Like It or Not, We Need Unions Again

Henry Blodget's not a fan of organized labor, but companies aren't doing what's right

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2013 10:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Henry Blodget has always hated labor unions. They "create an 'us versus them' culture," drive jobs overseas, overpay their leaders, and often uncouple performance from compensation. "But we've now developed a bigger problem," he writes at Business Insider, namely the worst inequality since the 1920s. "Corporate profit margins are at an all-time high, [but] wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low." Why? Because companies have bought into "the 'shareholder value' religion," believing their only duty is to boost near-term stock prices.

"Great companies in healthy and balanced economies don't view employees as 'costs,'" he argues, but "as the extremely valuable assets they are (or should be)." Instead, companies today pay employees as little as they possibly can. It's bad for everyone "because rich people can't buy all the products we need to sell to have a healthy economy. And it's also just not right." In a perfect world companies would voluntarily share the wealth, but that's "heresy" for the shareholder value faithful. So it's time to raise the minimum wage, and/or bring on the unions. Click for Blodget's full column.

Demonstrators in support of fast food workers march towards a McDonald's as they demand higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation, July 29, 2013, in New York's Union Square.
Demonstrators in support of fast food workers march towards a McDonald's as they demand higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation, July 29, 2013, in New York's Union Square.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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