Let’s Channel our Anger about Jobs and Wages into Positive Actions

March 18
Thomas Kochan

As the current election campaigns show so vividly, many Americans are frustrated, even angry, about an economy that works for those at the top but not for them or their families.  This has been the reality not just since the last recession but for essentially the last thirty years.  Wages have been stagnant while productivity and firm profits have steadily increased. And too many young people are not able to find jobs that put their education and skills to work. The result: levels of income inequality that are unacceptable and unsustainable. 

But angry rhetoric will not turn the economy around and put it on a path that works better for everyone.  That takes a vision and concrete strategy for change, and collective efforts of workers, unions, employers, government, and even educators. 

I want to invite you to join me in building this vision and strategy for the future.  Starting later this month I will offer an online MITx course titled Shaping the Future of Work that I hope will serve as a call to action that I believe can turn the economy and country around, channel the frustrations, and restore hope and confidence in the future.  Indeed, we will finish the course with a negotiation exercise that models how business, labor, government, and education leaders might work together to forge a new social contract to get the economy moving in the right direction.  You can sign up for the course at https://www.edx.org/course/shaping-future-work-mitx-15-662x.

And if you want a preview, listen to a recent radio interview I did on this topic at http://vermontconversation.com/2016/02/24/the-future-of-work/

If you share these concerns listen to the radio preview and consider enrolling in the course and let start shaping the future of work so it meets all our needs.  The course is free, open to the public, and you can watch the videos and participate in the discussions on your own time schedule.

MIT Sloan School of Management and Institute for Work & Employment Research