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A Case for Working Class Unions

We’ve heard in recent years the oft used terms wealth inequality and its subset income or wage inequality. Quantifiable evidence showing a multi-decade trend toward wealth inequality has been presented by left-leaning economists and think tanks fueling in large part the political activism of the left wing of the Democratic Party. An example of this type of data was released by the Urban Institute showing how in 1963 families at the top of the wealth distribution had six times the wealth of families in the middle, whereas by 2016 the rich families had twelve times the wealth of those in the middle.

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is starkly revealing what can reasonably be seen as another economic misfortune of those on the lower end of the wealth spectrum. Many of the essential front line workers, such as janitors, grocery store employees, health care workers, and child care workers, among others, are those who have jobs that can’t be done via Zoom, email, and phone from home and are at higher risk for contracting the virus given the in-person customer-facing demands of their work. This increased hazard in combination with relatively low pay for workers providing services we all need during these tough times bolsters an argument that this cohort deserves more respect and economic clout.

 

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