The South seems to be rising on the wings of low-manufacturing wages. And that Southern influence is spreading.
The Seattle area has a strong history of labor activism, but that’s not the case everywhere in the country. Different values prevail in places like South Carolina, where Boeing workers voted last week not to join a union.
The regional difference is in part a matter of culture and the history it rests upon. It shouldn’t be surprising that the least union-friendly states are in the South, where a long history of free labor has to affect people’s views not just of unions, but of labor in general.
And while certain attitudes toward labor tend to be strongest in the South and among Republicans, in recent decades the Southern influence has spread elsewhere.
Economic inequality is high in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and it wouldn’t be if our attitudes, laws and business practices placed a higher value on the people who work to produce the profits that go to the top.
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