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Thread by @matthewstoller: "Can we stop with the whole 'wage stagnation is a mystery' thing, economists? It's not. Simcha Barkai found that there's a simple cause: Corp […]"

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Can we stop with the whole 'wage stagnation is a mystery' thing, economists? It's not. Simcha Barkai found that there's a simple cause: Corporation concentration --> $14k per worker per year. vice.com/en_us/article/…
He looked at concentration levels since the 1980s and found that it isn't just wages going down, it's also capital share going down even more. So less in wages, even more cuts in... robots! All going to profits. And this is worse in concentrated sectors. vice.com/en_us/article/…
And this is tied to trade. It turns out that the 'China shock' was worse in more concentrated labor markets. Think about it - Walmart organized the China shock. nber.org/papers/w24307
The other factor is health care monopolization, which at this point costs an average family $9K a year just in hospital costs (that leaves out drugs and medical supplies). washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/april…
The NYT did a story, "Jobless Rate Looks Like Old Times, but the Economy Doesn’t". Not a single mention of employer power and corporate concentration.
nytimes.com/2018/05/04/bus…
New York Times reporters working on economic stories should read New York Times reporter @CarterD's story on non-compete agreements, which lock 30 million Americans into contracts that suppress their wages. nytimes.com/2017/05/13/bus…
There are hundreds of billions of dollars in investment to suppress wages. The sector is called 'human resources' and it's run by the consultants who force you to watch annoying webinars. Here's an example: uschamberfoundation.org/press-release/…
I hate webinars. Everyone hates webinars. I mean if we're going to have no wage growth for thirty years our masters could at least show us the courtesy of not inventing and then force feeding us something called a webinar.
A bunch of Dems - from progressive @keithellison and @repmarkpocan to the conservative @JoeCrowleyNY to @davidcicilline, @RepJerryNadler, @RepLindaSanchez - have put forward a package of bills to address monopoly collusion against employees. openmarketsinstitute.org/newsletters/th…
This is not just a Dem thing. Trump DOJ Antitrust chief Makan Delrahim has already brought a no poaching suit to void employer collusion in the railroad industry. justice.gov/opa/pr/justice…
And it's not a left thing, either. Ideologically many left-wingers are very skeptical of addressing employer power through structural remedies, many believe they can co-opt corporate concentration to set large scale wage agreements across the economy. bostonreview.net/class-inequali…
Meanwhile the strongest supporters of independent pharmacists, who are actually victims of corporate concentration and are seeing wage suppression as a result, are Republicans. arktimes.com/arkansas/speci…
An important puzzle is why people like @JustinWolfers are still considered credible despite belonging to a cartel oriented around collective ignorance towards economic power.
As I will never stop reminding people, I watched @JustinWolfers argue to the Congressional Budget Office as an official economic advisor to the panel that the TPP might cure cancer and end war, and thus CBO had a duty to convince Congress to pass the agreement.
All of this is a way of saying that there's no puzzle, though there are interesting questions. To the extent there's a mystery, it's why the economic concentration is ignored. (Note: Simcha Barkai who measured the $14k/worker number is an economist.) vice.com/en_us/article/…
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