Nov 22, 2019
Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Union membership in the United States has experienced a long decline. From a peak of over 30 percent of the labor force in 1945, it now hovers around 11 percent. Legal scholar BRISHEN ROGERS (Temple University and a Visiting Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, Georgetown Law) argues that, more than the ineluctable forces of automation and globalization, it is this decline that is responsible for the high levels of income inequality in the U.S. While these processes are intertwined, Rogers uses a comparative approach to tease them apart. To redress inequality, he advocates that we adopt systems of sectoral bargaining that have succeeded in other countries to keep more income in the hands of working people. His discussion with Matthew Berkman, Visiting Assistant Professor at Oberlin College, followed his presentation at the Mitchell Center’s REVERBERATIONS OF INEQUALITY Opening Conference.