… is from page 263 of Deirdre McCloskey’s landmark 2010 volume, Bourgeois Dignity:
Workers in the United States and elsewhere grew radically better off from 1800 on, and 1900 on, and even from 1970 on because of the Bourgeois Deal, not because they went down and joined the union. How do I know? Answer: the nonunion people share nearly equally in the gain, even though they were paying as consumers for the fancier wages for union electricians in Michigan. The maximum of 14 percent of “concessions” extracted by bargaining or strike doesn’t come close to accounting for the great magnitude of rise in the real wage. There’s not enough profit – usually 10 or 15 percent of national income – to raise the level of the rest of national income by a factor of even two, that is 100 percent, much less the factor of eighteen it in fact rose after 1800.