The popular narrative about worker shortages and layoffs is aimed at building a cultural consensus against workers and the labour movement, and is based on biased, partial, and contradictory definitions.
Despite important strides that the United States has made toward racial equality in the 60 years since the March on Washington, we have yet to address the persistent poverty and unemployment that turned Martin Luther King’s dream “into a nightmare.”
When they want to wage war or destroy the planet, American political elites are obsessed with “job creation.” When workers start accruing a modest amount of power, elites demand increased unemployment.
Workers haven’t gained as much leverage as a superficial examination might suggest. Advances thus far, such as they are, still leave miles to travel before the American working class recovers all the economic standing it has lost since the 1970s.
It would be irresponsible to create much higher unemployment – and the US economy could be pushed into recession. There is a strong argument for the Fed to take a break from its aggressive monetary-policy tightening.
We need to greatly expand the role of fiscal policy relative to monetary policy and address inflation while also promoting low unemployment, needed new investments, decent wages and a much fairer distribution of income and wealth.