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PostPosted: March 28 18, 3:24 pm 
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I'm not sure about cause and correlation in that graph thrill. Probably union membership and the middle class are declining at the same rate as we are becoming more automated and more of a service industry. You could argue that union membership is declining as a result of the middle class declining as easily as you could argue the other way.

I worked for Hyatt 20 years ago as a junior manager in the housekeeping department and the housekeepers made $8.50/hour to clean 16 rooms/day. It's hard physical work done almost entirely women with kids and families who are past their physical best and they deserved a lot more. Now it's almost $19/hour and they're doing 14-15 rooms/day. That's their union and their collective bargaining, and it elevates the working class here which is a good thing. It's tough to argue that there's little utility left for unions today, especially in a climate in which the disparity in income continues to grow.


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PostPosted: March 28 18, 8:34 pm 
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There very well may be some connection between union membership and share of middle class income, but that graph is an excellent example of manipulating the scales of primary and secondary axes to imply a strong correlation. I find these kinds of graphs to be worthless unless they are supported by a lot of additional context and documentation.


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PostPosted: March 29 18, 6:41 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
I'm not sure about cause and correlation in that graph thrill. Probably union membership and the middle class are declining at the same rate as we are becoming more automated and more of a service industry. You could argue that union membership is declining as a result of the middle class declining as easily as you could argue the other way.

Oh I agree. Unions saved society after the industrial revolution. As currently structured, they might not be positioned to do it again after this technological revolution, but we have to find whatever is.
Gashouse wrote:
There very well may be some connection between union membership and share of middle class income, but that graph is an excellent example of manipulating the scales of primary and secondary axes to imply a strong correlation. I find these kinds of graphs to be worthless unless they are supported by a lot of additional context and documentation.

Fair. It's all part of the bigger picture of how much society has changed and how we've failed at dealing with it.


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