The longest economic expansion inU.S. history continues to provide minimal returns for a largeportion of the workforce, with very little wage growth for theworking and middle class. Little has been done to boost attainmentof the American Dream.

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

We just saw this play out between GM and the United Auto Workers union, andmore recently between the Dedham, Massachusetts EducationAssociation and the Dedham School Committee. In fact, reducing health insurance contributions wasso important to the teachers in this latter group that theyinitiated a strike — the first in 12 years — even though it wasillegal to do so.

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