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The N.C. Budget and Tax Center reported recently that while North Carolinians are working harder than ever, most are not reaping the benefits economically. The report points to the “off-shoring” of jobs as a major contributor to soaring income inequality.

Yesterday, Senior Economist John Schmitt of the Center for Economic Policy Research reported similar findings on the national level; American workers are better and more productive than ever.

“The workforce today is more experienced, much better educated, and working with more –and better– capital. Largely as a result, GDP per capita was 63 percent higher in 2010 than it was in 1979.”

Schmitt’s report, however, points to parallel and closely related contributing cause for growing wage and income inequality: the decline in worker bargaining power. Read More

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It looks incremental, but it’s progress…

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012

Contact: Justin Flores, FLOC Director of Programs Office: 919-731-4433; Cell: 704-577-3480

MAJOR TOBACCO COMPANIES AGREE TO MEET WITH FLOC TO DISCUSS FARMWORKERS’ RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Group Includes Reynolds American, Inc.

In a landmark breakthrough, several of the largest tobacco companies have agreed to designate a committee made up of representatives of tobacco manufacturers, tobacco growers, and farmworkers. FLOC will represent the workers, the North Carolina Grower’s Association will represent the growers and Altria will represent Altria/Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American and Philip Morris International.   The committee is charged with Read More

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(Cross-posted from the blog John Wilson Unleashed):

“Newt’s Half-Baked Idea
By John Wilson

Have you ever tried to bake a cake but had it flop because you took it out of the oven too early? Underbaked cake is mushy and gooey, difficult to correct, and hard to swallow. That is my mental model of Presidential hopeful and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch’s idea on teaching poor children a work ethic. But it’s even worse than half-baked; it’s outrageous, and offensive. Read More

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It’s no secret that unions have become a much diminished economic and political force in the US over the past four decades.  Between 1973 and 2007, union membership in the private sector fell from 34 percent to 8 percent among men in the US and from 16 to 6 percent among women.

A new study by economists Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld demonstrates that this substantial decline in unionization in the US has played a much bigger role in growing income inequality than previously thought.  In fact, the researchers found that,

…deunionization explains a fifth of the inequality increase for women, and a third for men. The decline of organized labor among men contributes as much to rising wage inequality as the growing stratification of pay by education. Read More