In response, Martin and Quick argue that we need a more expansive concept of trade unionism – one rooted in solidarity with the whole working class, “expanding the bargaining unit” out beyond the workplace to the communities and citizens who are also being exploited by finance capital. Care workers should make common cause with those they care for and their families; railway workers should organise with passengers; energy workers should ally with energy consumers and local residents. They cite inspiring examples of unions and social movements organising around rent and debt – from the Chicago teachers demanding affordable housing to the El Barzón movement, campaigning for debtors in Mexico.
All in all, these findings show the extent to which wealth inequality shapes labour market outcomes. This further motivates the need to better design wealth redistribution policies. In addition, the stylised fact that wealth-poor individuals are trapped in a state of low income regardless of the unemployment rate does not easily follow from standard competitive labour market modelling. Hence, we advocate for more evidence on the matter, not only to inform public policies aimed at improving employment opportunities but also to improve the macroeconomic modelling of the labour market. Moreover, we think that our main result, whereby the slope of the wage curve is a positive function of gross wealth, can be incorporated in any macroeconomic model of the labour market that wishes to account for wealth inequality in its dynamics.