Welcome to For A Living, a new podcast by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois. Each podcast, For A Living will explore a topic around work, workers, and the labor market. What is work? What is the future of employment in America? What economic research is emerging to understand trends in the economy? Join Frank Manzo IV, MPP with Professors Robert Bruno, PhD and Emily E. LB. Twarog, PhD in these engaging conversations.
Ten Ways Unions Benefit the Economy
Episode 10: Ten Ways Unions Benefit the Economy
In a solo podcast, Frank discusses the following 10 examples of how unions can-- and do-- improve the economy:
1. Union workers earn higher wages;
2. Unions reduce income inequality;
3. Union workers receive less government assistance;
4. Union workers contribute more in taxes;
5. Unions increase productivity in some sectors;
6. Unions reduce turnover rates;
7. Unions fight against child labor;
8. Unions fight against discrimination;
9. Unions bargain for efficient contracts; and
10. Unions fight against the power of owners, especially in sports.
For more, please see a 2015 report: http://illinoisepi.org/countrysidenonprofit/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ILEPI-Economic-Commentary-Unions-Increasing-Efficiency-Ten-Examples.pdf
All Policy Is Local
Episode 9: All Policy Is Local
Bob, Emily, and Frank discuss state and local initiatives to support workers. Topics include the minimum wage, paid sick time, paid safe time, fair scheduling laws, prevailing wage laws, responsible bidder ordinances, local hire ordinances, and other policies.
Please check www.illinoisupdate.com for additional information and links to relevant reports.
Reducing African-American Unemployment
Episode 8: Reducing African-American Unemployment
What are the causes of high African-American unemployment, particularly in Illinois? What policies and economic phenomena make a statistical impact on reducing unemployment among African Americans? Bob, Emily, and Frank discuss these questions and offer solutions to address African-American joblessness.
“Policies to Reduce African-American Unemployment: Investments in Education, Infrastructure, Public Employment, and Housing” by Bruno, Manzo, and Manzo can be found here: https://illinoisupdate.com/2017/02/06/7-ways-to-reduce-african-american-unemployment-in-illinois/
Episode 7: What If?
This episode asks the question, “What If?”
What if American labor unions had been less membership-driven and more active on broader social and economic issues? Would the United States have a workers' party? What public policies would we have today? The episode also discusses the Women’s March on Washington and the general lack of a union presence at the marches. Finally, the episode transitions from thinking about “what if?” to pondering “what now?”
Mentioned in the episode are the “Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles” for the Women’s March on Washington, available here: https://www.womensmarch.com/principles/
Class and the 2016 Elections
Episode 6: Class and the 2016 Elections
This episode continues last week’s conversation about class, discussing class and the 2016 elections and trends affecting the working class. Professor Stephanie Farmer of Roosevelt University once again joins Bob, Emily, and Frank!
What is Class?
Episode 5: What is Class?
What is class? How do we think about class? What is the working class in the United States? Did U.S. workers ever have a “class consciousness?”
Stephanie Farmer, PhD joins Bob, Emily, and Frank to discuss these questions. Stephanie is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.
Finally a podcast focused on workers' issues
I really enjoyed the debut episode. It was a very down to earth conversation on work, how it shapes our self image and self worth while remembering that fair compensation and empowerment are important to workers.