Labor Organizing in Right-to-Work States Is Numbers Game

Source: Chris Opfer and Jasmine Ye Han, Daily Labor Report, August 15, 2017

A total of 28 states have passed right-to-work laws, which ban unions from charging representation and administrative fees to workers who are part of a collective bargaining unit but choose not to join the union. The spread of those restrictions has squeezed labor resources, forcing some organizers to be pickier about which workforces they try to unionize. Unions filed fewer than one-third as many election petitions in right-to-work states than in the rest of the country in 2016, according to Bloomberg BNA’s analysis of labor voting data. Although their success rate (52 percent) in those elections was slightly higher in right-to-work states, the reduction in overall petitions means fewer workplaces are likely to be unionized in states with forced fee bans on the books.

Negotiating Civil Resistance

Source: Anthony Wanis-St and John and Noah Rosen, United States Institute of Peace, 2017

From the summary:
Reviewing the literature on negotiation and civil resistance, this report examines the current divide between the two and digs deeper to identify the fundamental convergences. It builds on these findings to illustrate why negotiations and negotiation concepts are essential to the success of civil resistance campaigns. Using historical examples, it then examines the dynamics of negotiation in the context of these strategic domains.

– Nonviolent uprisings and protest movements can help channel popular discontent into positive political and social change.
– Negotiation can enable opposition movements to more effectively press for such change.
– Despite enormous complementarities, civil resistance activists and negotiation scholar-practitioners have tended to develop separate communities of practice and divergent theories.
– Rights advocates often focus on ends; the conflict resolution community emphasizes processes and methods.
– Demands of a movement can be structured to make either pragmatic, incremental gains toward justice or peace, or far-reaching, transformative changes to restructure a system.
– Movement leaders need to recognize the three key purposes of a demand: collectivizing, dramatizing, and generating momentum.
– Direct action campaigns should increase the social power of a movement by mobilizing key populations and establishing the moral high ground of the movement vis-à-vis the target regime.
– Effective direct action has a clear target, whether a policy or a regime.
– Broad-based participation that moves beyond demonstration and becomes transgressive shows the opponent that obedience and compliance cannot be taken for granted.
– The leverage nonviolent movements have depends on the quality and strength of the negotiated agreements within the coalition and with the regime. Such negotiations are far from a mere formality: the process of unpacking an old regime and rebuilding a functional, harmonious society is usually a process, rarely a definitive end-state.
– Rather than marking the formal end of a civil resistance campaign, negotiation is essential to successfully initiating, expanding, and sustaining it.
– Despite clear and important cleavages and divergence between the negotiation and conflict resolution field, on the one hand, and the civil resistance field, on the other, their convergence is promising.

The Promise of the State-Federal Partnership on Workforce and Job Training

Source: National Governors Association and the National Associations of State Workforce Liaisons and State Workforce Board Chairs, 2017

Report from the National Governors Association and the National Associations of State Workforce Liaisons and State Workforce Board Chairs on the importance of strong partnership between states and the federal government on workforce development.

Nearly Half of Trump ’s Proposed Tax Cuts Go to People Making More than $1 Million Annually

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), August 2017

From the summary:
A tiny fraction of the U.S. population (one-half of one percent) earns more than $1 million annually. But in 2018 this elite group would receive 48.8 percent of the tax cuts proposed by the Trump administration. A much larger group, 44.6 percent of Americans, earn less than $45,000, but would receive just 4.4 percent of the tax cuts.

The first group, the millionaires, would receive an average tax cut of more than $217,000 in 2018, equal to 7 percent of their income. The second group, those making less than $45,000, would receive an average tax cut of just $230, equal to less than one percent of their income….
Related:
Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Tax Proposals Would Not Benefit All States or Taxpayers Equally
Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), July 2017

Six myths about criminal justice reform

Source: Chelsea Thomson, Urban Institute, August 10, 2017

When it comes to criminal justice reform efforts, states are leading the charge. Programs such as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a structured criminal justice reform process designed to help states more safely and cost-effectively manage their corrections populations, as well as Louisiana’s recently enacted bipartisan, data-driven legislation highlight states’ ongoing work to enact evidence-based reforms and data-driven solutions.

But the ongoing discussion on criminal justice reform has put forth varied messages about what really improves outcomes for communities and what the possibilities are for additional reform.

Fortunately, research helps us answer those questions. Here’s the truth about recent criminal justice reform efforts….

The labor market in the US, 2000−2016

Source: Daniel S. Hamermesh, IZA World of Labor, April 2017

Recovery from the Great Recession is essentially complete, but there are difficult unemployment and wage issues

From the blog post:
A new IZA World of Labor report looking at the US labor market (2000-2016) finds a remarkable drop in the labor force participation rate; the nearly full recovery of unemployment from the depths of the Great Recession; and the continuing growth in post-inflation average earnings while earnings inequality continues to rise.

The report by IZA Network Coordinator Dan Hamermesh (Royal Holloway, University of London) looks at the development of the American labor market since before the 2001 recession. In the aggregate the US labor market is doing quite well today. Unemployment is currently below 5%, and real weekly earnings of full-time workers increased from the 2000 cyclical peak to the current period of near full employment.
Related:
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Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and the Wages of Native-Born Americans

Source: Asadul Islam, Faridul Islam and Chau Nguyen, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 56, Issue 3, July 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The paper examines the effects of skilled immigration on wages that can be credited to immigrants’ contribution to innovation. Using both individual and state-level datasets from the United States, we find a significant and positive effect of immigration on wages that is attributable to skilled immigrants’ contribution to innovation. Our results confirm previous findings that immigrants contribute substantially to the host economy’s innovation, which is a major driver of technological progress and productivity growth. When we augment the analysis to an immigration–innovation–wages nexus, the results suggest that as the share of skilled immigrants in a particular skill group increases, the wages of both natives and immigrants in that group also get a positive boost. We also identify evidence in favor of a positive spillover effect of skilled immigrants on a state’s wage level of all workers, including those who do not directly contribute to innovation.

Opinion: How philanthropic dynasties are exerting their power over US policy

Source: David Callahan, The Guardian, July 25, 2017

As a nation built in opposition to the aristocracy, is it right that US billionaires are creating foundations to confer power and privilege on to future generations? ….

….Studies have found that wealth that is directly passed down to heirs tends to disappear pretty quickly. It’s gone in most cases by the second or third generation, according to one 2015 analysis.
Private foundations, on the other hand, offer a way to preserve – and grow – estates over many decades and even centuries. There are more than 90,000 private foundations in the US, with over $800bn in assets, almost half of which are under family control. ….

The Closing of the Jobs Gap: A Decade of Recession and Recovery

Source: Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, Lauren Bauer, Audrey Breitwieser, Brookings Institution, Hamilton Project, Economic Analysis, August 4, 2017

From the summary:
The Great Recession caused labor market devastation on a scale not seen for many decades. Millions of jobs were lost in the United States during 2008 and 2009, leaving the labor market with a hard road to recovery. Indeed, that recovery has required many years of job growth, and it was only in April 2014 that total employment reached its pre-recession level.

However, this milestone did not mark a return to pre-recession labor market conditions. Because the U.S. population is growing, simply reaching the previous number of jobs is not sufficient to return to pre-recession employment rates. At the same time, more baby boomers have entered retirement, somewhat offsetting the effects of population growth and reducing the number of jobs needed for a full economic recovery.

In order to accurately track the progress of the labor market recovery, The Hamilton Project developed a measure of labor market health—the “jobs gap”—that reflects changes in both the level and the demographic composition of the U.S. population (more details regarding the jobs gap methodology are provided in appendix A). Beginning in May of 2010, The Hamilton Project has calculated the number of jobs needed to return to the national employment rate prior to the Great Recession, accounting for population growth and aging.