to business investment in equipment, research, new hires and the like has dropped by 7.2%.
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