Alternative Visions -Labor Day 2017: The Condition of the US Working Class Today-09.01.17

Dr. Rasmus takes stock of the condition of the US working class today. Discussed are the true condition of jobs and employment and how official government statistics underestimate contingent jobs, discouraged and missing labor force jobs, how labor force participation fails to account for millions, how government surveys of jobs underestimates, and how ‘hidden unemployment’ means jobless today is still 15-20 million. Working class wage stagnation the past decade, 2007 to 2017, is estimated with effects of contingent labor, gig labor, free trade, capital substitution, de-unionization, and privatization of healthcare and pension benefits; how workers real wages are less than reported due to housing-medical-education cost inflation, shifting tax burdens, and rising debt interest payments. The show concludes with discussion of new employer offensives against unions, focusing on open shop (right to work) Koch brothers offensives and new initiatives to outlaw agency shop and dues check off provisions in union contracts. Acknowledging the dismal scenario, Rasmus concludes that instead of stepping up defense of unions and workers’ interests, the Democratic party continues to retreat further into the morass of identity politics.

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