Disunited States of America

Disunited States of America

Employment Relations Systems in Conflict

As a result of its size, history, immigration flows, and institutional complexity at the city, county, state, and national levels, the United States is characterized by disparate yet coexisting systems of political economy and labor policy. Some of the northeastern, midwestern, and western states have at times had a kind of "laborist capitalism" in which public policy and prominent employers acknowledged union power and legitimacy. In the South, things are different: Mississippi and South Carolina are among the states least hospitable to unionism. In such states, local business interests have preserved low taxes, lax regulations, and low wages. The authors of Disunited States of America describe several dimensions of labor policy differentiation across the states as well as examine the underlying dynamics.

Contributors: Sarah Collins, Commonwealth Fund; Janice Fine, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Ray Hogler, Colorado State University; David Jacobs, Morgan State University; Margaret Kahn, University of Michigan–Flint; Richard Marens, California State University–Sacramento; Michael Ogbolu, Howard University; John Schmitt, Center for American Progress; Roland Zullo, University of Michigan