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Consider this thought experiment. What if offshoring and the long-term shift to a more service-based economy posed a larger political and social challenge than economists are usually willing to admit? And what if, heaven forbid, stronger trade unions might actually be one part of the answer?

The experiment begins with a trip to Las Vegas. If there’s one city that embodies the new American economy it’s Vegas. It’s been the fastest growing US city for 30 years: the population doubles about every decade. Like most successful parts of the country, its growth has depended on a very successful service-based industry,…

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