CARD-CHECKED. The Employee Free Choice Act died in the Senate yesterday by a vote of 51-48 -- nine votes short of what would be needed for cloture. Today, New York Times economics writer David Leonhardt has a hand-wringy piece that both sides with card-check's opponents in their argument that the process is illegitimate because it doesn't involve a secret ballot, but also laments the longterm decline of organized labor in the United States and its impact on rising inequality. Dean Baker makes two points in response (also see his commenters). It would have been nice to see Leonhardt specify what other measures he'd like to see implemented that could curb antiunion attacks from business and boost unions' prospects for organizing workers who would, all things equal, like to be organized. Harold wrote about the Employee Free Choice Act last week here, while Dmitri Iglitzin laid out some other labor law reform proposals beyond card-check last month here.

--Sam Rosenfeld