The US may be a democracy at the ballot box, regular people have very little say in how our workplaces run. Most Americans are working-class, and when union membership was at its highest levels, working families had a much higher standard of living.
There is a sharp division in modern America between two groups of people: those who own or manage money and property for a living, and those who perform work for a living. Of course, by this definition, nearly all of the “middle class” falls into the second category today, but for several decades of US history many workers were elevated far above typical working-class standards of living. When nationwide union membership was at its highest, income inequality reached historic lows and the standard of living for a single-earner home was significantly higher than it is today. This is no coincidence! To solve the glaring inequities in our society, workers from every industry and income level need a powerful, nationwide structure to stand together in their demands for higher wages, safer working conditions, and economic stability for their families. United we bargain; divided we beg.
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