Right now, at this time, people and small business (and thus the economy) are losing a lot of money because unions are closing down the docks in major ports. Why? Because they want their uneducated box-pushers who are already earning 147k a year, to make even more. Did you read that? People who did not invest in any degree, dropped out of high school and got a job at the docks earning 147k a year, and are now demanding more. Demanding more by crippling the rest of the economy. Are you kidding me?
Yes, I read it. It's $83,000 a year, not $147,000. Stop bragging about how smart you are if you can't read a simple newspaper story, realize there are two sides to the story, and do some simple arithmetic.
You say it would be fair for them to make $35/h. Well, $35/h x 40h/wk x 50 wk/yr = $70,000/yr, which is pretty close to $83,000. So they merely drove a good bargain. You have a problem with people making good money?
There are reasons why they make so much money that you resent them.
First, they know how to negotiate. That's something you might learn from them.
When they negotiate, they don't want to match the race to the bottom. They know how much their employer is making and they want a piece of the action. They want job security and they want, in effect, something like an ownership interest in the company. That's not so strange. In Germany, unions have a seat on the board of directors of a company.
Second, they made a grand bargain decades ago. There was new technology that would make their job more labor-saving and efficient. Instead of obstructing it, they agreed to be forward-thinking and go along with it. However, if the company got the benefits of improved efficiency, they wanted the benefits of improved efficiency too. That's why they're making $83,000 a year. Here's a profitable business, where the owners are making millions a year. Why should they settle for $70,000 when their boss is rich and could easily pay $83,000 a year?
My landlord was making at least $300,000 a year, probably more. He inherited the building from his father, like most landlords. He worked hard, just like a longshoreman. Do I envy him? No. That's the free market.
If you live in a rental building, do you envy your landlord if he makes $300,000 a year? Do you envy your maintenance man, who fixes your boiler? Do you envy your auto mechanic? This is a rich country. Why do you want to drag everybody down to the bottom?