By Dana Milbank, Washington Post opinion writer
I am proud to be a card-carrying member of Local 32035 of the Communications Workers of America.
It was not always thus. The Post is an open shop, and I dropped my membership several years ago when the union was encouraging readers to cancel their subscriptions to protest some management action. I didn’t see much sense in paying dues to accelerate the destruction of the newspaper business.
I don’t expect to gain much personally from rejoining the union faithful, because I’m in the top decile of American wage earners who have prospered in recent years. I signed up because income inequality, after years of worsening, has reached a crisis — and the decline in union membership is partly to blame. Rejoining the labor movement is my small, symbolic protest.
The gap in wealth and income between rich and poor is the worst since the Great Depression, and the gap between the rich and the middle class is at its highest since the government began keeping such statistics 30 years ago. After more than three decades of income growth for the wealthiest 10 percent and stagnation for everybody else, the top 3 percent now has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.
And Americans are angry about it. The percentage of Americans who believe you can get ahead through hard work has declined about 15 points over the past 15 years, according to polling by Gallup and the Pew Research Center.Read more ...