“…You might think of low- and middle-wage workers as falling behind in not one but two different races. First, their wages aren’t growing as fast as the wages of higher-income workers. Second, even when the economy does grow, that growth is increasingly flowing to wealthier households that have capital to invest.
There is no simple explanation for this double decline in the earnings-power of lower-wage workers. The causes are deep and varied, and they include things like globalization and falling union membership. It may not be possible, or even desirable, to undo these kinds of big, structural changes, but if supporting lower-wage workers becomes a priority there are other ways to help. The state’s new $11-per-hour minimum wage is one approach, but perhaps the most effective would simply be getting the economy back to full employment…”