For the past several years I've been telling myself the following:
What's good for corporations is bad for people.
A bit oversimplified, but true.
There is no illusion as to what benefits from laws regarding sick leave, health care, etc. It is the corporations that hire people. The idea that what is good for the economy is good for people is rarely true, and although the goals can seem related, they are only positively related by the rate of productivity growth, rather than productivity itself.
Also, the wealth of middle class America comes at the expense of the wealthy - a historical analysis from Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Philips, although the 90's would seem to belie this truth - so the recent cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes, combined with lax IRS oversight and CEO greed, have created a new gilded-age economic divide. Part of the way the US can become better for the middle and lower classes is by empowering unions and taxing the wealthy, along with creating a universal health care system, reducing the military, and creating laws that reduce the control of corporations.