Guide America Is Broken

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Contents

  1. Read More From TIME
  2. Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes - Nintex
  3. Six people who prove capitalism is broken in America
  4. America’s Asylum System Is Profoundly Broken

But economic dynamics like low unemployment are supposed to force their hand. So why have workers not seen the benefits in their paychecks from one of the longest periods of economic and employment growth in history? And nobody has the power to stop employers from this intentional bias toward underpaying workers.

Read More From TIME

Workers used to have more influence over their employers. But for decades, they have steadily lost whatever bargaining power they once had. This has been true since at least the late s, when worker productivity and worker wages started to drift apart. Employers simply took home more of the profits, and today, not even low unemployment can reverse that.

Unionization is at some of the lowest levels in generations, and collective bargaining has been effectively made illegal in many states. Workers are more atomized than ever. Thirty million workers toil in industries dominated by non-compete clauses , which bar them from moving to work for a competing business.

This breaks whatever leverage for wage increases workers might otherwise have, since they cannot shift within the same industry.

Employers coordinate with rivals on massive job history databases that, among other things, pinpoint wages, giving management an information advantage to keep salaries down. Creeping monopolization throughout many sectors of the economy over the past 40 years has exacted a high toll. Monopolized industries capture profits by cornering markets, without needing to share those profits with workers.

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Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes - Nintex

And they can squeeze workers to accept lower wages, because they have no competition to bid them up. A recent study using data from CareerBuilder.

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Workers in abandoned regions cannot bargain up their wages because they have no alternative while living in areas with scarce jobs. Moving to find work is increasingly difficult given scant savings and inadequate government safety nets. Finally, economists may underestimate the role of anxiety in modern working life.

Six people who prove capitalism is broken in America

Here are a few of their stories:. Many Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States get paid less than minimum wage and struggle to cover the expenses of the job. Some drivers, like Nicole Moore, have begun to organize to fight for their rights as drivers.


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Numerous Amazon warehouse workers have filed cases against the company for leaving them to suffer through workplace injuries with little to no pay to cover health costs. Vickie Shannon Allen, who works at a fulfillment center in Haslet, Texas, hurt her back while working as a lineman.

America’s Asylum System Is Profoundly Broken

Between healthcare costs and weeks when her back prevented her from working and getting paid, she has become homeless. She started living in her car, parked outside the very warehouse where she works. With too many students and not enough space in its school district, Fairfax county in Virginia has turned to desperate measures to accommodate its students.

Over 22, students in the county — the third-richest in America — attend classes in trailers made of cheaply constructed plywood. Rachna Sizemore, whose son is autistic and was transferred to a school nearly half an hour away because of overcrowding, is worried about the potential dangers of learning in a trailer.