Democrats trying to drive up unemployment at the bottom of the wage scale
Democrats are pushing the job-destroying national minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, and they are almost universally supported in their quest for office by the news media. The increase will take away job opportunities for the young, minorities, and the less educated. It will greatly harm rural areas, along with small and midsize communities, as they struggle to keep jobs and people from moving. People will have fewer opportunities to get their first job to start moving up the economic ladder.
Seniors on fixed incomes will be greatly harmed because not only will their opportunities to get jobs to supplement their income disappear, but their costs for necessities will increase substantially.
The economy is already moving toward more automation because of existing costs, and the movement will be accelerated exponentially depending on how high government pushes the cost of hiring employees. Not only do Democrats want $15 per hour for the lowest wage jobs, they also want mandated health insurance and paid leave. Along with payroll taxes, the cost of each full-time worker at the lowest level would be around $50,000 per year. The cost of robots would be cheaper for many, many tasks now performed by low-wage humans.
According to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, automation would be good because they would have more free time. People would depend on government, which is the Democrats' goal.
I suggest that members of Congress could easily be replaced by robots, and Ocasio-Cortez would have more free time.
We are constantly told that the minimum wage will not support a family, but it was never intended to. In 1950, rarely were there two people working in a household, and the minimum wage was 75 cents per hour. Fifteen hundred dollars would not have supported a family when the average income was $3,300.
In 1987, the New York Times wrote that the right minimum wage was zero because raising the wage would destroy jobs, and the idea of using a rising minimum wage to overcome poverty is fundamentally flawed.
In 2017, the Los Angeles Times recognized that the origin of the minimum wage was to price minorities, women, and the disabled out of a job. I thought Democrats were against racist and sexist laws!
Labor reformers then believed that a legal minimum would hand a raise to deserving white Anglo-Saxon men, and a pink slip to their undeserving competitors: "racially undesirable" immigrants, the mentally and physically disabled, and women. The original progressives hailed minimum-wage-caused job losses among these groups as a positive benefit to the U.S. economy and to Anglo-Saxon racial integrity.
For almost ninety years, prevailing wage laws have oppressed minorities and punished taxpayers, yet Democrats continually support them because they are beholden to unions. If journalists and other Democrats were interested in helping minorities and repairing the infrastructure in an efficient and effective manner, they would immediately repeal these laws.
Michigan has joined a growing list of states that are repealing their prevailing wage laws. With this latest reversal, 24 states no longer require public contractors to pay prevailing wages — wages that are calculated by the Labor Department and are generally higher than average — allowing wages to be determined by economic conditions instead of central planners.
Prevailing wage laws are derived from the federal Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which mandates that federally-contracted workers be paid "prevailing wages" on projects over $2,000. These prevailing wages are intended to match the local cost of labor, based on the occupation and location of the work. Though the law's intention was to protect American workers from immigrant labor during the Great Depression, the law has artificially raised wages, decreased competition, and boosted union power.
Historically, prevailing wage laws have also resulted in discrimination against African American and immigrant workers. A recent study by David E. Bernstein of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University concluded that these restrictions disproportionately hurt minority contractors since African Americans and immigrants tend to be less skilled. Passage of the Davis-Bacon Act was partially driven by a fear of African American workers driving down wages, and minorities continue to feel the negative effects of federal and state prevailing wage laws. Nearly 98 percent of African American and Hispanic construction companies are non-union, so wage rate restrictions that favor unions hit these communities the hardest.
Democrats call themselves progressives, but there is nothing progressive about job destruction to reduce economic opportunity and making more people dependent on government.
Graphic credit: Nick Youngson.