Difficulties in creating casual relationship between union membership and income

Some political scientists argue that low income levels and household poverty cause an increase in union membership because poor unhappy workers collide in unions to make credible and strong demands to their government. However, official statistical data for Western countries look like the plot displayed below. The plot shows the relationship between the union membership rate (on the x-axis) and the middle class share of national incomes (on the y-axis) from 1967-2007 across a number.

2a. Discuss the hurdles in establishing a causal relationship between income and union membership in view of Figure 1. Then discuss whether you accept or reject the causal claim some political scientists make.

2b.Discuss other forms of evidence you could use to test the claim that income levels cause union membership.

2 a. Difficulties in creating casual relationship between union membership and income

Establishing casual relationship between income and union membership can be a daunting task especially among low income earners. The level of unionization is among the hurdles in maintaining a casual relationship between membership in unions and the income. In the recent past, the basic level of income especially for the middle class who are the most union members has been dropping. This has in turn caused significant drop in the rate of unionization leading to a drop in the union membership levels. The changing market structures can also be attributed as a cause of discourse between union membership and income. This is where the industries are becoming more saturated by firms leading to reduced firm profitability which consequently result to decreasing income level among workers[1].

Connectively, I am not in agreement with the casual claim made by the political scientists that reduced income levels among households increase union membership. This is because the governments have been reluctant in raising salaries in events of unfavorable economic conditions irrespective of the union pressure rendering them less effective for low income earners.

[1] Rosenfeld, Jake. What unions no longer do. Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England: Harvard University Press, 2014.

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