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Posts Tagged ‘minimum wage’

Indications Are That a Biden Administration Would Require the Fed to Adopt a Black Lives Matter Monetary Policy

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2020

The reason black unemployment lags is because of high minimum wage laws, which no doubt would be boosted by a Biden administration. The only way the Fed could counter that is by creating higher price inflation. That is, there would be a new kind of inflation, blackflation, price inflation created by the Fed at higher rates to raise nominal low-skilled wage rates above the minimum wage rate.

How nutty can you get?

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/07/indications-are-that-biden.html

From a Wall Street Journal editorial:

As old-fashioned as it sounds, we’re thumbing through Joe Biden’s economic plan on the theory that someone somewhere might want to know what’s in it. And what should we find, hiding like a presidential candidate in a Delaware basement, but a promise to politicize the Federal Reserve in a whole new way.

Mr. Biden wants to create a third mandate for the Fed. Recall that the current two are price stability and full employment. But, as the policy blueprint Team Biden cooked up with Bernie Sanders’s economic advisers argues, “the Black unemployment rate is persistently higher than the national average, which is why Democrats support making racial equity part of the mandate of the Federal Reserve.” The Fed chairman would be required to collect data and report on “the extent of racial employment and wage gaps” and what the Fed is doing about them.

The Journal notes:

Black employment tends to lag behind other ethnic groups, for complex reasons. This means the economy generally needs to run hotter for longer before lower-skilled black workers start to benefit from more employment and higher pay. That’s an argument for sound economic policies. But this proposal would bake in a bias in favor of ultraloose monetary policy, with racial justice furnishing a formal excuse to overlook inflation risks.

The reason black unemployment lags is because of high minimum wage laws, which no doubt would be boosted by a Biden administration. The only way the Fed could counter that is by creating higher price inflation. That is, there would be a new kind of inflation, blackflation, price inflation created by the Fed at higher rates to raise nominal low-skilled wage rates above the minimum wage rate.

How nutty can you get?

Well, as it turns out, even nuttier.

The Fed could make sure money is pumped into businesses that hire blacks, regardless of skills.

The Journal again:

The Biden monetary mandate also would open the door to regulatory mischief, which is the real prize for the progressive left. Under a diversity mandate, the Fed could require the banks it regulates to collect detailed data about the racial make-up of employees, and their pay, at companies applying for loans.

That data could then form a basis for enforcement action against banks that didn’t do enough to reduce racial pay gaps via their lending decisions, whatever “enough” means in the wilds of social-justice Twitter or a Treasury run by Elizabeth Warren. This would be a back-door way to impose through regulatory pressure various wage and diversity rules that otherwise couldn’t pass Congress or survive the Supreme Court. Such a data trove would provide bottomless fodder for grandstanding politicians on Capitol Hill…

 Under a race mandate, the Fed will have no choice but to obey whatever dictates Congress and a Biden Administration send its way in 2021.

There is a serious group of radical central planners surrounding Biden. A Fed Black Lives Matter monetary policy would be bad enough but it wouldn’t stop there.

RW

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Left and Right, Many Are Turning toward De Facto Secession—and That’s Not a Bad Thing | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2020

Fewer Americans feel at home in this country now. On the national scale, not even commercial events like the Super Bowl can unite us at the most superficial level.

In less than eight months, the presidential election cycle ends. That used to signify a day of national relief, no matter who won. Our political warring was over at last.

Anyone remember that country?

Murray Rothbard points out that the federal minimum wage law is a “protectionist device” weaponized by northeastern industrialists against their southern competitors, who have access to cheaper labor. He also cites “safety” regulations from the central government that essentially block the transportation of goods from one region to another.

https://mises.org/wire/left-and-right-many-are-turning-toward-de-facto-secession%E2%80%94and-thats-not-bad-thing?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=0c62c6ecbc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-0c62c6ecbc-228343965

Secession is less of a dirty word these days, but how it might actually work is a mystery. Fortunately, unless you’re a politician, there’s almost no downside. It’s a win for nationalists, open-borders advocates, and, most especially, for everyone in between.

New York splitting into two or three states, Illinoisans ditching Chicago, West Virginia welcoming in Virginia’s conservative counties, and northern Californians establishing their own State of Jefferson are a few recent campaigns.

These aren’t radical proposals, but rather a leveling up of what’s already common practice in the US. Mass exoduses from California, Illinois, Louisiana, and New York draw attention to the problems of these particular states, but why relocate if enough of your neighbors support simply redrawing state boundaries?

Immigration, abortion, gun rights, healthcare, and all the other issues that 330 million Americans bitterly fight over can be worked out in a decentralized fashion. Even the economy stands to improve if states partition into smaller units or even if they leave the US.

Aside from the frenzied “but this will cause another civil war” nonsense, the most unfounded concerns surround the economy. The fussbudgets are afraid that states will erect trade barriers, whether they ostensibly remain in the union or not.

Certainly some states will prefer different immigration policies, but barriers to trade among the states are mostly made possible by the federal government.

Murray Rothbard points out that the federal minimum wage law is a “protectionist device” weaponized by northeastern industrialists against their southern competitors, who have access to cheaper labor. He also cites “safety” regulations from the central government that essentially block the transportation of goods from one region to another.

Ryan McMaken observes why immigration restrictionists may be inclined to favor free trade:

If goods and services can’t move across borders, then people are more likely to move in order to reach those goods and services.

Plus, as free trade raises the standard of living for both sides, economic migration is that much less likely.

An increase in smaller states and more representatives in Congress threatens to effectively nullify much of the federal government’s unconstitutional activities. And for those concerned about the nation-state’s integrity, a leaner Washington, DC, may be a factor in newly formed states deciding to stay attached to the union.

However, the future of America could also be a collection of hybrid state-nations, as opposed to a large nation-state.

States running their own immigration systems apart from any national policy is now the norm, as sanctuary cities and states such as California show. States are also encroaching on foreign and monetary policy with efforts to withhold their national guard troops from unconstitutional wars or proposing that gold and silver be legal tender.

This decentralization of society may be necessary considering the deeper implications of this newfound, widespread interest in secessionist solutions.

Fewer Americans feel at home in this country now. On the national scale, not even commercial events like the Super Bowl can unite us at the most superficial level.

In less than eight months, the presidential election cycle ends. That used to signify a day of national relief, no matter who won. Our political warring was over at last.

Anyone remember that country?

We don’t live there anymore, and we won’t this November 3, either.

However, the losing side can be expected to push talk of secession to an all-time high. Thankfully, centralization is losing popularity among some rising demographics, including Hispanics, who support secession at a rate of 36 percent, and those aged 18–29, 47 percent of whom favor decentralization.

At a time when polarization is leading to radicalization on the left and right, it’s reassuring that so many are now open to a strategy that offers compromise.

Although secessionists may generally talk of “taking back” some rights or way of life, they follow this up with willingness to let others go their own route, even to the point of giving up geographical reach for their new state or nation.

Social cohesion is declining under the status quo, as institutions that traditionally hold the social fabric together are failing, from traditional churches to civic community centers. Under centralization, politics freely usurps these cultural vacancies.

Tragically, that leads to violent street clashes between activists, many hopelessly seeking a sense of purpose from the mob.

The year 2021 offers a political environment in which frustration at national politics can be positively directed toward local officials. Over a dozen major cities will hold mayoral elections, and countless other municipalities and neighborhoods will be holding elections or hearings in which nullification and secession can be raised, not to mention that there are state legislatures taking most of their action in the early months of the year, when secession talk may be trending on social media.

Public discussion need not be charged with partisanship. In fact, issue-based campaigns and coalitions can transcend ideologies, so this could be a great opportunity for someone not attached to a political identity to lead the charge.

Good fences make good neighbors, Robert Frost wrote. Americans are more severely divided than ever before, but redrawing some boundaries just might help form a more perfect reunion.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Mike Bloomberg Just Called for a Higher Minimum Wage…and Then It Got Worse

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2020

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/01/mike-bloomberg-just-called-for-higher.html

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has released his economic plan. He calls it his “All-in-Economy” agenda.

It is full of typical lefty interventions in the economy that will do nothing but lower the general standard of living in the U.S. if his plan were to be implemented.

His plan calls for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, affordable child care, paid family leave and the right to sue employers for harassment and discrimination related to characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability.

He also calls for the spending of billions “communities across the nation to help create jobs and grow incomes,” as if the free market doesn’t create jobs.

He says he is in favor of health insurance that would be administered by the federal government but paid for by “customer” premiums.

In short, Bloomberg’s policy is interventionist to such a degree, it is difficult to differentiate his plan from early-stage Mussolini economics.

In 1930, in the Doctrine of Fascism, Mussolini wrote, “The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State.”

From My Autobiography by Mussolini:

I have wanted the Fascist government, above all, to give great care to social legislation…I think that Italy is advanced beyond all European nations; in fact, it has ratified laws…for obligatory insurance against tuberculosis…All this shows how, in every detail in the field of labor, I stand by the working labor…from insurance against accidents to the indemnity against illness.

RW

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Why Republicans Are Powerless against Socialism

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

If we are to believe the Republicans, they are all that is holding back the forces of socialism from taking over the United States and replacing a free and capitalist society with an authoritarian and socialist society.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

After suffering the humiliating loss of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm election, and having to deal increasingly with the fallout from the govern-by-Twitter pronouncements of Democratic bogeyman, Donald Trump, Republicans needed a bogeyman of their own to feign horror over in order to help them convince moderate and independent voters (and on-the-fence Republicans) that they should be afraid of the policies pushed by Democrats and vote Republican in the 2020 election. That bogeyman is socialism. As Republicans gear up for the 2020 campaign, they are pressing their case that a vote for Democrats is a vote for the policies of socialism.

Republicans don’t have an easy road ahead of them. A Gallup poll taken last year found that 37 percent of Americans feel positive about socialism, including 16 percent of those who lean Republican. Young people are especially likely to view socialism positively, with about half of Americans under 30 (51 percent) responding that they had a positive view of socialism. That accords with other polls that reveal that an increasing number of Americans support progressive ideas such as government-mandated paid maternity leave, tuition-free college, government funding for child care, increasing the minimum wage, and Medicare for All. Popular political figures such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), as well as an increasing number of progressives, embrace the label “democratic socialist.” Even so, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told reporters that the path to Republican success in the 2020 election is “running to be the firewall that saves the country from socialism.”

Back in April, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) received approval from the U.S. House of Representatives for the creation of the Anti-Socialism Caucus. According to a press release that was posted on the congressman’s official website, “The purpose of the caucus is to inform lawmakers and the public on the dangers of socialism and to serve as a bulwark to stop the advancement of socialist policies and legislation.” According to Representative Stewart,

Socialism is a folly. Not only is it doomed to fail wherever it rears its head, it leaves a wake of destruction in lives and freedoms lost.

So much time has passed from the fall of the Iron Curtain that many have internalized — or never experienced — socialism’s ultimate price. If we fail to recall those dangerous times, the primitive appeal of socialism will advance and infect our institutions.

Our adversaries have one thing in common: they want to destroy freedom, democracy and the rule of law, for the life-affirming principles which define our liberal democracy represent an existential threat to their existence.

The Anti-Socialism Caucus will play a part in how we will defeat socialism once again.

“This caucus will defend individual liberty & free markets and highlight the dark history of socialism,” tweeted Stewart upon receiving approval from the House for the formation of the caucus.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held earlier this year outside Washington, D.C., White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, head of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, and Vice President Mike Pence all played the socialism card.

According to the Associated Press and Business Insider, Kudlow implored conference attendees to “join us to keep America great and join us to put socialism on trial and then convict it.” Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, warned Republicans that Democrats are “embracing socialism.” Gorka asked and answered a question: “What is America’s biggest problem? Not socialism in Russia, but in America!” McDaniel told the conference that the GOP would look to “go out and educate” voters about socialism. Pence said in his speech that the choice in the next election is “between freedom and socialism, between personal responsibility and government dependence.” “The moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America,” said Pence to the friendly crowd.

A Trump campaign official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the campaign was exploring ways to use the “socialism” message to drive a wedge between Democratic voters and independents. It was a surprise that Trump did not mention socialism in his speech to the crowd of conservative activists. But of course, he has mentioned it numerous other times. Just before the 2018 election in which Democrats regained control of the House, he predicted,

If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run health care is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses, and other major sectors of the U.S. economy.

In his State of the Union Address in February, the president again warned of the dangers of socialism:

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence —not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

Socialism in theory

The term “socialism” is increasingly bandied about by pundits and presidential candidates, resulting in much confusion. What is socialism? Although Republicans are increasingly trying to demonize Democrats with the label, they rarely stop to define the term in its specific historical sense or in its more general modern sense. Akin to that is their insistence that they believe in free markets and that the United States is a capitalist country that must be saved from socialism.

In its essence, socialism is the government ownership and control of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. That is why socialist parties, once in power, seek to nationalize major industries. Under socialism, government central planning, not markets, determines what should be produced, by whom, and in what quantities — at least in theory.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, in his 1944 book Bureaucracy, contrasted capitalism and socialism:

The main issue in present-day political struggles is whether society should be organized on the basis of private ownership of the means of production (capitalism, the market system) or on the basis of public control of the means of production (socialism, communism, planned economy). Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individual’s life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management.

More recently, economist Walter Williams succinctly explained the difference between the capitalist and socialist systems: “The key features of a free-market system are private property rights and private ownership of the means of production. By contrast, socialist systems feature severely limited private property rights and government ownership or control of the means of production.”

But as Mises’s disciple and Nobel laureate economist Friedrich Hayek made clear in the preface to the 1976 edition of his classic work The Road to Serfdom (1944), the meaning of socialism evolved in the second half of the twentieth century from meaning “unambiguously the nationalization of the means of production and the central economic planning which this made possible and necessary” to mean “chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” Modern-day socialists and their fellow travelers aren’t calling for the nationalization of industry or the abolition of private property. They want a mixture of government ownership, government control by regulation, and government redistributive programs to ensure social justice and economic equality.

Socialism in practice

In spite of Republican rhetoric, and contrary to what most Americans think, the United States, like every democratic country, has — in the words of economist Thomas DiLorenzo — “islands of socialism in a sea of capitalism.”

Socialized education. Public education is one of the most blatant forms of socialism in the United States. Every state government has a provision in its constitution for the operation of K–12 schools, colleges, and universities in the state. K–12 schools are funded by local property taxes as well as the federal and state governments. Public universities are funded directly by state governments and indirectly by federal Pell grants, other federal educational grants, and federal student loans. Teachers are employed by local school boards (in the case of K–12 schools) or state governments (in the case of colleges and universities). Textbooks are selected, and curricula are designed, by government entities.

Every state, as well as the federal government, has a department of education. The states have mandatory-attendance laws and standardized-testing requirements. Government agencies mandate teacher-education requirements and certify teachers. The federal government has math and science initiatives, special-education mandates, bilingual-education mandates, research grants for colleges and universities, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Common Core, Title IX anti-discrimination mandates, the No Child Left Behind Act, and school breakfast and lunch programs. The accrediting agencies of colleges and universities are government agencies.

Socialized medicine. Americans who criticize the socialized medicine that exists in Canada and European countries forget that we have several forms of socialized medicine in the United States. Medicare is government-funded health care for Americans 65 years old and older and for those who are permanently disabled, or have end-stage renal disease or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It covers more than 55 million Americans, most of whom become eligible for Medicare when they reach age 65, regardless of their income or health status. Medicaid is government-funded health care for poor Americans of any age and people with certain disabilities. It is the primary source of health-insurance coverage for low-income populations and nursing-home long-term care, and covers about 70 million Americans. Medicaid is jointly financed by the federal and state governments, but designed and administered by state governments within federal guidelines. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a partnership between federal and state governments that provides federally funded health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Government insurance exchanges help millions of Americans purchase health insurance subsidized by the federal government. The federal government has a National Institutes of Health (NIH), federal laboratories, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives, vaccination programs, and nutrition guidelines.

Social Security. This is the largest socialist program in the United States. There are actually two parts to Social Security (OASDI). The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program provides monthly benefits to retired workers, families of retired workers, and survivors of deceased workers. The Disability Insurance (DI) program provides monthly benefits to disabled workers and families of disabled workers. More than 60 million Americans receive some sort of Social Security benefit. The government pays the benefits, determines the benefits, sets the retirement age, decides on cost-of-living adjustments, and makes the rules for eligibility.

Despite the name of the program, many Americans think that they are entitled to receive Social Security benefits because they earned them by contributing to the system over the course of their working life. But there is no contractual right to receive Social Security benefits. Congress can reduce benefits at any time, increase Social Security taxes at any time without increasing benefits, and raise or eliminate the wage base upon which Social Security taxes are figured at any time without increasing benefits. The federal government can even pay Social Security benefits in perpetuity regardless of the amount of Social Security taxes that are collected.

Socialized charity. There are in the United States about 80 means-tested welfare programs that offer benefits on the basis of the beneficiary’s income or assets. U.S. welfare programs provide cash, food, housing subsidies, utility subsidies, and social services to poor, disabled, and lower-income Americans.

The most egregious of the means-tested welfare programs is the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. It pays cash directly to welfare recipients to spend as they please. States receive block grants from the federal government to design and operate TANF programs. In an average month, approximately 3.5 million Americans receive TANF benefits. The majority of poor families with children receive some form of cash assistance from the government.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program gives cash assistance to people who are disabled, aged, or both and who have low income and few assets. More than 5 million low-income households in the United States receive federal rental assistance through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Most recipients of federal housing assistance pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent, with the government paying the rest up to a certain amount.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP [formerly known and still referred to as food stamps]) is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but operated by the states. Recipients of food-stamp benefits receive a deposit on an EBT card each month that can be used only for prepackaged food items. About 13 percent of the population are on food stamps.

Other means-tested welfare programs include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Head Start; Healthy Start; the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); the School Breakfast Program (SBP); the Special Milk Program (SMP); the Elderly Nutrition Program; the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and subsidized low-income phone service. Some welfare programs aren’t means-tested at all, such as Unemployment Compensation, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by the states. It provides benefits to those who become unemployed who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Socialized services. Governments at all levels in the United States provide services that could be provided by the free market. The most infamous example is the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). And to make matters worse, by law, only the Post Office is allowed to deliver regular mail. The federal government’s National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) costs taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year in subsidies. The federal government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides security at airports and forbids airlines to provide their own security.

Government “public works” projects are not only socialism on a grand scale, they are also the epitome of the term “boondoggle.” In many states, counties, and cities in the United States, it is the government that collects the garbage; operates mass transit; supplies electricity, water, and natural gas; operates fire departments; owns the airports; operates health clinics; provides ambulance services; operates hospitals; inspects restaurants; operates the liquor stores; and picks up stray and dead animals. Other things that are done by private businesses are also done by government-run enterprises.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “In 2017, U.S. government spending for national, state and local budgets was 38 percent of GDP.” Almost two-thirds of the federal budget goes for transfer payments and subsidies.

The Republicans

Will the Republicans save us from socialism? To think so is to dream the impossible dream. Republicans are powerless against the onslaught of socialism, and for two reasons. One, they support the same socialist policies as the Democrats. And two, they did nothing to roll back socialism when they had the chance.

Republicans support the three biggest socialist programs in the United States: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Just read what it says in the Republican Party platform:

As the party of America’s future, we accept the responsibility to preserve and modernize a system of retirement security forged in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans. Current retirees and those close to retirement can be assured of their benefits. Of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered to preserve Social Security.

We intend to save Medicare by modernizing it, empowering its participants, and putting it on a secure financial footing. We will preserve the promise of Medicaid as well by making that program, designed for 1965 medicine, a vehicle for good health in an entirely new era.

Even worse, Republicans sometimes create new socialist programs of their own accord. In 1997, the Republican-controlled Congress created the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, now just called CHIP), a partnership between federal and state governments that provides federally funded health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. The program has been reauthorized with Republican support ever since then.

After many years of Democratic control of both houses of Congress, Republicans captured the Senate during the presidency of the Republican Ronald Reagan and held on to control of it for six years. They did absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught of socialism. In fact, they raised the Social Security and Medicare tax rates to bolster those socialist programs. If only we had control of the House, said the Republicans. During the last six years of the presidency of the Democrat Bill Clinton, Republicans had a majority in both houses of Congress. They did absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught of socialism. In fact, they increased the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) every year to redistribute even more of the incomes of American taxpayers. If only we had a Republican president, said the Republicans. When the Republicans finally got their Republican president in George W. Bush they had a perfect opportunity to abolish the federal government’s socialist programs and restore the United States to a free and capitalist society. The Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for more than four years during the Bush presidency. They had not had absolute control of the government since the first two years of Republican Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency. Again, they did absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught of socialism. In fact, they expanded Medicare, created the TSA, and tremendously increased the budget of the Department of Education. The Republicans had another chance to roll back socialism when they controlled both houses of Congress during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. But again, they did absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught of socialism. In fact, they could not even come together to repeal Obamacare, even though they had railed against it since the day the Democrats passed it in 2010.

The conclusion is inescapable: Republicans are powerless against socialism because — as shown by their words and deeds — they are socialists themselves.

This article was originally published on the Future Freedom Foundation website and in the August 2019 edition of Future of Freedom.

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Eugenics and the Racist Underbelly of the American Left | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2019

For progressives, a legal minimum wage had the useful property of sorting the unfit, who would lose their jobs, from the deserving workers, who would retain their jobs. Royal Meeker, a Princeton economist who served as Woodrow Wilson’s U.S. Commissioner of Labor, opposed a proposal to subsidize the wages of poor workers for this reason. Meeker preferred a wage floor because it would disemploy unfit workers and thereby enable their culling from the work force.

https://mises.org/wire/eugenics-and-racist-underbelly-american-left

The New York Times has created a huge stir with its 1619 Project , which claims that the real founding of the United States was not the American Revolution, but rather slavery and racism. One might mistake the concept as one that said America’s political founders did not hold enlightened racial views, but still helped to create a country with the kind of ideals that finally led to the end of slavery and even undercut racism itself. After all, during the Civil Rights Era, Martin Luther King, Jr., himself appealed to founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in urging Americans to “live up to the ideals” of the nation.

Instead, the NYT, using academics that represent the New History of Capitalism viewpoint, is claiming that racism, brutality, and slavery were the basis of the founding of the country. This is not a case of saying that the founders were racist, but rather that the legal, social, and economic foundations of the USA were racism. Capitalism in this country, the NHC and NYT allege, came about because of slavery, and that everything related to capitalism here exists solely from slavery. Without slavery, the United States as we know it would not exist.

Double-entry bookkeeping and modern accounting methods? Forget their origins in late Medieval Italy; they were developed on the slave plantation to further the institution of slavery. Modern human resources management did not come about in the late 1800s as a way improve workplace productivity and improve worker welfare. No, human resources was born on the southern slavery plantation and without the institution of slavery, it never would have existed.

Although a number of economists and historians such as Phil Magness, Robert Murphy, and others have effectively contradicted the NYT accounts, American progressives simply are accepting the slavery-as-fundamental-to-American-capitalism as true on its face. Sojourners, for example, declared that the only reason one could disagree with the NYT narratives was racism on behalf of those taking issue with these accounts. Thus, even people who agree that slavery was immoral but question the NYT narrative do so because they are racists who “fear black power.”

While I have written my own disagreements with the NYT narrative, I propose this time of pursuing something similar to what the NYT is claiming, but changing the time and circumstances. I ask the following question: What if racism really is at the roots of the creation of modern America, and what if the NYT has played a major role in promoting structural racism? That is what I intend to show. Furthermore, I hold that the year 1896 is the founding of the America that exists today, and that includes the legacies of Jim Crow and the modern dystopian urban culture of murder and violence.

To understand the points I am making, one first must understand what we call the Progressive Era and the vast intellectual and social changes that it brought. Thomas Leonard of Princeton University writes :

American economics transformed itself during the Progressive Era. In the three to four decades after 1890, American economics became an expert policy science and academic economists played a leading role in bringing about a vastly more expansive state role in the American economy. By World War I, the U.S. government amended the Constitution to institute a personal income tax, created the Federal Reserve, applied antitrust laws, restricted immigration and began regulation of food and drug safety. State governments, where the reform impulse was stronger still, regulated working conditions, banned child labor, instituted “mothers’ pensions,” capped working hours and set minimum wages.

Academic historians (who mostly fall in the progressive camp) would present these changes as uniformly positive, the general narrative being that before the progressive reformers began to reshape the economic and social landscape, Americans – and especially American workers – lived a near-hellish existence. The historians, however, also tend to ignore the darker side of the so-called reformers, who believed that the application of science could help them do away with “inferior” races of people and transform humanity into some sort of super-race. Writes Leonard:

Less well known is that a crude eugenic sorting of groups into deserving and undeserving classes crucially informed the labor and immigration reform that is the hallmark of the Progressive Era (Leonard, 2003). Reform-minded economists of the Progressive Era defended exclusionary labor and immigration legislation on grounds that the labor force should be rid of unfit workers, whom they labeled “parasites,” “the unemployable,” “low-wage races” and the “industrial residuum.” Removing the unfit, went the argument, would uplift superior, deserving workers.

Leonard continues:

…the professional economists who wrote on immigration increasingly emphasized not the quantity of immigrants, but their quality. “If we could leave out of account the question of race and eugenics,” Irving Fisher (1921, pp. 226–227) said in his presidential address to the Eugenics Research Association, “I should, as an economist, be inclined to the view that unrestricted immigration . . . is economically advantageous to the country as a whole . . ..” But, cautioned Fisher, “the core of the problem of immigration is . . . one of race and eugenics,” the problem of the Anglo-Saxon racial stock being overwhelmed by racially inferior “defectives, delinquents and dependents.”

While academic historians tend to see the Jim Crow era, which began in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as a logical extension of the racial turmoil of the South following the end of the Civil War and the ending of slavery, history tells a different account. For example, South Carolina, which in later years produced one of the most infamous race-baiting politicians of all time, Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman, for many years was governed by Wade Hampton, a former Confederate general who also was a racial moderate.

While racial discrimination and strife existed in the South (and much of the rest of the country, for that matter) post-Civil War, racial discrimination did not become institutionalized through the vast network of Jim Crow laws until later. For example, in 1898, the Charleston (South Carolina) News and Courier editorialized against a proposed law to segregate railroad passenger cars:

As we have got on fairly well for a third of a century, including a long period of reconstruction . . . we probably can get on as well hereafter without it [the proposed law], and certainly so extreme a measure should not be adopted and enforced without added and urgent cause.

The editorial went on to say that such a law probably would require “Jim Crow eating cars” and the “Jim Crow Bible for colored witnesses to kiss” and so on. In other words, a leading South Carolina newspaper declared such laws ridiculous. Yet, within a short time, there were Jim Crow eating cars on trains, Jim Crow sleeping cars, Jim Crow Bibles, and a host of other measures enforcing racial segregation until well into the 1960s.

Enactment and enforcement of Jim Crow policies were mostly the product of the Democratic Party post-Grover Cleveland, who left the White House in 1897. Cleveland was a racial moderate and one who believed strongly in individual rights, free markets, and individual responsibility , along with “hard” money. He would be the last Democrat president who believed that way, and the Democrats’ rejection of the Founders’ ideals began even before Cleveland left office, as the party in 1896 fully embraced progressivism, nominating free silver advocate William Jennings Bryan , who had electrified party delegates with his “Cross of Gold” speech at the party’s convention that year .

Bryan’s campaign would be the most radical in U.S. History up to that point. His campaign promoted progressive “reforms,” business regulation, and a silver-based monetary inflation. Had he lived long enough, he most likely would have supported Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal just as he supported pretty much every progressive legislative measure in the early 20 th Century. Likewise, the political heirs of Tillman and other southern Democrats that made race the central focus of their legislative policies became the staunchest supporters of the New Deal.

Although Bryan lost the 1896 election to William McKinley, his campaign platform would become America’s future, and it is safe to say that modern America is much more the product of the Democrats’ 1896 progressivism than the southern plantation system that the Civil War destroyed more than three decades before.

In 1896, despite the creeping political centralism that had come with the northern victory in the Civil War, the United States still was a constitutional republic. In 20 years, thanks to progressive governance, the USA was well on its way to becoming a progressive democracy. The Democrats’ wide electoral victory in 1912 gave way to what Thomas DiLorenzo has called the Revolution of 1913 . In that year, the Democrats created the Income Tax, the Federal Reserve System, direct election of U.S. Senators, and a host of legislation that bolstered the Jim Crow system. What began in 1896 began to bear fruit with Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 election to the presidency.

Jim Crow policies and the racial purity theories behind them were at the heart of progressivism, something that few progressives today are willing to acknowledge. Leonard writes that eugenics dominated progressive thinking, and one can seriously doubt that people would impose policies that mysteriously violated their racial beliefs, something that modern progressives want us to believe. Take the minimum wage, for example, for which progressives claim that opposition to it is based in racism . Writes Leonard :

Progressive economists, like their neoclassical critics, believed that binding minimum wages would cause job losses. However, the progressive economists also believed that the job loss induced by minimum wages was a social benefit, as it performed the eugenic service ridding the labor force of the “unemployable.” Sidney and Beatrice Webb put it plainly: “With regard to certain sections of the population [the “unemployable”], this unemployment is not a mark of social disease, but actually of social health.” “[O]f all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites,” Sidney Webb opined in the Journal of Political Economy, “the most ruinous to the community is to allow them to unrestrainedly compete as wage earners.” A minimum wage was seen to operate eugenically through two channels: by deterring prospective immigrants (Henderson, 1900) and also by removing from employment the “unemployable,” who, thus identified, could be, for example, segregated in rural communities or sterilized.

He continues:…

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Margaret Sanger and the Forced Sterilization of Americans ...

 

 

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: The Minimum Wage Kills Again: Pizza Hut Closing As Many as 500 Dine-In Restaurants

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/08/the-minimum-wage-kills-again-pizza-hut.html

Pizza Hut is closing as many as 500 dine-in restaurants.

They are moving to a less labor-intensive format.

“We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets,” said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call.

RW

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: New York City’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Now Officially a Disaster

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/08/new-york-citys-15-minimum-wage-is-now.html

By Jake Dima

New York City’s $15 minimum wage, which began to take effect Dec. 31, 2018, was meant to bolster earnings and quality of life, but for a lot of residents, it’s doing the opposite.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in 2016 to increase the New York York State’s minimum wage to $15.00/hr. The lowest minimum wage in NY at the time was $9.60. NYC’s “big employers” (11 or more employees) were the first to be forced to increase minimum wage pay toward the end of 2018. The rest of NYC’s smaller-scale businesses won’t have to pay up until December of 2019, according to data on Cuomo’s website.

Cuomo claims to have created the bill with “the needs of workers and businesses alike” in mind, but a lot of business owners in the boroughs beg to differ. They say the extra money comes with an unforeseen cost: higher good prices, fewer working hours and layoffs.

 

“Many people working in the restaurant industry wanted to work overtime hours, but due to the increase, many restaurants have cut back or totally eliminated any overtime work,” Andrew Riggie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told Fox News. “There’s only so much consumers are willing to pay for a burger or a bowl of pasta.”
Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike, according to a NYC Hospitality Alliance survey taken just one month after the bill took effect.
“What it really forces you to do is make sure that nobody works more than 40 hours,” Susannah Koteen, owner of Lido Restaurant in Harlem, told Fox News. “You can only cut back so many people before the service starts to suffer.”
NYC restaurants are taking hits from Cuomo’s push, but Washington doesn’t seem to have received the memo. The House passed the Raise The Wage Act in July, which mandated a nation-wide $15 minimum wage. The bill was later blocked by the Senate.
The bill would have effectively doubled the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. There is dismal 6 percent support for a nation-wide $15 wage hike among economists, according to Fox News surveys.
Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation by the time of publishing.
The above originally appeared at the Daily Caller.
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Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Has Whites in Audience Apologize to the Nearest Black

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2019

https://www.targetliberty.com/2019/07/democratic-presidential-candidate.html?m=1

Starts at 11:10 mark.

Why would every white person in a room have to apologize to blacks if they had nothing to do with slavery, etc.?

In my case, they should be thanking me, since I am in support of freeing anyone in prison on drug charges. I want to stop horrific forced public school education and I want to eliminate the anti-black minimum wage. And I write about this actively.

RW

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Bernie Sanders Shows Us How a Minimum Wage Hike Hurts Workers | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

In other words, by cutting worker hours, the Sanders campaign elected to provide fewer “services” in the form of campaign activities. In practice, this will likely mean fewer rallies, less travel, or fewer television ads.

Sanders reacted the same way any real world business man would react if he wanted to stay in business.

https://mises.org/wire/bernie-sanders-shows-us-how-minimum-wage-hike-hurts-workers

The Washington Post reported last week that some workers on the Bernie Sanders campaign for calling for a wage increase to a the equivalent of 15 dollars per hour. This, of course, is the hourly rate which Sanders has long pushed for in legislation and on the campaign trail.

But that’s more than what many Sanders employees make per hour.

Many campaign workers are salaried, so the problem lies in the fact that total campaign salaries, when calculated on a per-hour-worked basis, come out to less than $15 per hour. Many employees work around 60 hours per week — as is often typical for full-time workers on a presidential campaign.

As reported by the Des Moines Register,

For a staffer working 40 hours a week, [the typical campaign salary] comes out to about $17 an hour. But 40-hour workweeks on presidential campaigns are rare.

So, some Sanders employees have complained they aren’t earning a “living wage” and have demanded Sanders raise wages immediately. Recognizing the bad optics of the situation, Sanders apparently began looking for a way to raise the per-hour wage.

But how to do it?…

So what is Sanders’s solution?

Not a Raise in Terms of Total Income

According to the Register:

Sanders said the campaign will limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.

It’s not really an increase in total earnings for workers, of course, although workers do now have time to work a second job. Workers won’t be getting any closer to that “living wage” they keep talking about, but by cutting hours for salaried workers, the campaign can claim it raised hourly wages. The move is a masterstroke of cynical public relations.

There are a couple of things we can learn from this.

First of all, we learn that Sanders is not willing to put his money where his mouth is. He’s not willing to use any additional portion of his personal wealth to supplement worker wages.

He is willing to cut back on campaign activities to raise the per-hour wage. In other words, by cutting worker hours, the Sanders campaign elected to provide fewer “services” in the form of campaign activities. In practice, this will likely mean fewer rallies, less travel, or fewer television ads.

The Long Term Effects

Ironically, in the longer term, this may nonetheless turn out to represent a very real pay cut for campaign workers by reducing their employment options moving forward…

The result will be concentration in the industry: smaller and less-capitalized firms will go out of business. Larger firms will gain even more market share. Ultimately, consumers will pay more as a small number of firms can then raise prices more easily. And workers will have fewer options among potential employers — and this will mean wage compression at all levels above the mandated minimum.

Thus, not only will a minimum wage hike mean fewer products and services offered per firm, it may also mean fewer firms providing products and services.

It’s debatable, of course, whether or not the Sanders campaign provides a “service” many people want. But by cutting back on total hours in order to pay higher hourly wages, the Sanders campaign is illustrating what private firms must do whenever government regulators and legislators raise costs: they must become less competitive.

The result is workers working less, firms offering fewer services, and smaller start-ups losing out to bigger competitors.

Unfortunately, Sanders is unlikely to learn anything from the experience.

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Bernie

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Bernie Sanders: Minimum Wage Hypocrite

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2019

Yah, but it is OK for the rest of US.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-minimum-wage-hypocrite.html

Wherein Bernie discovers the concept of anti-central planning competitive market wage rates.

The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reports:

“For years, Bernie Sanders has traveled the country advocating for a $15 per hour minimum wage. His campaign organizers say they aren’t making that much, and they’re using his words to protest for higher wages.”

Bernie is apparently, lol, justifying the below $15 per hour rate that he is paying by stating he is meeting market competition.

From the Post:

The Sanders campaign late Thursday issued a statement lauding its union contract. “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports,” Shakir said. “Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”

RW

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