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Collective Bargaining and Constitutional Avoidance

As I mentioned, with the apparent coming of an early spring to Brooklyn, my mind has turned to the relationship between labor, capital, and the government. In my thinking about the issue from an economic perspective, collective bargaining is an area on which I still need to sort through my thinking. But before getting back to the economics, I find myself distracted by the Supreme Court, as I frequently am. On Monday, the justices heard arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a major case that has the potential to upend labor law. The issue in the case is fairly simple, and one that the Court has heard before: an employee doesn't want to pay his union dues. In this case, the employee in question is a g

Medicare Extra for All - My Questions

White papers on health policy are seldom cause for me to get excited. As a rule, they are statements of principle, lacking the specifics of how exactly you implement it. Not so with Center for American Progress's Medicare Extra for All plan, which was released yesterday. My first thought is that if you actually want to achieve universal coverage, there is nothing in this plan you could possibly strongly oppose. Much of the plan is a requirement of how you move from our current state to a world that, if not single-payer, is nearly publicly-funded. I'm not going to go through the details - Charles Gaba did so already, much better than I could. Go and read the piece at CAP, and then Gaba's piec

Labor's Share of Income

Labor policy and labor economics are a frequent thought of mine, but not one on which I’ve written previously. I was forwarded this article, but it’s taken several weeks for me to figure out what I want to say. According to so much reporting, Americans “feel” like they’ve fallen behind. I tend to be skeptical of such feelings, as well as such reporting. in this case, it is borne out by the data. Axios, relying on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, show that the share of U.S. GDP going to wages and salaries has decreased by 3.5% over the last 18 years. This is definitely not noise; it is a significant change. In addition, the share of this income going to the top 1% of earners has inc

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