Category Archives: Labor

Wages War, by John Stossel

It’s been said over and over again: minimum wage laws price the lowest skilled workers out of the labor market. That never stops such laws from being enacted. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign was just disrupted by campaign workers demanding the same $15 per hour that Sanders demands the government force all employers to pay.

It serves him right.

Years ago, the activist group ACORN faced the same problem. After fighting for a higher minimum wage, it tried to convince a judge it should be granted an exception when paying its own workers, since it was involved in such important and productive work.

Government telling employers what to pay people creates nasty side effects.

Five years ago, Seattle won fame by becoming the first American city to mandate a $15 per hour minimum.

“Fifteen in Seattle is just a beginning. We have an entire world to win! Solidarity!” vowed City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

New York state and many cities followed in Seattle’s footsteps.

But now the results from Seattle are in:

Some people who already had jobs are being paid more. They’re the winners under the new law.

But the losers are needier people: people who are looking for jobs.

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Hollow Words, by Eric Peters

The Declaration of Independence embodied a concept of federalism, with the states being independent sovereigns, that is now a dead letter. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

We go through the motions – often, because it’s the easiest thing to do. Inertia. We celebrate anniversaries without meaning. Wedding days in marriages gone cold.

And, of course, the Fourth.

That vapid day is coming ‘round again. People will drink beer and cook out and go through the motions. Some will launch illicit fireworks – real ones being mostly illegal now.

But only a cognitively dissonant American celebrates his “freedom” – which for the record isn’t even what the day is supposed to commemorate.

Read the words penned on that yellowed piece of parchment drafted by Massa Tom sometime. Few apparently do anymore. It is the “Unanimous Declaration of the ThirteenUnited States of America.”

Not the Declaration of the (redacted) United States of America. It is an important distinction.

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How the UAW Will Kill the Big Three, by Eric Peters

The UAW is pushing against its own members’ interests, pushing the car companies to adhere to costly Obama administration mandates. From Eric Peters at ericpeftersautos.com:

The United Auto Workers (UAW) almost killed the American car industry once – back in the ‘70s and ‘80s – when it succeeded in making American cars too expensive (and too poorly built) relative to the Japanese competition – by demanding high wages and benefits for low-quality work.

Now comes its second opportunity.

Today, the union – which represents workers from GM, Ford and FiatChrysler – will tell Congress it opposes President Trump’s efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on the companies which employ the union’s workers and the car buyers which support them. It will tell Congress it wants the Obama-era fatwas defining carbon dioxide as an “emission” – and thus a “pollutant” – to remain in force and be enforced.

And for the public to be forced to spend more money on cars that are more “efficient” – regardless of the cost.

The UAW does not put it quite that way, of course.

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“Europe Will Not Be Europe”, by Guy Millière

The outcome in the European Parliamentary elections will do nothing to alter what now appears to be Europe’s inevitable transformation. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • In the United Kingdom, the Brexit Party victory at 31.6% of the vote was a remarkable achievement that showed the persistent willingness of millions of Britons to leave the European Union. The “populist” positions — the defense of national sovereignty and European civilization, refusal of uncontrolled immigration and diktats of Brussels technocrats — have gained ground.
  • The parties that have ruled Europe for decades obtained weak results, but, with rare exceptions, did not collapse — and will continue to dominate the European Union.
  • The Greens may gain more influence – along with its consequences. To anyone who read the Greens’ programs, it is evident that they are essentially leftists with an environmental green mask. They support unrestricted immigration and multiculturalism. They are…resolutely hostile to any defense of Western civilization, to free enterprise and free markets. They are often in favor of zero growth. Most of them support an apocalyptic vision of climate change and say that the survival of humanity will be at stake around the corner if Europe does not take drastic measures to “save the planet”. All of them are in favor of authoritarian decisions imposed from Brussels to all of Europe.
  • A European parliament placed under the influence of the Greens will almost certainly accelerate the slide towards more power given to the unelected members of the European Commission, and a phasing out of nuclear energy and fossil fuels. Policies favorable to still more immigration already are in preparation.
(Image source: iStock)

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Tariffs on China Do Not Solve Lack of U.S. Competitiveness, by Tom Luongo

Maybe China does some things better than the US. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

I’ve been making arguments for months that Donald Trump’s trade war with China is the height of stupidity. While Trump has the power to do what he’s been doing — sanctioning actors and applying tariffs — some power is best left not used.

The simple fact is that America is uncompetitive. This is at a deep and structural level. It’s at an education level. And this is something Trump’s trade team and his adherents refuse to admit.

When it comes to manufacturing and assembly, U.S. workers are not worth the money they are paid. Period.

Don’t take my word for it. Take Tim Cook’s. In an eye-opening interview from the end of 2017 Cook explains the basic problem with the U.S.

And China has an abundance of skilled labor unseen elsewhere, says Cook:
“The products we do require really advanced tooling, and the precision that you have to have, the tooling and working with the materials that we do are state of the art. And the tooling skill is very deep here. In the US you could have a meeting of tooling engineers and I’m not sure we could fill the room. In China you could fill multiple football fields.”

Cook credits China’s vast supply of highly skilled vocational talent:

“The vocational expertise is very very deep here, and I give the education system a lot of credit for continuing to push on that even when others were de-emphasizing vocational. Now I think many countries in the world have woke up and said this is a key thing and we’ve got to correct that. China called that right from the beginning.”

Is this Tim Cook talking or Mike Rowe?

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America’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities, by Charles Hugh Smith

Americans are getting the hell out of Dodge, and New York City, and San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and Seattle, and Baltimore, and Chicago, and so on and so forth. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The forced flight from unaffordable and dysfunctional urban regions is as yet a trickle, but watch what happens when a recession causes widespread layoffs in high-wage sectors.

For hundreds of years, rural poverty has driven people to urban areas: cities offer paying work and abundant opportunities to get ahead, and these financial incentives have transformed the human populace from largely rural to largely urban in the developed world.

Now a new set of financial pressures are forcing a migration of urban residents out of cities which are increasingly unaffordable and dysfunctional. As highly paid skilled workers and global capital have flooded into high-job-growth regions, living costs and the costs of doing business have skyrocketed: where not too long ago $1,000 a month would secure a modest one-bedroom apartment in major urban job centers, now it takes $2,000 or $3,000 a month to rent a modest flat.

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$15 Minimum Wage Imploding; Tight Labor Market Better Path to Higher Income, by Joe Guzzardi

The consequences of higher-than-market minimum wages are everywhere and always tragically predictable. From Joe Guzzardi at theburningplatform.com:

Raising and sustaining higher wages for American workers is impossible as long as the labor pool keeps expanding. Serious discussion about lasting improvements to the lives of the 40 million Americans stuck in low-paying jobs has to include an equally thoughtful discussion about limiting immigration.

While many in Congress and private sector economists embrace raising the $7.25 federal minimum wage where it’s been frozen in place for a decade, few speak out about reducing immigration as a permanent income-boosting cure. The academic exercise is basic – the more available workers, the better for employers. Conversely, tighten the labor pool, then advantage shifts to workers and job seekers.

Recently, the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Raise the Wage Act which would, if it became law, gradually raise the federal minimum wage over five years to $15 an hour. So far, six states – California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – and the District of Columbia have adopted $15 as their minimum wage. Although not enough data is available to make a final conclusion about the $15 wage’s broad effects, Georgetown University public policy professor and former Clinton administration Labor Department economist Harry Holzer predicts significant job losses that would hurt low-skilled, less-educated minority employees who would resort to accepting cash off the books, and thereby forfeit any benefits they may have had.

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