The October 2013 issue of HR Magazine features an article by Heldrich Center Director Dr. Carl Van Horn that draws upon the findings from his recent book, Working Scared (Or Not at All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream, and distills the causes of the Great Recession and the devastation it brought about for American workers. Big Fish Media provided editorial and media outreach services for Dr. Van Horn’s landmark book.
What Van Horn labeled the “lost decade” is characterized by several factors, including the longest recession on record, the highest unemployment in 30 years, and a drop in median family income. He identifies four forces that are driving labor-market transformations: globalization and offshoring; mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring; the transition from industrialization to a knowledge- and service-based economy; and deunionization. Van Horn explains that these forces contributed to the widespread dissatisfaction that American workers have as they try to support themselves and their families in the face of reduced benefits and decreased or nonexistent training and educational opportunities in the workplace. As the United States struggles to recover, Van Horn notes that it must “develop more aggressive pro-growth policies and devote greater effort to enlarging the nation’s economic pie rather than fighting over the best way to divide it.” Read the article online or request a print copy.