Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker doesn't like unions, and unions don't
like him. But the most remarkable thing about Walker's relationship to
labor isn't that he thinks unions are worthless -- most Republicans agree -- but that he thinks about them, at all.
Today, unions have been swept into dusty corners of the U.S. workforce, such as Las Vegas casino cleaners and New York City hotel staff. For much of the 20th century, things were different. Almost every person living in the Northeast, Midwest and California "was in a union himself/herself, had a family member in a union, or, at least, had a friend or neighbor in a union," Rich Yeleson, veteran in the labor movement, writes in The New Republic. The apogee of the unions was also the apogee of the middle class, when it commanded more than half of total income. As the union membership rate dropped, middle class share of income fell, too.