Is labor's day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In his new book, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan argues that even as organized labor seems to be crumbling, a revived but different labor movement is the only way to stabilize the economy and save the middle class.
But the inequality now reshaping the country goes beyond money and income: the places we work have become ever more rigid hierarchies. Geoghegan makes his argument for labor with stories, sometimes humorous but more often chilling, about the problems working people like his own clients from cabdrivers to schoolteachers now face, increasingly powerless in our union-free economy. He explains why a new kind of labor movement (and not just more higher education) is the real program the Democrats should push not just to save the middle class from bankruptcy but to revive Keynes's original and sometimes forgotten ideas for getting the rich to invest and reducing our balance of trade, and to promote John Dewey's vision of a " democratic way of life," one that would start in the schools and continue in our places of work.
A " public policy" book that is compulsively readable, Only One Thing Can Save Us is vintage Geoghegan, blending acerbic, witty commentary with unparalleled insight into the real dynamics (and human experience) of working in America today.