For too long, the building blocks of a good life, including solid benefits, strong wages, and safe working conditions, have been left to the whim of markets and employers rather than guaranteed for all. In today’s economy, curbing corporate and employer power and reclaiming public power are essential steps toward addressing the collective changes that hold workers back on the job and at home—as explored by Roosevelt Fellow Rakeen Mabud and Program Associate Jess Forden in Left Behind: Snapshots from the 21st Century Labor Market.
In “Rightsizing the Workplace: How Public Power Can Support a 21st Century Labor Market That Works for All,” a follow-up issue brief to Left Behind, Mabud analyzes two seemingly dissimilar industries: trucking and domestic work. She shows how the structural problems throughout our economy are harming workers across sectors and presents a set of policy proposals that can begin to address some of the economic insecurity these workers face.
The reforms outlined by Mabud are not a comprehensive list, but they do construct a path forward for new rules that would support domestic workers and truck drivers in the 21st century economy. Ultimately, the government has both a moral and democratic responsibility, as well the sheer scale and the accompanying power needed, to create an economy that works for the many, not the few.