Why Millennials And Gen Z Should Support Organized Labor

Labor Unions Are Integral To Our Country, And They Need Our Help

Organized labor has been a staple of this country for generations, and its' decline is forever associated with various declines in our standard of living.

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USW, UAW, Teamsters, AFSCME. Those may just sound like odd names to many, but to me and many American workers, they are the myriad labor unions that have been integral to our country and its' blue-collar population. They have helped in many ways to defend workers, give them good benefits plans, and to protect their salary and ability to work from corporations.

Now? They have been in decline for decades, and sit at just 10.7% of all workers according to U.S. government estimates. This is a remarkably low number for the United States' workforce and is also another sad part of the economic stagnation of the U.S. since union membership began to collapse.

It might seem a bit odd to believe that unions and income inequality would be linked: you would expect that, maybe as a gesture of goodwill, corporation executives might offer better benefits to retain talent.

This could not be further from the truth. Studies have indicated that unions have a positive effect from members to nonmembers.

In a study conducted measuring average household income from 1973-2015, researchers found that there was a robust correlation between income inequality and union decline. In fact, the study found that the wages of nonunion workers would have been 3-7% higher if union membership rates were noticeably higher.

This dramatic increase in income inequality can be attributed to multiple factors: increasing automation, workers being reduced to performing increasingly less-intricate tasks, outsourcing, college-degree preference and so on. However, as time has gone on and research has been conducted, unions have been shown to benefit society and counter income inequality via actions such as fighting for broader access to healthcare, which has been a key facet of income inequality.

Though unions are far weaker now than they have been historically, we have still seen their power: In Los Angeles, unions were able to help negotiate better pay and funding for school teachers. In West Virginia, unions were center-stage as the many teachers who wanted more money were granted by the governor.

As one can see, unions still have a part to play in our country and its' economy.

Unions remain integral to how we function. Without unions, many of the benefits, payment plans, and healthcare options would not exist. And that is why I am partial to unions: unions allowed for socioeconomic ascendancy, a better life for families, and a chance to live a good life despite not having the luxury of a college degree.

In a time where the world is saturated with degrees and not enough trade school workers, unions might just become essential yet again. I, for one, would welcome that. As a kid from Ohio, union workers are prevalent, and protecting them now and later is integral.

Support your local to rebuild the American dream.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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The New Beginning I Earned, My Summer Internship

I start my new internship in a new state tomorrow and I have tons of mixed feelings about it, here's the truth.

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I start my new internship in a new state tomorrow and I have tons of mixed feelings about it. I am nervous, scared, excited, and ready for this new experience. It will be nothing that I have gone through such as being in a new place and working in big business. I am excited to see where this will take me in the future. It is exciting because I could potentially have a job similar to what I am doing in the internship and that is crazy. It is all so new and it scares me but I know this will be such a great opportunity for me. It will be a great location because it is Northern California and it is warm every day so that will make the weekends enjoyable.

As this is my last summer before I graduate. I want to learn more about the business world and see what interests me and what doesn't. It is interesting to see what I will like about big business or if I want to be at a smaller business. The number of changes that will occur in my life is going to move rapidly which is kind of nerve-racking. Yet the best feeling is the factor of shock when something great happens that I would have never expected.

It's exciting to see that my future is unfolding in front of me and all of my hard work is paying off and it feels great. It feels surreal that this all happening so fast and soon I will be having my own job after college. This is something that I couldn't have even imagined myself thinking about 3 years ago, and it's actually really exciting. There are so many things I haven't been able to do yet, and now I'm presented with so many opportunities.

I'm so thankful for those who encourage me on a daily basis and all of the support my parents have shown me. I truly couldn't have done it without them. They have been there for me through it all and I couldn't ask for anything more. They have challenged me and I am forever grateful for that. There are many new difficulties that I have yet to overcome, but I know that each of these obstacles will create new knowledge that will put me in a positive direction.

I couldn't imagine getting to where I am today without the people who love me the most. I don't think I would have gotten through it. They pushed me to get to where I am today and have always taught me to never give up. Although it's difficult right now and everything is far from perfect, I have confidence in my future due to what I've been through already. Everything that has happened in my life has led me to this point, and I'm ready for the next adventure. It can be scary but it has taught me that it will all be worth it in the end and I can't wait to look back on it and tell everyone how much of an adventure it has been.

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