'economic sterilization'

Adolfo Carrion, Obama’s former director of urban affairs, said low-wage retail jobs are for kids and semi-retired people, sparking a strong reaction from the union representing retail workers.

Appelbaum cited a 2008 study by the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute that found most retail jobs in New York were held by adults whose incomes were their families’ main source of money, and that that was true “across the board with all retail jobs,” from working at a bodega all the way to the Saks Fifth Avenue shoe department.”

"I think he is representing misconceptions about being a retail worker in New York," Appelbaum said.

I asked whether the characterization applied to something like a low-wage gig at McDonald’s, and whether it was reasonable to expect employers to make it possible for people in those jobs to support entire households.

Yes, Appelbaum said, and rejected the premise.

"I think that is calling for economic sterilization," he said.

After race, ethnicity and religion, union membership is a strong indicator of how someone votes, says Nate Silver, who looks ahead:

Republican efforts to decrease the influence of unions — while potentially worthwhile to their electoral prospects in the long-term — could contribute to a backlash in the near-term, making union members even more likely to vote Democratic and even more likely to turn out. If, for instance, the share of union households voting for Democrats was not 60 percent but closer to 70 percent, Republicans would have difficulty winning presidential elections for a couple of cycles until the number of union voters diminished further.