Sorry, I’m a touch obsessed with this OT thing–it’s the fruition of something I’ve worked on for years (with EPI’s Ross Eisenbrey)–but I’m presenting on full employment later today so I’ll be back to that soon. I will say this about that–as I’ve discussed in the minimum wage context, we have to worry about full employment–job quantity–as well and job quality, and labor standards fits solidly into that camp of concerns.
Anyway, some more noodling on this over at the NYT Economix blog. Check out the quote from highly respected labor economist Dan Hamermesh, someone who has studied this issue for a long time.
Here’s yours truly mixing it up with a guy from the biz lobby on the NewsHour last night.
So, why all the noise about a pretty arcane change in a couple of rules in a 76 year-old piece of legislation? Because one of the ways in which so-called “advanced economies” earn that label is because of their standards, the norms that make life here safer and fairer regardless of your income or social status. When we allow those standards to erode, as we have in this case of OT pay, we generate imbalances in income, the quality of life, and opportunities that are deeply inconsistent with our values. It may sound like a reach to connect these values to a regulatory rule change in legislation from decades ago. But that’s exactly what’s going on here.