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The longest economic expansion in U.S. history continues to provide minimal returns for a large portion of the workforce, with very little wage growth for the working and middle class. Little has been done to boost attainment of the American Dream.

Across the country, American workers are demanding higher pay. And with continued low unemployment, they should have the power to force their point. Unfortunately, the problem for many employers is that while they are seeing revenue growth, much of that new money that could be directed toward employee wages is instead propping up increasingly unaffordable employee benefits.

We just saw this play out between GM and the United Auto Workers union, and more recently between the Dedham, Massachusetts Education Association and the Dedham School Committee. In fact, reducing health insurance contributions was so important to the teachers in this latter group that they initiated a strike — the first in 12 years — even though it was illegal to do so.

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