The whole Hostess debacle brings up a question that’s been puzzling me. An assertion that you encounter with some regularity, say, in Paul Krugman’s columns or nearly anything produced for the Center for American Progress is that one of the reasons for stagnant wages among lower and middle income people is declining unionization. I think that’s a case of post hoc propter hoc reasoning, i.e. wages were rising in the 1950s and unions were strong in the 1950s therefore wages were rising because unions were strong. I think that, contrariwise, wages were rising and unions were strong because the demand for labor was high, something that hasn’t been the case for decades.
Here’s my question: how did that work out in the Hostess example? Follow-up: why wouldn’t increased unionization and more assertive unions result in fewer jobs?
Note that I have no particular animus against unions. I just don’t understand the argument that increased unionization and more assertive unions would result in increased wages for most Americans. Persuade me.