Unions and the American Middle Class

Johnathan Cohn did an interesting interview a few weeks ago (just ahead of Labor Day) with labor strategist and researcher Rich Yeselson on the subject of the current health of America’s labor movement.  Well worth a few minutes of your time.

I was particularly interested to see this chart, which bears out my longtime conviction that when unions are stronger, the middle class is healthier.   And that’s the middle class as a whole, whether or not you’re a union member.  Putting it another way around, when folks hate on unions and cheer their demise, they’re encouraging an economy that works only for a few lucky folks at the very top.  It’s not a coincidence that the two lines move in opposite directions.

[UPDATE, 5/2016: I noticed that the image got broken and so I’ve repaired the link. Steve.]