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David Brooks: There's "An Imbalance In The Power Relationship Between Capital And Labor"

DAVID BROOKS: Well, we do talk about the job numbers every week.

I do think we pay attention to labor force participation. I sort of do agree somewhat with Mark that there does seem to be an imbalance in the power relationship between capital and labor.

MARK SHIELDS: That’s — yes.

DAVID BROOKS: And I don’t think we’re going to go back to unions, the way they were understood before. I don’t know what the next form is, employee-owned companies.

But I do think you — there probably should be something done to rebalance that relationship. Nonetheless, when I look at the jobs numbers — and I think they’re disappointing. Somebody pointed out, if we were in a normal recovery, we would have six million more jobs than we have now.

And so I look at what’s causing all the sludge in the economy, whether we’re not innovating enough. And there’s some evidence of that, some stagnation in that. A lot of people have just dropped out of the labor force. And that long decline — Doug Elmendorf, the head of the CBO, was asked.

One of the things that is moderating growth, it’s the aging of the population, shrinking of the labor force. And if you don’t have a lot of people working, paying taxes, making stuff, you’re just going to have a sludgier economy. And so there’s a whole bunch of reasons. Some have to do with the complexity of the government, which imposes costs, the complexity of the tax code.

It just feels like we have been a middle-age or late-age economy, and we need some rejuvenation of some sort.

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