Bridgewater Associates, a giant hedge fund run by billionaire Ray Dalio, is sounding the alarm about the ways capitalism over the past two decades has failed to lift up ordinary workers –and it’s causing a massive backlash against corporate power.
Business Insider reports that Bridgewater has released a new analysis claiming that the last two decades have offered businesses “the most pro-corporate environment in history” and have been marked by steep decline in the percentage of workers who join labor unions.
“In companies that had union membership decline, wages fell at a greater level than sectors where union membership remained in tact,” Business Insider reports. “Transportation, manufacturing, and construction jobs were hit the hardest: these three industries had union membership decline by as much as 9 percent, yet national wages grew only around 1.7 percent to 2.5 percent since 2000. Jobs in the financial sector, meanwhile, had the most growth in union membership since 2000, and saw wages increase by nearly 3 percent.”
At the start of the 21st century, Business Insider notes, 25 percent of workers were unionized worldwide, whereas now just 10 percent are unionized.
The result of this has been a surge in inequality, less stable lives for workers, and a political environment marked by angry rebellion against the current economic order.
“We are in the midst of a populist backlash against rising inequality and increasingly seeing a move toward more protectionism,” the report states.