A perfect storm is a conjoining of forces that intensifies effects. This commentary addresses the economic perfect storm that the United States and many other developed countries face as they attempt to become globally competitive. Its forces conflate strategic change with the erosion of employment and income security as firms shed labor and old institutional arrangements, in turn degrading quality of work and family life for workers as well as the futures of retirees. We evaluate the responses of our commentators—Louis Uchitelle, J.T. Battenberg III, and Thomas Kochan—who assess the current crisis and possible solutions to it. Their responses and the supporting evidence indicate that the current misalignment among labor, management, and government and the 20th century institutions they maintain make any effective solution nearly impossible. That is, unless there is a renewed partnership among business, labor, and government to create 21st century institutions capable of achieving both global competitiveness and high quality of life and well-being for workers.
- industrial relations,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rosemary_batt/62/