"For most Americans, the dominant economic fact of the past 15 years has been the deteriorating market for their labor. They must work longer and harder for less pay and fewer benefits. And since the financial crisis of 2008, many have found it difficult to get work at all. Unemployment still exceeds 7 percent even as we approach the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy; nearly half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.
Yet from the point of view of some Americans, labor remains too costly. American wagesóalthough no longer anything like the highest in the worldóremain considerably higher than elsewhere on the planet, even after adjusting for productivity differentials. People earn more than they otherwise might, just by the accident of being American."