Like Brad DeLong, before the recession started I could not have imagined that policymakers would fail to put the unemployed first and foremost in all policy decisions. I was sure the unemployed would come before inflation, before banks, before debt reduction and contrived fights over the debt ceiling. How could we possibly turn our backs on millions of struggling households, especially when doing so creates so many additional long-run problems for individual households and for the economy as a whole? Nothing else would be more important than putting people back to work, and we would, of course, come together and mobilize in a national war against high unemployment.Read it at Economist's View
But I forgot something. With the decline in unions in recent decades, the working class has lost both economic and political power....
Finally, we could try to provide (or at least not discourage) a countervailing force, something that replaces the role that unions played for the working class. I'm not completely sure what form this institution should take, workers lack both economic power in wage negotiations and political power to shape legislation in their favor, or how it could happen short of fed up workers finally demanding change. But workers need to have their interests better represented, and the need for a new institution of some sort is clear.
The Need for Countervailing Power
by Mark Thoma
ELR as countervailing force to the LLR? And maybe get rid of the laws that repress labor bargaining power, e.g., by suppressing collective bargaining?