The American Dream Hinges on Organized Labor

That’s the conclusion of a new study by the Center for American Progress looking at data from the Pew Research Center. The study looked at unionization rates within states and found that states with the highest percentage of unionized workers also have the highest rates of economic mobility – as in, the chances that someone born into the middle class can work their way into the upper class.

Being able to come from nothing and live a successful life is the basis of the American Dream. Unfortunately, the United States now lags behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to economic mobility.

Today, more than 2/3 of Americans born in the bottom-fifth income bracket – will stay in the bottom two-fifths income brackets their entire lives. A lot of that has to do with a 32-year war against organized labor starting with Ronald Reagan. The study concludes by showing that just a ten-percent boost in unionized workers in an average state would increase economic mobility by 4%.

It’s time to bring democracy back to the work place through unions and give workers a shot at what they’ve been promised – a shot at the American Dream.

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