Bernie Sanders refuses to learn from experience
In what President Obama used to call a "teachable moment," Bernie Sanders is planning to cut the work hours of his unionized staff in order to meet their demand for the $15-per-hour wage that he campaigns on requiring all employers to pay. Greg Re reports for Fox News:
Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced this weekend he will cut staffers' hours so that they can effectively be paid a $15-an-hour minimum wage, prompting mockery from critics who say the move is more evidence that Sanders' plan to raise the national minimum wage is hypocritical and would only lead to less work and more unemployment. (snip)
The self-described socialist candidate said junior field organizers earn roughly $36,000 per year in salary, with employer-paid health care and sick leave. But he acknowledged that their salary can effectively dip below $15 per hour if staffers work much more than 40 hours per week, which is common on presidential campaigns.
The solution is to "limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they're making the equivalent of $15 an hour," he told the Register's Brianne Pfannenstiel.
If Sanders were a faithful reader of American Thinker (I know, I know), he would know how a similar minimum wage hike in Seattle in 2016 worked out:
Minimum wage workers in Seattle, after celebrating their pay increase to $15 an hour, may be wondering what hit them.
A recently released study shows a modest increase in weekly earnings as a result of the wage increase to $11 an hour, eventually climbing to $15 by 2020. But the study also shows that those workers are working fewer hours. And many of them lost their jobs.
Investor's Business Daily at the time explained the logic:
The [Washington] Post recently highlighted a new study from a group of economists who were commissioned by the city of Seattle to look at that city's minimum wage hike[.] (snip)
In comments that sounded as if they came straight out of an Econ 101 text, the Post concluded that "Increasing the minimum wage increases the costs of hiring workers. As a result, employers must accept reduced margins or customers must pay steeper prices. If employers cannot stay in business while paying their staff more, they will either hire fewer people or give their workers fewer hours. As a result, even if wages per hour increase workers' total earning could decline."
Unfortunately, Sanders refuses to learn from experience. Apparently he'd rather keep agitating on the issue than deal with it realistically.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.
Ashe Schow of the Daily Wire noticed that Bernie doesn't like his workers speaking to the media.
The Des Moines Register reported that Sanders complained that staffers were going to the press instead of keeping their concerns internal.
"I'm very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract," Sanders told the outlet. "And that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers.
"It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media," he added. "That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper."
Sanders refuses to learn from his teachable moment, apparently. Instead of proclaiming that he now gets it — that raising prices inevitably reduces demand — and growing with a life lesson from experience, Sanders just wants the story to go away. He'd rather live in a fantasy world.