3:41 PM Eastern - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Many, Many Economists: We Like What the Employee Free Choice Act Does

UPDATE: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has added his name to the ever-growing list of now-40 economists who support the Employee Free Choice Act. Read here: http://www.seiu.org/2009/03/joseph-stiglitz-nobel-laureate-in-economics-backs-employee-free-choice-act.php

Today, in a full page ad in the Washington Post, thirty-eight prominent American economists released a statement, entitled "Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is critical to rebuilding our economy and strengthening our democracy."

The economists - a group that includes two Nobel laureates in economics - argue that one of the main reasons for our economic slump is the "erosion of workers' ability to form unions and bargain collectively," that shifted the wealth of our country from "broadly-shared prosperity" to "growing inequality."

The ad continues:

"A rising tide lifts all boats only when labor and management bargain on relatively equal terms. In recent decades, most bargaining power has resided with management. The current recession will further weaken the ability of workers to bargain individually. More than ever, workers will need to act together."

"The Employee Free Choice Act is not a panacea, but it would restore some balance to our labor markets. As economists, we believe this is a critically important step in rebuilding our economy and strengthening our democracy by enhancing the voice of working people in the workplace."

The letter also overviews the central components of the Employee Free Choice Act, including a) majority signup, b) enforcement of labor laws, and c) discusses how first contract negotiations can be improved.

You can download the full ad here:

To note, the full list of economists includes:

  • Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution
  • Katharine Abraham, University of Maryland
  • Philippe Aghion, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Eileen Appelbaum, Rutgers University
  • Kenneth Arrow, Stanford University
  • Dean Baker, Center for Economic Policy and Research
  • Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University
  • Rebecca Blank, Brookings Institution
  • Joseph Blasi, Rutgers University
  • Alan S. Blinder, Princeton University
  • William A. Darity, Duke University
  • Brad DeLong, University of California/Berkeley
  • John DiNardo, University of Michigan
  • Henry Farber, Princeton University
  • Robert H. Frank, Cornell University
  • Richard Freeman, Harvard University
  • James K. Galbraith, University of Texas
  • Robert J. Gordon, Northwestern University
  • Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women's Policy Research
  • Lawrence Katz, Harvard University
  • Robert Lawrence, Harvard University
  • David Lee, Princeton University
  • Frank Levy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Lisa Lynch, Brandeis University
  • Ray Marshall, University of Texas
  • Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute
  • Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts
  • William Rodgers, Rutgers University
  • Dani Rodrik, Harvard University
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University
  • Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • William Spriggs, Howard University
  • Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mark Thoma, University of Oregon
  • Lester C. Thurow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Laura Tyson, University of California/Berkeley
  • Paula B. Voos, Rutgers University
  • David Weil, Boston University
  • Edward Wolff, New York University

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