How 40 Years of Union-Busting Has Failed America

From Slate:

Posted Friday, Aug. 2, 2013

Henry Blodget says he hates labor unions, but unless companies start raising wages we’re going to need them.

I would put this another way. If you turn back 30 or 40 years, the policy rationale for crushing labor union influence went something like this: In the short-term crushing private sector labor unions is going to lead to a surge in corporate profits, but profits are the fuel of investment and long-term economic growth. Companies with high profits have the capital necessary to invest. And the existence of large profit margins means there are profit opportunities to be exploited with new investment. It makes perfect sense. But it hasn’t happened, and profits have soared far in excess of investment.

You can look at this in different ways, but here’s corporate profits after tax minus net private investment:

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