May 23, 2018

How Labor Unions Impact Inequality – And Whether That Justifies the Legacy Costs They Leave



Unions recently took some hits in Republican states, but now teachers’ strikes are pushing back and winning. Can unions still be influential in Red America, when they are mostly in the public sector? And are they out to defend their own interests or to play a broader social role? Laura Bucci finds that despite declines, unions still help reduce inequality across states—through policy and the labor market. But Daniel DiSalvo finds public sector unions are also leaving states with burdensome legacy costs, with even Republicans capitulating. In both cases, labor unions are still influencing our politics and economy even after big declines in the private sector.

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