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Resurrecting America's Minimum Wage
An Intellectual and Political History
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The Fall and Revival of Our Minimum Wage Laws

Just over a decade ago, minimum wage laws had largely vanished from the American political debate.

Although they still remained on the books, they had fallen sharply in real terms, with the federal figure of \$7.25 per hour being roughly one-third lower than at its 1968 peak. Relative to the overall productivity of the American economy, the decline had been far greater, amounting to a loss of more than 60%.

Even starker than these practical changes had been the collapse of their ideological support. For decades, conservatives and Republicans had grown increasingly more hostile to their role, arguing that minimum wage laws damaged the economy and hurt the prospects of the very workers they were intended to help, with free market libertarians regularly demanding their abolition.

More surprisingly, these same sentiments had also become quite common on the other side of the aisle, with many Democrats and liberals quietly admitting that their Republican opponents were probably correct on this particular economic issue. As early as 1987, the editorial page of the New York Times had provocatively called for a minimum wage of \$0.00, and by the late 1990s leading liberal economists such as Paul Krugman had grown highly skeptical. The younger generation of influential progressive pundits such as Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias had fully imbibed these neoliberal sentiments, and were sometimes scathing in their criticism of such policies, which they derided as based upon populist ignorance and demagoguery.

During this same period, private sector unionization had also declined, dropping from around 30% of the work force down to less than 7%, and despite all efforts to reverse it, that trend has continued in the decade since then, with the figure now down to 6.1%. So any objective observer might have expected that our traditional minimum wage laws would follow this same inexorable trajectory, steadily falling into complete irrelevance, and with few influential elements of either political party casting any tears for their gradual disappearance.

Yet oddly enough, something entirely different happened. In early 2012, hardly any American political figures were focusing much attention on minimum wage policy yet just four years later the topic had become one of the hottest economic issues in the country, with both California and New York enacting \$15 per hour legislation, nearly doubling their previous rates.

A sudden explosion of state-by-state wage hikes began soon after 2012, and the ideological positions of Democrats and even many Republicans were transformed during that same period.

Across the last half-century, working-class Americans have suffered an almost unbroken series of economic defeats, and this sudden, unexpected resurrection of high minimum wage policy probably stands as one of the very few notable exceptions.

I’m proud to have played a significant role in that reversal of such seemingly irreversible historical trends, and with the ten-year anniversary having recently passed, I’ve decided to produce a comprehensive retrospective account of that important history.

Immigration, Poverty, and the Minimum Wage

One of the oddities of my involvement in this particular issue is that I had never previously paid much attention to economic matters. Although a class in introductory economics was one of the most popular offerings at my undergraduate college and all my friends took it, I never considered doing so, having absolutely no interest in the subject. Not only have I never taken a single course in the “dismal science,” but I’ve never even opened an economics textbook, let alone read one from cover-to-cover, a declaration I have sometimes made during my public debates with highly-credentialed economics professors.

Yet those who wander into an unrelated area quite by accident may sometimes grasp important truths that might remain unnoticed by those who have spent years or decades immersed in the subject, and I think I may have benefited from this situation.

From the early 1990s onward the main focus of my public policy interests had been the highly-contentious issues associated with race, ethnicity, and social policy, including immigration, Affirmative Action, and Bilingual Education. My involvement had been much more than merely theoretical, and I had played a major role in the controversial public campaigns on those issues, especially those in my own state of California. Meanwhile, I had also published widely on the same topics in the leading conservative periodicals, culminating in a 1999 cover story in Commentary, providing a narrative analysis recapitulating those important events of the previous few years.

My “English” campaigns came to a successful conclusion in 2003 as I recently described in a lengthy retrospective account. Afterward, I was preoccupied with unrelated software projects, and largely withdrew from the public policy arena, which had anyway become overwhelmingly focused on Middle East foreign policy issues in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

However in 2011 I decided to publish a sequel to my 1999 article, updating my perspective on those same issues of immigration and race. These topics had previously been very important in California politics but had now also reached the center of the national agenda, and I included numerous ideas and observations I had gradually accumulated over the previous dozen years.

Much of my article followed along the lines of what I had previously written. The first half demonstrated that although a large influx of non-white immigrants tended to provoke the racialist fears of local whites, these concerns were transitory and soon dissipated. As a consequence, those conservatives or Republicans who regularly sought to ride such an anti-immigrant tidal wave to political power were pursuing fools’ gold, and they inevitably destroyed their long-term prospects. This had been the case with the total collapse of California’s once-mighty Republican Party in the aftermath of Pete Wilson and Prop. 187.

My previous article had been written in 1999, near the height of America’s Tech Boom, and economic factors had played a very minor role in my analysis. California’s middle-class whites were doing well financially, and the plight of those who had suffered, such as the aerospace engineers downsized at the end of the Cold War, had hardly been due to an influx of immigrant laborers.

But by 2011, American workers were facing economic hard times, and I concluded that several decades of very high immigration levels had played a major role in creating this predicament. I analyzed the situation at considerable length and proposed an unexpected solution.

The Politics of Rich and Poor

In recent decades, American society has undergone an almost unprecedented concentration of wealth, now reaching the point at which the top 1 percent possess as much net wealth as the bottom 90-95 percent. This same top 1 percent received over 80 percent of the total increase in American personal income between 1980 and 2005, and that trend has almost certainly accelerated since then. Late last year New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof sounded the alarm that America might soon reach the extremes of wealth and poverty found in the notoriously polarized societies of Argentina and the “banana republics” of Latin America, then needed to retract that claim when he discovered that we had already long since passed most of those countries in that regard. And in a widely discussed Vanity Fair article, Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz characterized today’s America as being a country “Of the One Percent, By the One Percent, and For the One Percent.” This state of affairs is clearly not beneficial to the less wealthy 99 percent of our society, but he also pointed out that the obvious potential for social instability should deeply concern the more thoughtful members of the One Percent themselves.

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Furthermore, much of this economic decline has been absolute rather than merely relative. Adjusted for inflation, median personal income has been stagnant for the past 40 years, and a substantial fraction of the population has seen a sharp drop in its standard of living, a situation almost without precedent in American history. Meanwhile, the costs of numerous budget items such as healthcare or higher education have risen very rapidly, thereby forcing more and more families into what Paul Krugman has characterized as a system of permanent “debt peonage” or what Warren Buffett has similarly described as a “sharecropper’s society.” As a result, nearly a quarter of American households have zero to negative net worth, and a single unexpected illness or economic setback can push them to the brink of destitution.

To some extent, this long stagnation in financial well-being has been masked by the material benefits derived from the exponentially growing power of our electronic technologies and also by the false sense of wealth temporarily provided by the housing bubble. But with the collapse of the latter, many Americans are finally discovering just how poor they really have become. And in many respects, this economic situation seems far worse in America than in most of the other wealthy countries we have long regarded as our economic peers, so it cannot simply be blamed upon problems of technological displacement or the rise of China or global free trade.

It is perhaps not entirely coincidental that this 40 year period of economic stagnation for most Americans coincides exactly with 40 years of rapidly rising immigration levels. After all, the concept that a huge influx of eager workers would tend to benefit Capital at the expense of Labor is hardly astonishing, nor does it require years of academic research into the intricacies of economic theory.

Consider, for example, the case of self-educated union activist Cesar Chavez, a liberal icon of the 1960s who today ranks as the top Latino figure in America’s progressive pantheon. During nearly his entire career, Chavez stood as a vigorous opponent of immigration, especially of the undocumented variety, repeatedly denouncing the failure of the government to enforce its immigration laws due to the pervasive influence of the business lobby and even occasionally organizing vigilante patrols at the Mexican border. Indeed, the Minutemen border activists of a few years back were merely following in Chavez’s footsteps and would have had every historical right to have named their organization the “Cesar Chavez Brigade.” I think a good case can be made that during his own era Chavez ranked as America’s foremost anti-immigration activist.

But today’s union leaders have grown almost completely silent on the obvious impact that large increases in the supply of labor have on the economic well-being of ordinary workers. A crucial explanation is that for reasons of citizenship and language, the overwhelming majority of immigrants are employed in the private sector, particularly the small-scale non-unionized private sector. Meanwhile, population growth tends to increase the need for teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other government employees, thereby benefiting the powerful public-sector unions that today completely dominate the labor movement.

• • •

This relates to another perfectly valid criticism raised by anti-immigration activists, namely that the net fiscal impact of many immigrants is substantially negative. The notion that large numbers of immigrants and their families subsist on welfare or that Mexican immigrant mothers often have five or ten children is sheer nonsense. Immigrants actually have very high labor force participation rates and relatively low rates of welfare dependency, while the vast majority of their families stop at two or three children, a number somewhat higher than that of today’s native-born whites but really no different from the typical American family during the hallowed 1950s. And since, as mentioned earlier, immigrant crime rates are about average, there is no large additional cost for police or prisons.

The fiscal difficulty lies not on the expenditure side but on the tax side. Most immigrants, especially illegal ones, work at relatively low paid jobs, and the various taxes they pay simply cannot cover their share of the (extremely inflated) costs of America’s governmental structure, notably schooling. Furthermore, for exactly this same reason of relative poverty, they receive a disproportionate share of those government programs aimed at benefiting the working poor, ranging from tax credits to food stamps to rental subsidies. Immigration critics have persuasively argued that the current system amounts to the classic case of economic special interests managing to privatize profits while socializing costs, wherein immigrant employers receive the full benefits of the labor done by their low-wage workforce while pushing many of the costs—including explicit income subsidies—onto the taxpayers. Obviously, all these same factors are equally true for non-immigrant Americans who fall into the category of working-poor, but the large continuing inflow of low-wage workers greatly exacerbates this basic fiscal problem.

Immigration and the Political Trap

But even if we conclude that our high immigration levels represent a serious national problem, is there any possible solution? The political reality is that both major parties are enormously dependent upon the business interests that greatly benefit from the current system and are also dominated by disparate ideologies—libertarian open-borders and multicultural open-borders—whose positions tend to coincide on this issue.

As an extreme example of the bizarre ideological views of our current political elites, consider a less-publicized element of the immigration reform plan that President George W. Bush trumpeted during his 2004 reelection campaign. This provision would have allowed any foreigner anywhere in the world to legally immigrate to America if he accepted a minimum-wage job that no American were willing to fill, an utterly insane proposal which would have effectively transformed America’s minimum wage into its maximum wage. Naturally his opponent, Sen. John Kerry, saw absolutely nothing wrong with this idea, though he did criticize various other aspects of Bush’s immigration plan as being somewhat mean-spirited.

Furthermore, while significant Democratic support for curtailing immigration appears almost unthinkable given the party’s internal dynamics, a committed Republican effort—unlikely though it might be—would seem doomed to failure due to the racial aspects of the issue. Republicans would immediately be subjected to withering Democratic attacks in the media—whether or not these were fair or sincere—and as a result would lose much of whatever remaining non-white political support they still retained, while the GOP plan would never have the slightest chance of gaining majority support in Congress, let alone a filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans would suffer massive political damage without any possibility of achieving legislative success, and knowing that, would never undertake the effort. So they don’t.

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After all, even strictly enforcing existing immigration laws is almost impossible in our current political and media climate. Although the press has recently highlighted the hundreds of thousands of undocumented residents annually deported under the Obama administration—and this has sparked a sharp political backlash among his pro-immigrant supporters—such a number is negligible compared to the estimated total of 11 million or so. Only the most utterly egregious employers of those workers have ever paid serious penalties, and the dollars involved are usually trivial compared to the economic benefits of ignoring the law. In almost all cases, “employer sanctions” have amounted to just a (small) cost of doing business. When both worker and employer have a strong mutual interest in evading a law, enforcement becomes very difficult and cumbersome, just as we have seen in the case of our endlessly violated drug laws.

Even so, attacking the employment side of the equation remains the most effective approach. Virtually all immigrants come here for jobs, so eliminating government benefits would merely serve to further immiserate millions of families, who would remain in this country regardless. Having immigration agents conduct random sweeps through ethnic neighborhoods would engender enormous fear and anger and also deter immigrants from reporting crimes, while constituting a massive violation of traditional civil liberties. Even building a fence and doubling the border-patrol would probably have just a small impact across such an enormously long border, not least because an estimated one-half of all illegal immigrants enter the country legally and then overstay their visas. If the magnetic appeal of the American job market could somehow be reduced or eliminated, such ancillary measures might prove useful, but if the jobs remain, the immigrants will remain here as well.

Escaping the Low-Wage Society

So we are faced with several apparently insoluble and reinforcing dilemmas. Passing legislation to curtail immigration seems a political non-starter with both parties, and enforcing such legislation even if passed is equally unlikely. Yet as an almost inevitable consequence of the current system, the bulk of the American population—including the vast majority of immigrants and their children—falls deeper and deeper into economic misery, while government finances steadily deteriorate, leading our country to a looming calamity whose outcome appears both dire and quite difficult to predict. Over the last century, the political consequences of a largely impoverished middle class and a bankrupt government—whether in Latin America or in Central Europe—have often been very unfortunate.

By contrast, the sharp constriction in the labor supply resulting from steep reductions in additional immigration would dramatically boost worker wages, especially at the low end, with current immigrants themselves being among the greatest beneficiaries. An increase of a couple of dollars per hour or more could make huge improvements in the difficult existence of the working poor, perhaps allowing them to exit the debt treadmill and stand a better chance of eventually rising into a revitalized middle class. Admittedly, corporate profits might suffer a little and some businesses at the lowest end might disappear; but corporate profits are already doing quite nicely these days, and it makes no sense for developed countries to desperately compete with the impoverished Third World for jobs that are only viable under Third World salaries. Immigration restrictions that raised working-class wages by a couple of dollars an hour would also do wonders for the fiscal health of the Social Security system and government finances in general.

But perhaps the obvious escape from this seemingly inescapable political trap is as simple as merely reversing the direction of cause and effect. Consider the consequences of a very substantial rise in the national minimum wage, perhaps to \$10 or more likely \$12 per hour.

• • •

The automatic rejoinder to proposals for hiking the minimum wage is that “jobs will be lost.” But in today’s America a huge fraction of jobs at or near the minimum wage are held by immigrants, often illegal ones. Eliminating those jobs is a central goal of the plan, a feature not a bug.

Let us explore the likely implications of this simple proposal. The analysis that follows should be regarded as impressionistic and plausible rather than based on any sort of rigorous and detailed research. It is intended to raise possibilities rather than provide answers. Also, let us assume for the moment that these higher wage requirements would be very strictly enforced.

First, the vast majority of workers in America’s surviving manufacturing sector—whether in unionized Seattle or non-union South Carolina—already earn far more than the existing minimum wage, so their employers would hardly be affected, resulting in almost no impact on our international competitiveness. The same would be true for government employees, resulting in negligible cost to the taxpayer.

By contrast, the bulk of the low-wage jobs affected fall into the category of domestic non-tradeable service-sector jobs, which cannot be replaced by overseas workers. Many of these jobs would disappear, but a substantial fraction would remain viable at the higher wage level, with employers either raising prices or trimming profits or more likely a mixture of both. Perhaps consumers would pay 3 percent more for Wal-Mart goods or an extra dime for a McDonald’s hamburger, but most of these jobs would still exist and the price changes would be small compared to ongoing fluctuations due to commodity prices, international exchange rates, or Chinese production costs.

Meanwhile, many millions of low-wage workers would see an immediate 20 percent or 30 percent boost in their take-home pay, producing a large increase in general economic activity, not to mention personal well-being. We must bear in mind that an increase in the hourly minimum wage from the current federal level of \$7.25 to (say) \$12.00 would also have secondary, smaller ripple effects, boosting wages already above that level as well, perhaps even reaching workers earning as much as \$15 per hour.

The likely impact upon immigrant workers, whether legal or illegal, would be quite varied. Those most recently arrived, especially illegal ones with weak language or job skills, would probably lose their jobs, especially since many of these individuals are already forced to work (illegally) for sub-minimum wages. However, workers who have been here for some years and acquired reasonably good language and job skills and who had demonstrated their reliability over time would probably be kept on, even if their employer needed to boost their pay by a dollar or two an hour.

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Thus, the force of the policy would fall overwhelmingly on those immigrants who possessed the weakest ties to American society and still retained the strongest links to their country of origin. By contrast, those immigrants—legal or otherwise—who had lived here for some years and therefore had gradually become part of the community would mostly emerge unscathed, probably receiving a very welcome boost to their family income. Some anti-immigration activists might find this prospect extremely distasteful, but half- or two-thirds of a loaf is better than none.

Moreover, although this wage structure would tend to “grandfather” a considerable fraction of existing illegal immigrants, it would constitute a very formidable barrier to future ones. Paying \$12 per hour might be reasonable for a reliable employee who had worked with you for several years, but would be much harder to justify for an impoverished new arrival speaking minimal English and with no track record. To a large extent, the undocumented job window in America would have permanently slammed shut.

In effect, a much higher minimum wage serves to remove the lowest rungs in the employment ladder, thus preventing newly arrived immigrants from gaining their initial foothold in the economy. As a natural consequence, these rungs would also disappear for the bottom-most American workers, such as youths seeking their first jobs or the least skilled in our society. But over the last few decades, these groups have already been largely displaced in the private-sector job market by immigrants, especially illegal ones. Whereas 40 years ago, teenagers and blacks tended to mow lawns and work as janitors, in most parts of the country these days, such jobs are now held by recent arrivals from south of the border. So the net loss of opportunity to Americans would not be large.

Furthermore, recently arrived illegal workers must very quickly find employment if they hope to cover their living expenses and remain here rather than being forced to return home instead. But first-time American job-seekers are already living with their families and anyway have no other home to draw them away, and consequently could spend months seeking an available job. Thus, a higher minimum wage would tend to disproportionately impact new immigrants rather than their American-born competitors.

• • •

The enforcement of these wage provisions would be quite easy compared with the complex web of current government requirements and restrictions. It is possible for business owners to claim they were “fooled” by obviously fraudulent legal documents or that they somehow neglected to run the confusing electronic background checks on their new temporary dishwasher. But it is very difficult for anyone to claim he “forgot” to pay his workers the legally mandated minimum wage. Furthermore, the former situation constitutes something of a “victimless crime” and usually arouses considerable sympathy among immigrant-rights advocates and within ethnic communities; but the latter would universally be seen as the case of a greedy boss who refused to pay his workers the money they were legally due and would attract no sympathy from the media, the police, juries, or anyone else.

Very stiff penalties, including mandatory prison terms, could assure near absolute compliance. Virtually no employer would be foolish enough to attempt to save a few hundred dollars a month in wages paid at the risk of a five-year prison sentence, especially since the workers he was cheating would immediately acquire enormous bargaining leverage over him by threatening to report his behavior to the police.

The proposed change would simply be in the rate of the minimum wage, rather than in the structure of the law, so certain relatively small modifications and exceptions, such as including estimated tips for some restaurant employees, might be maintained, so long as these did not expand as a means of circumventing the statute.

Depending upon the state, the current American minimum wage ranges between \$7.25 and \$8.67 per hour. But is a much higher national minimum wage such as \$12 per hour really unreasonable by historical or international standards? In 2011 dollars, the American hourly minimum wage was over \$10 in 1968, during our peak of postwar prosperity and full employment, and perhaps that relationship was partly causal. Although exchange-rate fluctuations render exact comparisons difficult, the minimum wage in Ontario along our northern border is currently well over \$10 per hour, while in France it now stands at nearly \$13. Even more remarkably, Australia recently raised its minimum wage to over \$16 per hour, and nonetheless has an unemployment rate of just 5 percent. With the collapse of America’s unsustainable housing-bubble economy of the 2000s, our unemployment rates seem no better and in many cases considerably worse than those of affluent Western countries that have refused to pursue our race-to-the-bottom low-wage economic strategy of recent decades.

An important aspect of all these proposals is that they are largely self-enforcing. Workers would be perfectly aware of the simple minimum wage laws, and harsh penalties would deter employers from taking the risk of violating them. The disappearance of low-wage jobs would remove the primary lure for new illegal immigrants, and generous cash relocation packages would lead many existing ones to eagerly turn themselves in and seek deportation. Although the Border Patrol would continue to exist and immigration laws would remain on the books, after a short transition period these would become much less necessary, and a vast existing system of government bureaucracy, business red tape, and taxpayer expense could safely be reduced.

Even principled libertarians, fervently opposed to the very concept of a minimum wage, might find this system preferable to the status quo, which contains an enormously complex web of regulations and employment restrictions; the civil libertarian nightmares of identity cards, national databases, and workplace raids; and an existing minimum wage on top of all these other things.

The Political Balance Sheet

The political response to this package would obviously not be uniformly favorable, but would almost certainly be more so than for any typical immigration-restriction proposal.

Most of the larger corporations, especially those in the industrial sector, would be minimally affected by the wage changes, while benefiting from the (eventually) decreased burden of immigration-related reporting and paperwork requirements.

Many large retail establishments would be forced to pay higher wages, but since these requirements would be uniform, hitting all of them simultaneously, they would be able to raise prices in unison to cover much of the additional expense, a situation very different from one in which well-paid unionized companies are driven to the wall by their lower-paid non-unionized competitors. Furthermore, during the course of this severe recession, giant companies such as Wal-Mart have disclosed disturbing trends of declining sales, and this has widely been ascribed to the growing impoverishment of their lower-middle-class and working-poor customers. A dramatic rise in the wages of low-end groups would reverse this situation and probably boost the fortunes of Wal-Mart and its peers.

Large agricultural interests are heavily reliant upon illegal labor, but while they might be unhappy about raising their workers’ pay by a significant amount, they would find this situation vastly preferable to actual enforcement of today’s immigration laws, which would immediately put them out of business. Anyway, although agricultural labor is difficult and unpleasant, most field workers already earn well above current minimum-wage levels, averaging just over \$10 per hour in 2009, so the required increase would be much less than what one might assume. And unlike the situation decades ago, only a small fraction of today’s illegal immigrants are employed in agriculture.

Many small textile manufacturers and other businesses that survive only by relying upon very low-paid immigrant labor, working in near-sweatshop conditions, would probably be driven out of business. But that is the intent of the proposal.

The reality is that most of the larger, more powerful business interests in America are much less heavily impacted by minimum wage laws than by all sorts of other regulatory and legal issues, not to mention healthcare and pension costs. A simple change in minimum-wage rates would provoke only a small fraction of the organized business opposition generated by many of the other sweeping national proposals of recent decades, notably healthcare reform. Small business interests, influential in Republican circles, would certainly oppose the measure, but they would largely stand alone.

• • •

A greater difficulty on the Republican side of the aisle would involve the entrenched ideological positions of many conservative elected officials and pundits, who over the years have come to vaguely regard minimum wage laws as being “bad,” both economically and even spiritually, having substituted dogma for thinking. As an example, conservative firebrand Rep. Michele Bachmann recently hinted that the solution to America’s current economic problems might involve substantially reducing our existing minimum-wage rates. Presumably, she believes our country would prosper by cutting its wages to Sub-Saharan African levels, then naturally importing millions of Sub-Saharan Africans happy to work at those rates.

But we should also recognize that these days a crucial component of the Republican electorate consists of working-class whites, often strongly religious ones, who tend to live in non-unionized low-wage states or who otherwise generally subsist, sometimes with considerable difficulty, on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Proposing a large wage increase to a socially conservative evangelical Christian who works at Wal-Mart and currently struggles to pay her bills would be the sort of simple, clear message that might easily cut through an enormous amount of ideological clutter. And even if Rush Limbaugh, who earns tens of millions of dollars each year, denounced this proposal as “big-government liberalism,” for once his views might not find receptive ears. I suspect that a very substantial fraction of Michele Bachmann’s supporters fall into exactly this socioeconomic category.

The minimum wage represents one of those political issues whose vast appeal to ordinary voters is matched by little if any interest among establishment political elites. As an example, in 1996, following years of unsuccessful attempts to attract the support of California politicians, disgruntled union activists led by State Sen. Hilda Solis, now serving as President Obama’s secretary of labor, scraped together the funds to place a huge 35 percent minimum wage increase on the state ballot. Once Republican pollsters began testing the issue, they discovered voter support was so immensely broad and deep that the ballot initiative could not possibly be defeated, and they advised their business clients to avoid any attempt to do so, thus allowing the measure to pass in a landslide against almost no organized opposition. Afterward, the free-market naysayers who had predicted economic disaster were proven entirely wrong, and instead the state economy boomed.

Finally, we should remember that many of the most militant and ideologically fervent grassroots activists within conservative ranks are vehemently anti-immigration, often largely on racial grounds, and sometimes focus on that one issue to the exclusion of most others. For them, the very realistic prospect of dramatically cutting the numbers of America’s huge undocumented population, reducing future illegal immigration to a mere trickle, and even perhaps encouraging a substantial fraction of our legal immigrants to return home would be tremendously attractive, and they might make life very uncomfortable for any Republican politician who opposed this plan without providing a realistic alternative in its place.

The political calculus among Democrats would be much simpler. Any neoliberal Democratic officeholder who balked at a large rise in the minimum wage by citing the economic theories of Milton Friedman or the research reports of Goldman Sachs would be trampled into the dust by his enraged constituents, disappearing forever.

• • •

A little over a century ago, Henry Ford took the bold step of doubling the regular wages of his assembly-line workers to the then remarkable sum of \$5 per day, thereby achieving international fame as well as enormous business success for his own company. According to most accounts, this event was a crucial factor in creating the prosperous middle class that eventually dominated America’s 20th-century history, and Lenin later hailed Ford as one of the world’s greatest revolutionary heroes, urged his followers to closely study Ford’s writings, and argued that so long as America possessed leaders of such wisdom, no Communist revolution would be necessary there.

These days, times have changed. But perhaps a similarly bold step, which similarly raises the income of America’s working class and similarly crosses many ideological lines, would help safeguard and maintain the national prosperity that men like Ford originally created.

Resurrecting the Minimum Wage as a Policy Proposal

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Running more than 12,000 words, the article was the longest I had ever published, and certainly the most ambitious, ranging from an extensive and innovative overview of American racial polarization to proposing an enormous rise in the minimum wage as the surprising solution to our immigration problems. Indeed, the latter argument was so unexpected a suggestion that a prominent immigration policy activist told me it was the first new idea he had encountered in two decades of involvement in that topic.

Although I would like to take full credit for noticing the deep connection between these two seemingly unrelated issues, I cannot do so. During the 2006 battles over immigration reform in Congress several years earlier, former Democratic Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis had co-authored an op-ed in the New York Times entitled Raise Wages, Not Walls making that same exact point. But although I had tried to promote his idea in immigration policy circles at the time, no one had expressed any interest.

Fortunately, my lengthy article did not suffer a similar fate, and the responses were quite gratifying from numerous points along the ideological spectrum.

Alexander Cockburn was America’s premier radical journalist and his Counterpunch webzine near at the height of its leftist influence. The previous year he had heavily promoted my analysis debunking high Hispanic crime rates, and he now published a 3,900 word column, extensively quoting and endorsing my proposed solution to our immigration conundrum.

Even more gratifying was the response from the rightward segment of the political spectrum. Prior to becoming president of the Manhattan Institute in 2019, Reihan Salam had served as chief domestic policy analyst at National Review, the conservative flagship publication, and he quickly released a five-part series entitled “Ron Unz on Immigration,” discussing and analyzing my piece, which he heavily excerpted within his 8,500 word discussion. The treatment he provided was highly respectful, even flattering, with the opening paragraphs reading:

Ron Unz has written a very important essay on immigration for The American Conservative…Unz makes a number of convincing points…Because Unz’s article is so consistently thought-provoking, I’m going to write several posts on it…the essay rewards your sustained attention.

For decades, America’s conservative movement had increasingly rejected minimum wage laws as a deviation from free market principles and any conservative policy expert would find it very difficult to buck such a tide. But even more damaging had been the incessant battle over immigration, pitting the supportive Republican financial and political elites against their fiercely anti-immigration right-wing base, an exceptionally bitter conflict that threatened to doom the party’s future. And if these two issues were actually as closely linked as my analysis suggested—with a large hike in the minimum wage being the least painful means of defusing the immigration battle—perhaps Republicans might have to grit their teeth and consider it.

As I had discussed in my article, during the 1990s the harder-core racialist right-wing had been purged from the mainstream conservative movement, but still maintained a vigorous presence on the Internet. These individuals were largely immune to the free market dogma of their mainstream counterparts, and one of their most influential figures, blogger Steve Sailer, strongly endorsed my analysis in a long column and a couple of posts.

Naturally, these thoughtful individuals constituted a distinct minority among conservatives, who had spent decades drenched in criticism of the minimum wage as a “big government program” or even “socialistic.” Indeed, Sailer’s comment-threads were filled with shock and horror at his support for so heretical an idea.

As a perfect example of this ideological tendency, an extreme free market libertarian such as Bryan Caplan was horrified by my suggestion that the minimum wage be raised rather than abolished, and was equally critical of any possible reduction in immigration, although he strongly endorsed my demolition of anti-immigrant myths in what he described as my “bizarrely mixed bag.”

But far more surprising to me was the extremely dismissive and hostile reaction my proposal encountered among the younger generation of influential progressives, individuals probably representative of the mainstream policy wing of the Democratic Party. As far back as 1987, the Editorial Page of the New York Times had famously suggested that the the minimum wage should be set to \$0.00, and for nearly a generation such neoliberal dogma has steadily been absorbed by mainstream Democrats. In such circles, minimum wage issues probably had an old-fashioned, musty odor, identified with the image of 1950s steelworkers carrying lunch-pails. But smart and sophisticated New Democrats considered such notions to be aimed at the ignorant or the backward, and an embarrassment within their modernized party.

I highlighted this surprising discovery in the first follow-up column to my article, which Cockburn extensively quoted with some amusement:

For many years now, conservatives have denounced the so-called “long march through the institutions,” the process by which left-liberals gained control of universities and the media, and thereby the power to set the terms of our national policy debate on a whole host of major issues. Meanwhile, conservatives have been desperately paddling upstream, sometimes winning momentary political victories, but steadily losing ground over the decades. Today’s mainstream conservatives often endorse policies which would have been almost incomprehensible to their liberal counterparts of the 1970s.

But there has also been a simultaneous, though much less remarked “long march” in exactly the opposite direction as well. On many economic issues, today’s prominent “progressives” and “left-liberals” endorse notions that might have appalled the right-wing fringe of the Republican Party during the Eisenhower or even the Nixon Eras.

A perfect illustration may be seen in a brief discussion of my recent TAC immigration cover-story by the political pundits on MSNBC’s new “Up With Chris Hayes” show. After someone suggested raising America’s current minimum wage to a level between that of Canada and France, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post—founder of the famed Journo-List group and one of the most prominent young progressive journalists in DC—emphatically denounced the notion, arguing that it would lead to a massive black market in labor and wreck job prospects for millions of American workers. His criticism for such obvious nonsense was contrasted with his fullsome praise for the economic policies of Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who had created vast numbers of new jobs over the last decade, failing to mention that a huge fraction of these new jobs were at or below the poverty level.

Now young Mr. Klein majored in political science rather than economics, but it seems likely he took at least a class or two in the later field, and thereby acquired his understanding of economic doctrines, presumably heavily filtered through the lens of the Milton Friedmanites who today dominate most such academic departments. Given that Klein is a staunch progressive, he obviously rejects the overly conservative idea of eliminating the minimum wage entirely, but simultaneously also rejects the radical-extremist suggestion that America’s minimum wage might be restored to its 1968 level in current dollars. Instead, he realizes that our current minimum wage, less than half that in Australia, is highly optimal and even necessary given that American workers are so greatly inferior to their Australian counterparts. The widespread current prosperity of America’s middle class constitutes tangible proof of such theoretical claims…

In recent years, numerous political analysts have pointed out that the Democrat Party has been hemorrhaging the votes of working-class whites. This political development is of great political importance, but remains utterly mysterious to all observers.

Although Klein may have been uncommonly rude in his insulting rejection of a large hike in the minimum wage, his views seemed broadly representative of those in elite Democratic Party circles.

From his perch on the pages of the New York Times, Princeton Economics professor and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman probably ranked as America’s most influential liberal columnist, and as far back as the late 1990s, he had sharply criticized high minimum wage laws in much the same terms as Klein, arguing that they were job-killers. Beginning with the Clinton Administration, most of the Democratic leadership had fully embraced neoliberal economics, with its severe disdain for traditional nostrums such as wage laws, and shifting the course of this ideological ocean-liner would hardly be an easy undertaking.

 

After the first couple of weeks, the discussion of my long September 2011 article had subsided, and I wondered whether it might ultimately have any long-term influence. Perhaps I’d set a few people thinking, but the decades-old elite policy consensus on the other side seemed unlikely to crack.

But a very welcome development came in January, when prominent economist James K. Galbraith revived the topic by running a short column in Foreign Policy strongly promoting my suggestion under the gratifying title “How to Save the Global Economy: Raise the Minimum Wage. A Lot.” Although a strong progressive, Galbraith was a very mainstream figure, long active in elite Democratic Party circles and he highlighted all of my counter-intuitive arguments about why a seemingly extreme 65% rise in the federal minimum wage would actually make excellent sense as public policy.

Galbraith’s piece provided an opportunity for Salam to revisit that same topic in a National Review column, even speculating that it might become a useful political weapon in the Republican Presidential primary. Front-runner Mitt Romney had endorsed indexing the federal minimum wage to inflation, and had been bitterly attacked for this heresy by his Republican rivals, but Salam wondered whether he might even dare to go much farther:

I find it unimaginable that Romney would support a steep increase in the federal minimum wage. Yet were he to do so, he would devastate his Republican rivals. A significant minimum wage increase is backed by a large bipartisan majority, leaving aside its substantive merits.

Soon afterward, prominent columnists Andrew Sullivan and Paul Craig Roberts took up similar suggestions that Republican candidates might benefit enormously by endorsing my \$12 minimum wage proposal, while CNN/Fortune ran an lengthy article on the surprising possibility of Republican support entitled “A New Day for the Minimum Wage?,” exploring the economic and political implications and respectfully treating my own analysis.

Under pressure from the Republican establishment, Romney soon retreated, but the issue remained alive, at least among journalists. In a series of pieces, Cockburn denounced Romney for his cowardice on the issue but argued that most Democrats, including President Barack Obama, were just as bad. Sen. Tom Harkin was praised as the exception for recently introducing a \$9.80 wage bill in Congress, but the AFL-CIO was condemned for its feeble efforts on the issue. His Nation column was entitled “The Most Vital Issue in American Politics Today,” and described the support for a \$12 minimum wage as “a smart coalition stretching from…Ron Unz to James K. Galbraith.”

Galbraith himself soon renewed his support in a CNN column, a venue that reached a mass audience. And most remarkably of all, Bloomberg Financial News also published an editorial calling for a large hike in the minimum wage.

During all these months, I’d been publishing a series of informal web columns describing these ongoing developments, but without any substantial article on the topic. My very long previous article had launched the debate, but it had primarily been focused upon ethnic relations and immigration, with the discussion of minimum wage issues only introduced after nearly 9,000 words on those other, seemingly unrelated topics. So my analysis was being widely read, but almost always in the form of short, quoted passages in the writings of others. Fortunately, an excellent opportunity came along to remedy this.

Michael Lind had been a co-founder of the centrist New America Foundation, which in the previous dozen years had rocketed to an influential position in the DC political landscape, and he currently directed its Economic Growth Project. He congratulated me for having played such an important role in resurrecting the minimum wage as a policy issue and restoring it to DC discussions, and he suggested that I write a long article on the subject for his organization, which I gladly agreed to do.

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Unlike the heavy political analysis of my previous article, this piece was almost entirely focused on the policy side, making the case that a large rise in the minimum wage was the best means of improving the financial well-being of the working poor. I also emphasized the connection with our unsustainable Higher Education Bubble, noting that impoverished teenagers were often forced to take out ruinous student loans, hoping that a meaningless degree would save them from a life of permanent poverty. But a higher minimum wage would accomplish the same result in a much more efficient manner.

Just as I had hoped, my lengthy New America Foundation report attracted some attention in DC policy circles, helping both to legitimate the issue and my own role in it.

But as an unexpected bonus, my paper attracted the enthusiastic interest of progressive icon Ralph Nader, who had already been pushing the issue, and with my support he launched a sustained lobbying effort in DC and among his other contacts.

Nader had been a prominent figure in American public life since I had been a toddler, and although the Democratic Party establishment now reviled him for contributing to Al Gore’s 2000 defeat, he still possessed a lifetime of credibility on the left of the political spectrum.

The media shapes our reality, and this was especially true of the DC political ecosystem, so persuading its inhabitants to seriously consider a previously denigrated idea was a difficult undertaking. Moreover, a large minimum wage hike was viewed as a hopeless project given that Republican House Speaker John Boehner had already declared that he would rather commit suicide than raise the minimum wage.

But Nader began steadily rubbing dry sticks together, hoping that a few sparks might catch and ignite a media flame. My detailed New America Foundation report provided some kindling along with the surprising man-bites-dog sparks that the Republican publisher of the American Conservative was advocating a wage hike much larger than that proposed by any Democrat.

Nader assiduously made these points with various political journalists, and after a month or two he achieved a breakthrough. Washington Post columnist Matt Miller publishing a very favorable piece endorsing a large wage hike that included extensive quotes from myself and others, while blasting President Obama for having done nothing on the issue despite his original campaign promises.

But the column also demonstrated the very difficult road ahead. The Post was a centrist-liberal publication and Miller a centrist-liberal columnist, but his suggestion provoked a huge outpouring of more than 600 comments and these were overwhelmingly negative, with the hostile remarks being almost indistinguishable from what would have greeted a similar suggestion at National Review or FoxNews. Slate financial columnist Matthew Yglesias, a friend and close contemporary of Klein, was also rather doubtful at Miller’s claims. Decades of neoliberal conditioning would not be easy to overcome.

Fortunately, an important break soon occurred and Nader called me in excitement with some tremendous news. For several years, Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz had been focusing on inequality issues, with his widely-discussed Vanity Fair article having made “the One Percent” a topic of public discussion, and he had been exploring different means of improving the plight of the working poor. Apparently, like most modern members of his academic discipline, he had been very skeptical of the benefits of a high minimum wage, but Nader had known him for years and diligently worked to change his mind. According to Nader, Stiglitz finally came around on the issue and decided to share his views with his friend Paul Krugman, who underwent a similar change of heart.

So partly due to Nader’s efforts, two of the most influential progressive economists in America became publicly supportive of a high minimum wage, thereby providing enormous cover for other Democrats and representing a crucial shift in the debate.

Yglesias published another very critical Slate column, even arguing that Krugman and most of those political figures supporting a higher minimum wage were probably doing so in bad faith, simply endorsing a position that had tremendous popular appeal but which they quietly knew was bad for our society. However, the tide was now clearly running in the other direction.

Miller’s Post column had urged President Obama to include a minimum wage hike in his forthcoming State of the Union Address, and he unexpectedly did exactly that after having largely ignored the issue during his previous three years in office. Although Obama’s figure was a rather derisory \$9.00, the topic received a considerable amount of the subsequent news coverage. Perhaps Miller’s very critical column or Nader’s lobbying efforts had helped bring this about.

The White House had now placed the minimum wage issue on the table, soon backed by the public endorsements coming from Krugman, Stiglitz, and the New York Times. So the topic had finally been established as part of the regular DC policy debate, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle. Given Republican control of Congress, nobody expected anything to actually happen, but at least the idea was now considered a legitimate subject of regular discussion and focus after having been almost entirely ignored for many years, and the New York Times began pushing the issue with front-page stories highlighting the wage-stagnation of American workers.

Taking the Minimum Wage to Public Platforms

With the minimum wage now a legitimate topic of debate, the Aspen Institute soon organized a panel discussion, and probably as a consequence of the Miller column, invited me to DC as a participant.

The session went very well, and as I wrote at the time, it provided me an opportunity to strongly emphasize an under-appreciated political paradox.

[A] much higher minimum wage may actually be far easier to enact than the paltry \$9.00 or \$9.50 figure advocated by Obama, Krugman, or the NYT. The reasoning becomes obvious when you lower your gaze from the commanding heights of America’s boardrooms or faculty lounges to the practical realities of our society.

The only direct beneficiaries of a \$9.00 minimum wage will be those currently earning in the range \$7.25 to \$9.00. Such American workers are relatively few in number, and being quite poor, tend to skew overwhelmingly Democratic, when they even vote at all. Meanwhile, the extra dollars being dangled in front of their eyes are hardly enormous, especially when we consider those gains would largely be offset dollar-for-dollar by losses in their EITC payments. A proposal that offers a little extra money to a small fraction of the electorate that already votes Democratic in overwhelming numbers will have a difficult time passing the Republican-controlled House.

By contrast, consider the politics of a minimum wage proposal in the \$12.00 range. According to my estimates, a remarkably large fraction of all American workers would benefit, and when we add in their husbands, wives, parents, and children, the total is probably a landslide majority of the entire voting population. Furthermore, the promised gains are huge—many thousands of extra dollars to each worker in most cases. And at such higher current wage levels, the beneficiaries are almost as likely to be Republicans—especially Southern Republican conservatives—as core Democrats. Rush Limbaugh might denounce the idea all he wants, but would his hundred-million-dollar tongue really carry the day against the offer of an extra \$10,000 per year, cash-money, to a financially-strapped family of social-conservatives living in Georgia?

Although for more than a year I’d been hoping that my minimum wage proposal might be implemented, I hardly regarded this as likely, given the enormously entrenched political and ideological opposition. At best, I hoped that I might continue to win over a few journalists or policy experts here and there, gradually laying the basis for legislation at some point in the future.

Partly as a consequence, I had been devoting only a small fraction of my time and effort to this project. I penned a new column whenever significant developments occurred, but otherwise was working on unrelated matters, and this situation continued until late 2013.

Although most Democrats now publicly supported a wage hike, it was hardly a political priority for their party. Krugman and Stiglitz had endorsed the proposal, but Yglesias was probably correct in claiming that most Democratic policymakers didn’t really believe in the issue but were merely mouthing rhetoric in order to to avoid the attacks of their liberal base. With union backing, Democrats had introduced a bill to raise the federal figure to \$10.10, but it failed miserably, with all the Republicans and some conservative Democrats voting no.

Meanwhile, in sharp contrast with those wage issues, an enormous bipartisan effort was underway to pass immigration reform legislation, including amnesty for many millions of illegals. The proposal was backed by the top leadership of both parties and an ocean of corporate lobbyist funding, with the severely outmatched opposition consisting of a grass-roots coalition of anti-immigration conservatives.

My original entrance into the wage issue had come after seeing the deep but unrecognized connection with immigration. Immigration reform now seemed a political juggernaut in DC with a large array of powerful supporters, while raising the minimum wage still drew little interest or backing. Therefore, I began trying to hitch a ride on that other effort, writing a series of columns in which I presented a variety of arguments suggesting that the two issues should naturally be coupled together in a single package.

The main immigration proposal backed by the business lobby including granting amnesty to illegals while also loosening the restrictions on future legal immigration. This would obviously be very damaging to the economic interests of ordinary American workers, but such harms might be mitigated if combined with a large hike in the minimum wage. Similarly, the most effective means of deterring future waves of illegal immigrants would be to raise the pay of our lower-end jobs by the same methods, thereby making these attractive to citizens and legal residents. An article in Bloomberg Businessweek cited my arguments and I later summarized them in a column I published in leftist Salon, which also got some good responses.

There seemed an ideal opportunity for a strange-bedfellows alliance. The outmatched and desperate opponents of immigration amnesty were seeking any means of deflecting the powerful coalition they faced, and I suggested that they should consider attaching a minimum wage hike as a “killer amendment.” Liberals and union supporters would find it very difficult to vote against a \$12 federal wage, and if it passed, the powerful business coalition backing the amnesty might split. Meanwhile, if the immigration bill nevertheless became law, a \$12 minimum wage might at least mitigate some of the ill effects they dreaded.

I was very pleased to see my arguments gain some traction. VDare, the leading “hard-core” anti-immigration webzine endorsed my proposal under the title “Make Immigration Unprofitable,” as did a longtime progressive in the New Republic. And most remarkably of all, a leading financial writer at National Review—the central ideological pillar of the mainstream American right—gingerly endorsed my argument that a \$12 minimum wage should be included in any immigration package. I pointed out that this article gave an extremely powerful rhetorical weapon to economic progressives, who could now say “Even National Review supports a \$12 minimum wage!”

 

However, stasis is the hallmark of the American political system. The enormous political coalition backing immigration reform failed to overcome its determined opponents, and the legislation died in Congress, along with any hopes I had had of attaching a minimum wage rider. But along the way, I’d succeeded in freeing some additional right-wingers from their mental shackles and having them consider the major benefits of a large wage hike. Although most of Congress and DC soon largely forgot the issue, they did not.

Meanwhile, my extensive writing and other work on the related issues of immigration and wages had attracted considerable attention, and I was invited to participate in a couple of high-profile events on the East Coast during Fall 2013, which were to have fateful consequences.

Some years earlier, a public debate series called Intelligence Squared had been founded in NYC, hosting weekly two-on-two debates on important public issues. These were held before a live studio audience and rebroadcast on television stations across the country, as well as being simulcast on NPR. My debate took place in late October 2013 and I afterward described the interesting circumstances:

Under the regular operating rules, the organizers held before and after votes of the large New York City audience, regarding the winning side as being the team that shifted the margin in their direction. Given my two decades of past writing on immigration issues, I found it quite ironic and amusing that I had been selected for the “anti-immigration” side of the debate, together with Kathleen Newland, co-founder of the eminently pro-immigrant Migration Policy Center. This indicates how yesterday’s fringe ideas have now become the accepted mainstream views of the American elites. The resolution under consideration was certainly as extreme and radical a formulation of the views of economic libertarians as might be imagined: “Let Anyone Take A Job Anywhere.”

Under the literal interpretation of such a proposal, one can easily imagine twenty or thirty million of the world’s desperate poor coming to America within the first few years of enactment, drawn from a global pool numbering in the billions. The resulting social and economic changes would be on a scale unprecedented in human history let alone America’s past, and the potential for an utterly destructive outcome leading to the collapse of our society seems completely obvious.

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Nonetheless, at the pre-debate vote the supporters of this proposal outnumbered opponents by a landslide margin of some twenty-five points, 46% to 21%, while one-third of the audience remained undecided. Indeed, during the televised pre-debate discussion between the moderator and the Intelligence Squared chairman, some doubts were expressed that any intelligent person could oppose such a sensible free market policy in labor mobility.

Once the debate began, I focused on the obvious point that the law of supply and demand ensured that a huge increase in the number of willing workers would greatly reduce their economic bargaining power against their employers. Wages for ordinary Americans have been stagnant for forty years and it is probably more than pure coincidence that the last forty years have witnessed one of America’s greatest waves of foreign immigration. Adopt a proposal that immediately increases such immigration levels by a factor of five or ten, and America’s minimum wage would be transformed into its maximum wage, with the natural outcome being economic devastation for most working Americans.

Certainly America’s affluent and highly-educated urban elite—the sort of New Yorkers attending the debate—would benefit in the short run from enacting a policy that drastically cut the share of the national income going to shopkeepers, nannies, construction workers, and probably 90% of all other Americans. But the eventual social reaction to the total impoverishment of the American middle and working classes might lead to the sort of extreme political reaction we sometimes read about in the history books.

Such points might seem totally obvious to me, but many of the audience members had seemingly never encountered them before, and the results were striking. After ninety minutes of hearing both sides of the issue, there was a swing of thirty-two points toward our opposed position, and we won handily. As a point of comparison, at the reception prior to the show we had been told that the largest previous swing at any Intelligence Squared debate had been the shift of eighteen points that occurred during a 2006 debate on the nature of Hamas in the Mid East conflict.

I have little doubt that those many hundreds of earnest New Yorkers who decided to spend their time and money to attend an evening policy debate rather than see a Broadway show or watch Gravity in 3-D, consider themselves well-informed people, who regularly read The New York Times and many of the leading liberal opinion magazines. But such purportedly “liberal” outlets studiously avoid mentioning that a massive influx of foreign workers would be an economic catastrophe for the bulk of the American population. Hence the apparent surprise of so much of the audience at the notion that a huge increase in the supply of workers might produce a sharp decline in the market value of their labor and the income they receive.

Given this ideological landscape, I was very pleasantly surprised when one of my debate opponents, Prof. Vivek Wadha, a high-profile technologist and free market academic, repeatedly endorsed my suggested minimum wage hike as a crucial component of any proposal for allowing much larger numbers of foreign workers to seek work here. He reasonably argued that measures along those lines would be necessary to protect the American middle class against an economic race to the bottom produced by competition with massive numbers of foreign workers. I readily concurred that a much higher minimum wage would go a long way to reducing the ill effects of heavy immigration levels, and at times the moderator had to intervene to steer the discussion back to the stated topic of the debate.

It is greatly encouraging to see a prominent figure of the free market economic right place logic and common sense above ideological dogma, and such indications are beginning to raise my hopes that a minimum wage hike so widely popular and beneficial might actually be enacted, notwithstanding America’s totally gridlocked and dysfunctional political system.

So not only had my immigration arguments swayed an initially skeptical NYC audience, but a huge hike in the minimum wage had proved so attractive an idea that one of my free market opponents had repeatedly raised it as a solution, almost shifting the debate to that other topic. This seemed to fully confirm my political analysis of the previous two years. Under the right circumstances, a big wage hike might prove both excellent public policy and political dynamite.

 

Two weeks later I was in DC as a speaker and panelist at an economic conference on jobs and investment co-sponsored by Economists for Peace & Security and the New America Foundation, with the organizers being James Galbraith and Michael Lind. My presentation was based upon the paper I had produced for the latter’s organization a year earlier.

The event drew a large audience of Washington’s leading economic progressives, many of them having strong establishment ties, and the keynote address was delivered by Jason Furman, Chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. Yet among the dozen-odd participants, I was the only one discussing the minimum wage, which otherwise barely rated a mention by any of the speakers. This confirmed my impression of how little attention the topic was currently receiving in DC policy circles.

However, once I presented the issue, outlining the tremendous policy and political benefits of a large hike to \$12, the response was extremely positive, both from the other presenters and the audience. It seemed clear that few if any of them had seriously considered the idea in the past, but when properly explained, the advantages became obvious.

After my panel concluded several prominent individuals came up to ask me further questions, and Michael Tomasky, one of my fellow panelists, immediately interviewed me for his Daily Beast column, focusing upon my counter-intuitive argument that a much larger wage hike was more politically viable than a smaller one.

Transforming a Policy Idea into a Political Campaign

My presentation at the DC conference had gone very well, and it brought my economic analysis to the attention of much wider policy circles, but the most important part of my trip had taken place behind the scenes.

For two years I’d become increasingly convinced that my minimum wage proposal was very strong both as public policy and political strategy, but equally convinced that it had almost no chance of being enacted by Congress, and the collapse of immigration reform had ended any hope of piggy-backing it on such other legislation. Ralph Nader had gloomily informed me that as the months went by he was having a harder and harder time getting his phone calls returned, a development that hardly surprised me. Unlike so many other political issues, a higher minimum wage lacked any strong organized constituency in DC, while it faced powerful and determined opposition, opposition that dominated the Republican-controlled House. An outstanding idea seemed likely to fail for want of any narrowly concentrated group of supporters.

Meanwhile, some of my own circumstances had changed. For over six years I had served as publisher of The American Conservative, but I had recently been forced out due to the sort of conflicts endemic in small ideological organizations, as I later recounted.

My role at the magazine had primarily been a financial one and I soon decided to launch a new webzine of my own, an effort that became The Unz Review. But the TAC departure had cleared my decks for other possible projects, and I began to wonder if there were some way I could break the DC political logjam and move my minimum wage proposal forward. Archimedes once famously declared that using leverage he could move the world if he had a place to stand, and one morning in late October I had suddenly glimpsed a possible political vantage point. In early December I published a long column summarizing the important developments that had soon followed my return from the DC conference:

As most readers have no doubt already heard, early last week I filed the text of an initiative that would raise California’s minimum wage to \$12.00 per hour, a figure far higher than that of any state or city in America. The heavy resulting coverage in The New York Times and numerous other major media outlets demonstrates the timeliness and public resonance of the issue, which taken to a national level should boost the incomes of America’s lower-wage workers by well over \$150 billion each year, a very sizeable amount.

The idea was hardly a new one to me, given that I’d first proposed it in a 12,000 word cover story published during late summer 2011 and subsequently advocated it in a long series of articles and columns, notably including a major 2012 paper published by The New America Foundation. In February of this year, I’d spoken about the idea at an Aspen Institute panel in DC, and more recently it had repeatedly come up during a televised late October Intelligence Squared debate in NYC while I’d made a presentation advocating a \$12 minimum wage two weeks afterward at a DC economics conference organized by Economists for Peace and Security.

But who’d paid attention to all my writings and speeches over the last couple of years? Almost nobody.

Well, that’s not entirely correct. Quite a number of prominent policy experts, opinion journalists, and political activists had been intrigued by my unorthodox arguments, leading to those aforementioned speaking engagements. Economist James Galbraith and the late Alex Cockburn had extensively discussed my lengthy original article, as had blogger Steve Sailer, and National Review’s Reihan Salam actually published a five-part series analyzing my views. A few months ago, progressive activist T.A. Frank writing in the New Republic had explicitly endorsed the immigration aspects of my proposed \$12 per hour minimum wage hike, and—much more remarkably—so had Andrew Stuttaford of National Review. Two weeks ago a Michael Tomasky column in The Daily Beast had explored my counter-intuitive argument that a larger minimum wage hike would actually have much greater political viability than the \$9.00 figure advocated by President Obama.

However, all these discussions were restricted to the tiny gilded ghetto of opinion journalism and policy presentations, never reaching the news headlines providing most normal Americans with their knowledge of the world between their devouring focus on the latest antics of the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus. Frankly, I doubt if more than one American in ten thousand had ever encountered my proposal of a \$12 minimum wage.

Then, just over a week ago I printed out a one-page sheet of paper with a single operative sentence and took a pleasant Amtrak train ride to the Sacramento office of the California Attorney General, dropping it off there together with my \$200 filing fee. And in the twenty-four hours surrounding that insignificant event, the political landscape of America suddenly changed, or at least the media reporting of it did.

Given the potential national importance of the issue and the man-bites-dog aspect of my conservative sponsorship of what was purportedly a liberal cause, I had hoped that The New York Times, our national newspaper of record, might be willing to cover the launch of my campaign. But I’d never dreamed my filing of the measure would receive the coverage that it did, with the NYT sending around a photographer and giving the story fully half the square inches on its National News page. Late Monday evening, my shocked friends began emailing me about what they’d suddenly noticed on the NYT homepage and one of them sent me the astonishing screenshot he’d taken. Coverage from numerous print, radio, and cable news outlets followed on Tuesday, notably including a sizable ABC News story and a long interview on the NPR-affiliated California Report. All this had been produced by a one-page piece of paper with a single operative sentence plus a \$200 filing fee.

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Policy proposals in our country are endless in number and tremendously variable in quality. Elected officials and activists give speeches every day of the week promising this and that and the Moon and almost never delivering anything at all. This continual buzz of broken and impossible promises constitutes the background noise of the American political system and is therefore routinely ignored by almost everyone, certainly including the media. But when someone proposes a \$15 billion annual hike in the incomes of the lower-wage workers in America’s largest state and people realize—Gee, it might actually happen!— that’s another situation entirely. One sentence, one piece of paper, and a \$200 filing fee has generated at least a hundred times the total attention that I had previously received for the 30,000 words I’d published on this same subject over the last couple of years.

 

Strangely enough, I only very recently considered this obvious idea. I had spent the last decade almost totally out of the political arena, mostly involved in software projects, but prior to that I’d organized and run a long series of very high profile initiative campaigns, both in California and around the country, most of which won in huge landslides. Indeed, in 1999 my initiative success led the New Republic to put me on their cover with the headline “This Man Controls California,” a prideful high point that was naturally enough soon followed by the overwhelming defeat of Prop. 25, my Campaign Finance Reform initiative.

During those years I had quickly discovered that one of the most valuable aspects of a major initiative campaign was its role as a focal point for massive public discussion of a crucial issue. For example, my “English” campaigns of the late 1990s/early 2000s generated over 100 articles in The New York Times and over 500 front-page stories in other newspapers, probably producing many times more media scrutiny of the contentious bilingual education issue than had occurred across all of America during the previous thirty years combined.

And yet for the last couple of years I had never considered any of this. My focus had been entirely on the sound policy reasons for raising the federal minimum wage to \$12, but I had freely admitted to my friends that the likelihood of anything ever actually happening in our dysfunctional and log-jammed political system was roughly nil. I crafted all sorts of effective arguments, suggested innovative ideological strategies, and gathered important demographic research data. I published all this material in a long series of pieces, which perhaps a few dozen people here and there read and appreciated, and naturally nothing came of it. Never once during this period did I consider doing an initiative on the subject.

The ironies represented by these years of total blindness almost stagger the imagination. In my original 2011 article I had explicitly cited the example of Hilda Solis’s 1996 California minimum wage initiative—which won in a huge landslide—as proof of just how popular such an issue would be politically. Late last year, I similarly told all my East Coast friends about the amazing success of that handful of San Jose State college students who qualified and passed a \$10 minimum wage hike in one of America’s largest cities against the opposition of nearly the entire local political establishment. My writings regularly mentioned successful initiatives to raise the minimum wage and I continued to pride myself as having spent years as America’s “initiative guy” but my faltering brain cells never once connected these two items. None of us are ever as smart or as insightful as we sometimes pretend to be.

 

Fortunately, a brief opening eventually appeared in the heavy layers of fog beclouding my mind, and one morning I glanced up from my coffee and newspapers and thought “Wow!” Even more fortunately, the idea came to me while there was still reasonable time to qualify an initiative for the November 2014 ballot, which I am now doing.

One standard roadblock in the preparation of a successful initiative is the lengthy legal drafting process, usually involving many weeks of careful scrutiny to ensure that the measure’s complex language possesses both the political and legal viabilities necessary for survival. This was certainly the case with the many dozens of detailed paragraphs contained in my 1998 “English” initiative. But raising the California minimum wage requires merely a single sentence, an amendment of the existing statute with higher figures substituted. An initiative of such a highly unusual type allows the operation of a total stealth campaign organized to avoid all media leaks, the sort of campaign that provides considerable advantages if successfully implemented.

So far, I’ve certainly been extremely pleased with the results, though much of this is clearly due to the general media landscape of the last couple of months, in which the plight of America’s low-wage workers has grown to become a regular headline story, intensifying as the Holiday Season grew near. Stories of Walmart workers being asked to donate food to other Walmart workers went viral even while I was sitting at my computer finalizing my initiative language and the political strategy behind it. Sometimes the wind happens to blow in exactly the right direction.

And how it has blown! According to Topsy, the NYT article breaking the story of my initiative effort generated a remarkable 707 Tweets, ranking in the Top 100 on the Internet. Then a couple of days later, a lengthy and related NYT story on the general plight of low-wage retail workers, which was clearly based on weeks of detailed reporting effort but also mentioned my own California campaign, scored an astonishing 1400 Tweets.

Unsurprisingly, the coverage my effort has received from the liberal media has mostly been very friendly and supportive, though sometimes expressing shock at the notion that a conservative could be backing such a supposedly liberal proposal: “Hell Freezes Over” was the title of a lengthy column in the progressive San Diego Free Press. Columnists Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times and Jerry Large of the Seattle Times and Prof. Jeffrey Sommers in The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel have similarly been very pleasantly surprised to see their own views echoed by someone located across the ideological aisle, and numerous other liberal bloggers and pundits have had the same reaction. A certain Michael Pettengill writing on Prof. Mark Thoma’s blogsite was even more direct, wondering why progressives such as “Krugman and Thoma” never framed the economic issue as effectively as I had.

Indeed, a not-uncommon refrain from some disgruntled Democratic activists was been the perspective of Jon Walker writing on the liberal blogsite FireDogLake, who bemoaned the irony of a “lone conservative…pushing the Democratic establishment…to the left on this issue.” This angry reaction was surely reinforced by the initial public statements of a union spokesman in the original Times piece and elsewhere, who argued that the recently passed legislative statute raising the California minimum wage to \$10 per hour by 2016 was more than adequate and criticized my own efforts aimed at a much larger figure as an unwelcome “distraction.” In fact, recent academic studies have suggested that California’s cost-of-living is as much as 30% above the national average, implying that even a \$10 rate here is closer to our existing federal \$7.25 figure, leaving our state with the highest poverty rate in America, and clearly demonstrating the total inadequacy of the California’s \$8.00 current minimum wage.

Obviously, not everyone has supported my proposal. Reihan Salam, National Review’s chief policy analyst, quickly published a lengthy profile of my effort, quite respectful but also skeptical that all of my arguments were correct. Doctrinaire libertarian economics professor Bryan Caplan—my erstwhile opponent in the recent televised debate—strongly opposes all minimum wage laws and argued that raising the costs of low-wage service workers to \$12 per hour would lead to a do-it-yourself economy, defeating the intended purpose; I tend to doubt that the resulting one percent rise in Walmart’s prices would actually produce such a massive consumer reaction. And Caplan’s close colleague New York Times Economics Columnist Tyler Cowen dismissed such local efforts to raise the minimum wage as “a classic instance of expressive voting at the expense of good economic policy,” leading one of his sharp-eyed commenters to very effectively quote my own past arguments back at him.

But dogmatic conservative or libertarian policy experts—eggheads—are one thing, and the sort of people who actually guide and influence the conservative base are another. So far I’ve been interviewed on three of the West Coast’s largest conservative-talk-radio stations and the responses have been extremely gratifying, with the hosts initially surprised that there could be any “conservative” case whatsoever for a major hike in the minimum wage, but quickly seeing the reasonableness of some of my arguments. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out in the past, our current low-wage economy allows companies to pay their own workers much less than a minimum cost of living, with the large gap being necessarily filled by government social welfare programs. I think it makes much more sense for businesses to pay their own workers rather than shifting the burden to the ordinary taxpayer, though obviously business lobbyists and business-funded thinktankers might disagree.

Another of my arguments about political strategy will also receive a thorough exploration. Over the last couple of years, I’ve often suggested that a much larger hike in the minimum wage has far greater inherent political viability than a smaller boost because its benefits extend far beyond the lowest-wage, overwhelmingly Democratic voters, instead reaching well into the socially-conservative Walmart base of the Republican Party, especially in the South, an argument that columnist Michael Tomasky recently considered. The situation on the ground in California may not be nearly so strong, but should still provide a preliminary test of my hypothesis.

In any event, I do believe that my \$200 filing fee for my California minimum wage initiative was money well spent, sparking exactly the sort of national media discussion—a public dialogue on American wage policy—that I’d intended, and one that will probably continue on, with ever increasing intensity, until the November polls close on Election Day 2014.

A national rise in the minimum wage to \$12 per hour would increase the income of American workers by well over \$150 billion each year and—with the exception of the problem-plagued ObamaCare—possibly constitute the most significant domestic policy change since the late 1960s. In 2012, my late friend progressive journalist Alex Cockburn described it as “the most important issue in America today.” During the two-plus years I’ve been pressing this proposal, I always told people it would never happen in a million years. Now I’m not so sure.

This summary account from December 2013 accurately described the background and launch of my California Higher Wages initiative campaign, but for obvious reasons at the time I had avoided emphasizing the extraordinary audacity of my undertaking.

Lacking any organization, collaborators, or backing I had decided to launch a sudden campaign to raise the California minimum wage to \$12, by far the highest in America, and thus shift \$15 billion each year into the pockets of California’s lower wage workers, thereby transforming the world’s eighth largest economy. My only tools for achieving this feat would be a one-page sheet of paper containing a single operative sentence and a \$200 filing fee.

Although I’d originally gotten the idea a few weeks earlier, I hadn’t mentioned it to a soul prior to my trip to DC for the conference, and once I arrived I arranged to meet Galbraith at his hotel and took him into my confidence. After he agreed that the political prospects seemed hopeless for the wage hike we had spent the previous two years promoting, I told him I held a single sheet of paper that would suddenly change everything, and once I explained my plan, he was captivated by its boldness.

Later that same evening, I met for dinner with Ralph Nader and his chief aide with similar results. Both of them had become quite pessimistic about the chances of any success in DC, but they immediately saw the potential impact of a successful campaign in California.

After the close of the conference, a mutual friend arranged a private meeting for me with a senior AFL-CIO leader, and I spent an hour or two at a local Starbucks outlining my California plans. Although the unions had certainly supported a wage hike, their efforts had been stymied in Congress, and anyway the figure they had backed was far below my \$12 proposal.

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The crucial point I emphasized to him was my paradoxical argument that a much higher figure had enormous political advantages. Not only was it much more likely to capture the imagination of the media and the public, but it naturally included far more beneficiaries and offered them an increase thousands of dollars larger. He immediately grasped the logic of my analysis, and whether or not he believed I was correct, I had clearly planted a seed in his mind. Two weeks later, I saw him quoted in a top national newspaper as the key supporter of a large wage hike.

After my return to the West Coast, I began formulating my plans and charting a return to California politics after an absence of more than a decade, working by myself and with merely just a few days of preparation. Once or twice the stupendous difficulty of my undertaking came home to me, and I had the mental image of a lone seafarer in a simple Viking longboat seeking to navigate the stormy Atlantic Ocean and reach the New World on the other side. Perhaps my project was an impossibly hopeless one, but I gritted my teeth and decided to proceed forward.

Using a California Campaign to Reshape the National Debate

Over the years I had gradually come to recognize that our media creates reality. Based upon this insight, an initiative campaign might have a national political impact far beyond the narrow issue being decided, and I had demonstrated this during my successful “English” campaigns a dozen years earlier.

On paper, the success or failure of a ballot measure was entirely determined by whether it eventually received more than 50% of votes cast, but this was extremely naive. Victorious initiatives might be set aside by the courts or have their provisions ignored by government officials and therefore achieve little if anything. So sometimes the campaign itself was far more important than the ultimate vote, given that it lasted for months and might potentially serve as a powerful lens to focus and shape media coverage upon a crucial issue, thereby having an enormous impact regardless of the results on Election Day. Under the right circumstances, the national attention surrounding a \$12 minimum wage initiative in America’s largest state might give me exactly the fulcrum I required to shift American politics on that issue.

I had been completely absent from the political arena for more than a decade, but prior to that I had run a number of major initiative campaigns, functioning as my own consultant in that highly-specialized field. So I knew what had to be done.

Getting and shaping the initial media coverage was an absolutely crucial first step, and information was the currency used in that effort. Back then, social media had not yet come onto its own, and the traditional mainstream media was still all-powerful, organized into a hierarchical structure with the New York Times at the very top. The Times set the national agenda for what was newsworthy, and lesser outlets usually followed its lead.

My previous political successes were some years in the past, but they had left me a considerable amount of residual political capital and credibility, and I eagerly invested all of it in my new project, contacting a reporter I had known at the Times and offering her an exclusive on the potentially important story that was about to unfold.

Fortunately, she and her editors took my project even more seriously than I had hoped, and the launch of my campaign filled half the space on their national news page the same day that I took the train to Sacramento to file the measure and pay my \$200 fee. The results were immediate, and even while still in transit I was interviewed for a sizable ABC News story and by an NPR-affiliated program. The Times story itself was soon Tweeted out more than 700 times, ranking in the top 100 on the Internet, while my efforts were mentioned in a related story in the same paper a couple of days later, a lengthy article that was Tweeted out more than 1,400 times.

The following week the Times organized a symposium on proposals for improving the living standards of low-wage workers, and my name led the roster of their ten contributors. This gave me a powerful platform to place my arguments before a large national audience for the first time, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive and gratifying.

Prior to this point, the notion of hiking the federal minimum wage by 65% to \$12 would have seemed an outlandish absurdity to almost any responsible American policymakers, but now it was suddenly being taken very seriously by our national newspaper of record. Moreover, the surprised readers discovered that the arguments backing that seemingly outrageous proposal were actually quite cogent rather than wild-eyed and rhetorical, and this began reshaping the framework of reality assumed by our journalists and policy elite alike.

A couple of days later, Norm Ornstein, a centrist and very respectable policy expert based at the conservative AEI thinktank, published a long Atlantic piece favorably highlighting my effort under the emphatic title “The Moral and Economic Imperative to Raise the Minimum Wage.”

And in the first of many such media appearances, I was invited onto a regional public affairs show to present my surprising arguments for a very high minimum wage:

  • Living Wage Battle
    Thuy Vu, Ken Jacobs, Ron Unz
    KQED Newsroom • December 11, 2013

For two years, I had been writing articles and columns on this issue, but I was now suddenly reaching a national audience a hundred-fold larger with my arguments.

 

Most political campaigns are run by professional operatives scornful of policy issues; they rely upon focus-group tested slogans and talking-points, and their arguments lack any depth if challenged by serious journalists. But I had spent the previous two years honing my analysis in tremendous detail, and I could immediately send my articles and other background information via email or fedex to any reporter who contacted me, while easily answering any questions that arose. This helped to explain the exceptionally favorable media coverage we immediately received.

Take, for example, the Economist, which caters to an elite global audience. When its California correspondent contacted me, I spent an hour discussing the issues with him on the phone, then provided him the lengthy policy articles that I had previously published. The next issue included extensive coverage of the severe economic plight of America’s low-wage workers and focused on a higher minimum wage as the possible solution, including a news story quite sympathetic to the idea and a long editorial explicitly endorsing a large wage hike. The newsweekly probably ranked as the world’s most influential free market oriented print publication, and the sharp reversal of its former skepticism regarding the minimum wage must certainly have turned some heads.

Similarly, the California-based Reason Foundation soon released a poll showing enormous support for a minimum wage hike, a finding rendered especially credible coming from a libertarian organization whose ideological principles were exactly contrary to such a proposal.

The previous month my DC friends working on the wage issue had lamented that the Democrats had completely lost any interest in the project and were no longer willing to even return phone calls, and I had been the only participant to focus on that issue when I spoke at the progressive economics conference in mid-November. But the launch of my California campaign had now generated four or five weeks of very favorable coverage of the issue in the elite media, and this completely transformed the political dynamics. Near the end of December a front-page story in the Times revealed that the Democratic Party had decided to make a large minimum wage hike its top national political issue during the 2014 election year.

The Los Angeles Times then still ranked as my state’s dominant newspaper, and I quickly placed a piece there, setting out arguments with a particular local focus. Californians had always prided themselves as living in a wealthy state, polar-opposite to the impoverished Deep South that they viewed with extreme disdain. But I revealed that after taking into account the cost of living, our state actually had the highest poverty rate in America, and only passage of my initiative could lift us above Mississippi and Alabama, a situation that surely must have shocked and horrified most readers. My column was widely Tweeted out in Democratic Party circles and the interim Mayor of San Diego quoted my writings in his own piece endorsing a minimum wage hike, a topic that was fast becoming a central political issue.

 

With the suffering of low-wage workers now a ubiquitous national story and a minimum wage hike gaining momentum as the possible solution, mainstream conservatives tried to deflect the proposal. But surprisingly enough, they generally suggested an increase in welfare payments as the proposed alternative, and I was scathing in my response, emphasizing the extreme irony of that position:

Sometimes this position was explicit, as when economist Martin Feldstein took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to argue that American wages and welfare should be merged into a single, seamless system able to provide a decent living for everyone in our country. More often, conservative critics of raising the minimum wage have been far less candid, touting the benefits of the EITC, without admitting that it constitutes America’s largest cash-welfare system in thin disguise, whereby the government renders working-poor households somewhat less poor by sending them annual checks based on a complex formula.

The notion of individuals and businesses carrying their own weight seems just as alien to the sort of present-day Republicans whose perspectives are welcome within the confines of the elite media. For example, a long New York Times column by Prof. Gregory Mankiw, a former top economic advisor to President George W. Bush, suggested that it was unfair and morally wrong to expect businesses to cover the costs of their own employees since the responsibility was obviously that of our society as a whole. Whereas Hillary Clinton famously declared that “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child,” the sort of thinkers who will probably be advising her Republican opponent in 2016 are suggesting that “It Takes an Entire Country to Run a Business” (or at least to pay the business’s employees). Back when I was younger, I think this notion was called “Communism,” but these days it’s considered Mainstream Republicanism.

Under Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party praised the benefits of working for wages and denounced collecting welfare checks, but his lobbyist-ridden epigones have completely reversed that popular message, then wondered why their popularity has sharply declined.

Meanwhile, harder-core right-wingers had begun flocking to my proposal.

Still, there yet remain a few hardcore Reaganites around, who have not yet received the memo that what’s good for low-wage business lobbyists is good for America, and one of them is longtime conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, who at age 89 is just a bit too old to be persuaded that advocating higher welfare payments is what all good conservatives should be doing. In a forceful column entitled “Minimum Wage and Welfare: The Tradeoff,” the redoubtable Mrs.—never Ms.—Schlafly points out that a big hike in the minimum wage would automatically produce large cuts in existing social welfare programs and hence save ordinary taxpayers huge sums of money. Making work pay while cutting welfare and taxes seems like a pretty effective campaign theme to me, and perhaps Schlafly should consider entering the presidential primaries, naturally on the Democratic side.

Almost from the moment in 2011 that I first outlined the widespread benefits of a \$12 minimum wage, the proposal was taken up and treated in very respectful, even favorable, fashion by many of the writers grouped around VDare.com, the hardcore anti-immigrationist website, with Steve Sailer writing several columns discussing the idea, and John Derbyshire, James Fulford, and Peter Brimelow also weighing in. But many years of FoxNews attacks on the minimum wage had taken a toll with rank-and-file rightwingers, and the hundreds of anonymous commentators on the resulting discussion threads were overwhelmingly hostile to this notion of a minimum wage hike. Radical changes in worldview require a little time to simmer.

Two years provides plenty of such simmering time and when the media coverage of my \$12 per hour California minimum wage initiative moved the topic back to the forefront of the rightwing blogosphere a few weeks ago, the discussion was transformed. Once again, Steve Sailer ran a long blog post on the topic, reprinting my New York Times column, and a follow-up but this time the reaction of his commenters seemed overwhelmingly favorable rather than hostile.

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Rightwing libertarian Randall Parker ran a piece on the crucial importance of a big hike in the minimum wage, saying that although he’d much prefer a \$15 figure, \$12 was still an important step in the right direction. Anthropologist Peter Frost devoted several paragraphs of his year-end science round-up to the minimum wage issue, strongly endorsing a higher figure and accusing conservative opponents of being shills for big business. HalfSigma, now rechristened “Lion of the Blogosphere,” published a couple of posts as well, taking a similar position, as did Audacious Epigone.

Posts by rightwing bloggers generate long threads of angry rightwing commentary, and in all these cases a strong majority of that commentary endorsed the big minimum wage hike, with the discordant voices sometimes being ridiculed as gullible idiots or told to “go back to RedState.com.” One of the highly insulting terms that hardcore rightwingers apply to mainstream conservatives is “Fox-tards” and these days opposing a \$12 minimum wage may get you branded with that sort of epithet.

The realization that a large hike in the minimum wage would automatically reduce social welfare spending was a powerful notion that deeply resonated with committed conservatives; and when properly understood, the obvious impact upon immigration was even more appealing to the numerous right-wingers who had come to feel totally abandoned by their Republican Party leadership on that issue. During the first half of January—less than seven weeks after I had filed a one-page sheet of paper with the California Attorney General—all these factors came together and my campaign finally achieved a critical mass of conservative political support, a development recognized by the mainstream media. As I wrote at the time:

Last week, the front-page headlines on the SF Chronicle described the surprising shift of conservative sentiment toward the pro-minimum wage direction, citing my own views and those of Phyllis Schlafly. No sooner had the story run than Bill O’Reilly—one of the biggest conservative voices in America—gave his blessing to the proposed Democratic minimum wage hike, making that statement on his own top-rated FoxNews television show.

Although the O’Reilly Declaration was considered absolutely stunning in mainstream media circles, I strongly suspect that its origins lay in an article that ran a few days earlier in the Daily Caller, one of the most widely read and influential mainstream conservative publications in America. Prominent media figures such as O’Reilly tend to rely upon their research staffs to help formulate and guide their policy positions, and the Caller is high up on the reading lists of those latter individuals. When Neil Munro, the Caller’s White House Correspondent, penned a piece provocatively entitled “\$12 an Hour is Conservative Rocket Fuel, Says Ron Unz,” they surely took notice. Indeed, the article constituted a 2,500 word nuclear strike against the entrenched Republican Establishment on that issue, and O’Reilly may merely be the first of many prominent conservatives swayed by that powerful piece of expository journalism, aimed with pitch-perfect effectiveness at its strongly conservative audience.

With President Obama and the Democratic Party having declared their plans to make raising the minimum wage one of their central political themes for the 2014 campaign, liberal media outlets hardly need to convince their troops to support the cause, though rounding up 75 prominent economists, including seven Nobel Laureates, helps give it an academic stamp-of-approval. But in such liberal and mainstream media circles, there exists quite a bit of curiosity regarding my own \$12 per hour campaign in California, given that my figure is comfortably higher than that proposed by either state or national Democrats. Slate, oldest of all Internet webzines and these days owned by the Washington Post, filled that void with a very thoughtful discussion of the 2011 origins of my minimum wage effort. Slate and the Caller together bracket much of the ideological spectrum in the world of Washington politics, and to the extent that they both seem strongly sympathetic to a big minimum wage hike, the likelihood of it actually happening, even on the federal level, is greatly increased.

Unifying Democrats and Splitting Republicans

This situation represented the fulfillment of the political strategy I had envisioned.

On the Democratic side, the progressive base and its union allies strongly supported a wage hike but that goal had been ignored or treated dismissively by the party’s disdainful neoliberal elites. However, once I managed to establish the issue in the political arena and convinced some A-list conservatives such as Schlafly and O’Reilly, the political dynamics completely changed. Angry progressives could now use these conservative supporters—and my own astonishing \$12 proposal—as a club to beat their party leaders into submission by proclaiming “Even Phyllis Schlafly and Bill O’Reilly support a wage hike!” So by gaining the support of a group of high-profile conservatives, I had helped to completely unify Democrats behind the same issue.

Republican opposition still remained very strong, with decades of Milton Friedmanite economics not so easily dislodged by just a few weeks of contrary arguments. But I had gradually won over the more thoughtful and open-minded conservatives by the logic of my case, and I expected that more of them would eventually follow the Economist, the Daily Caller, and other opinion-leaders in getting on board what might become an unstoppable freight-train, heavily prodded by the anti-immigration activists in their base. More than two years earlier, my original article had suggested exactly this political scenario, and remarkably enough, it seemed to be unfolding in real life.

Meanwhile, my media strategy continued to make excellent progress during late January and early February, including a NPR debate on Boston radio with Prof. Tyler Cowen, a prominent free market economist and New York Times columnist, which I felt went very well. My purportedly conservative opponents continued to face severe difficulties in explaining why they supported massive welfare subsidies rather than simply requiring private businesses to stand on their own two feet.

Some of my opponents also severely damaged their own credibility through their total ignorance of my background. For example, a Cato policy analyst launched a blistering attack against me as an anti-immigrant fanatic in the San Jose Mercury News, and that provided me a perfect opportunity to respond with an op-ed of my own. I emphasized the enormous benefits of a \$12 minimum wage for California’s heavily-immigrant working-poor, while noting that during the Prop. 187 campaign I had been a top-featured speaker at the largest pro-immigrant rally in American history.

One of California’s most influential conservative organizations was the venerable Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assocation, and in past years I’d become a little friendly with Joel Fox, its longtime president. Fox had eventually left to become an independent political consultant, and he had subsequently led some of the state’s highest-profile anti-tax campaigns, efforts heavily funded by business groups, while he also published the popular Fox & Hounds political webzine.

As might be expected, his publication had already run several pieces by conservatives sharply critical of my minimum wage proposal, but he now solicited a column from me telling the other side of the story. I felt my piece made a very strong case, leavened by a touch of humor:

For years I’ve joked with my friends that the conservative case for raising the minimum wage is so overwhelmingly strong that I’m worried liberals might eventually change their minds on the issue and begin advocating a cut in the minimum wage.

I made very similar points about the extremely strong conservative case for raising the minimum wage during numerous national radio interviews, including on Seattle’s KUOW and Boston’s WBUR, with the latter show broadcast on NPR.

California was an overwhelmingly Democratic state and Democrats uniformly favored a wage hike, so the measure could easily pass even without significant conservative or Republican support. But persuading those latter elements that a large wage hike was actually in their ideological and political interests would help to neutralize any strong opposition, while also minimizing defections of weak-kneed or moderate, pro-business Democrats. Moreover, the stance taken by California Republicans might heavily color the sentiments of their DC counterparts who controlled Congress, and that would considerably influence the likelihood of similar federal legislation.

A week after my Fox & Hounds piece ran, I published a column in Forbes focused on the unexpected benefits that a large minimum wage hike would provide to Wal-Mart, America’s largest business corporation and the frequently vilified symbol of our low-wage economy. The piece attracted over 20,000 pageviews, 1200 Likes, and 170 Tweets, very solid metrics, and I was later informed that it was brought to the personal attention of at least one Wal-Mart Board member:

E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post devoted his nationally-syndicated column to the issue of the minimum wage and my own initiative effort, while I later took a brief trip to DC to attend an announcement ceremony on the topic at the White House, appearing on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC Show while I was in town.

During that television appearance, I shared a green room with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. Although he obviously had no idea who I was, I noticed that the talking-points he used on the show seemed to have been almost entirely cribbed from my own New York Times column and other writings, presumably filtered through several intermediate layers of staffers and speechwriters.

This related to a much broader point that had quickly become apparent to me when I’d launched my campaign a couple of months earlier.

Both DC and California contained research groups that had spent years supporting a higher minimum wage, such as the Economic Policy Institute and the Berkeley Labor Center. I’d soon met and become friendly with some of their staffers, drawing upon their past research reports that provided such useful information as the cost impact upon a particular business sector or enterprise. But I’d quickly noticed that although they certainly produced important, solid findings, they seemed to lack the ability to effectively package or market the material for the political arena. Meanwhile, their business-backed opponents generally seemed less focused upon producing objective research than effective propaganda, and therefore often got the better of the exchanges.

Since I’d spent years functioning as my own political consultant in high-profile campaigns, my experience allowed me to provide the necessary marketing or rhetorical flair, thereby placing those same business opponents in a much more difficult situation.

Consider a very obvious example, which I explained at the beginning of a column entitled “Should We Cut the Minimum Wage”?

The current debate raging over the role of the minimum wage is usually presented as being fought between two choices. On the one side are those who advocate a large wage hike and on the other are those who oppose any change. But in reality, there is a third alternative, namely cutting the minimum wage, and that is the more principled counterpart to the proposal for raising it.

The reasoning is simple. Given all the very serious problems of poverty and unemployment in our society, with the existing minimum wage playing a significant role, no one with a straight face can assert that our current system is ideal, the best of all possible worlds. So if everyone who places principles over political expediency admits that the existing minimum wage is part of the problem and set at a damaging level, the obvious question is whether it should be raised or lowered.

Certainly this is recognized by the leading ideological opponents of a minimum wage hike, who hail from the libertarian camp and have always questioned the existence of a minimum wage on both moral and practical grounds. Several months ago I debated George Mason economics professor Bryan Caplan, a leading figure in that camp, and he explicitly called for the abolition of the minimum wage. His views are totally representative of the hard-core libertarian movement that so dominates the economic thinking of conservative Republicans.

Indeed, every single argument advanced against raising the minimum wage is an equally strong one for cutting it. If a higher minimum wage would eliminate jobs for teenagers and “minorities,” then surely a lower minimum wage would boost such employment. If raising the minimum wage would cause employers to use technology to replace their McDonalds servers, lowering the figure would certainly lead to the replacement of automation with low-skilled human labor. It cannot be denied that the very low cash wages of Victorian Era servants produced an enormous plenitude of such positions, and this is still the case today in much of the Third World, with even many lower middle class families regarding the presence of multiple domestics as a natural perquisite of their status. After all, if wages are cut in half, any business or individual employing low-paid workers can immediately fund two job openings for every previous one.

But any public proposal to cut or eliminate the minimum wage constituted political poison, and by forcing my opponents onto that deadly ground, I placed them in a difficult situation.

Or consider the weak and defensive response of the Democrats when they were confronted by what they misperceived as the devastating conclusions of a CBO research report. As I explained at length in a later column:

Three weeks ago the powerful political momentum favoring a large minimum wage hike received a major setback as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report indicating that the Democratic goal of raising the minimum wage to \$10.10 might lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs.

The CBO is widely respected as non-partisan in its economic analysis, and indeed Douglas Elmendorf, its current head, has a strongly Democratic-leaning background. Republicans and business lobbyists quickly seized upon the conclusions as proof that their longstanding arguments against a minimum wage hike had been correct all along, and that any proposal that risked a half million jobs in these difficult times would be disastrous, amounting to a cynical political effort driven by populist appeal rather than objective economic sense. Their biting accusation was that desperate Democrats were willing to kill jobs in hopes of winning votes from the gullible.

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The immediate Democratic response to the report hardly put these fears to rest. Jason Furman, President Obama’s chief economic advisor, largely dismissed the CBO estimates, suggesting that few if any jobs might be lost if the national wage-floor were raised, and claiming that the estimates were contradicted by numerous academic research studies providing contrary conclusions. Such an argument is hardly persuasive. All interested parties in the endless minimum wage debate can always cite numerous academic studies to bolster their case, but the CBO is regarded as relatively neutral and impartial, so merely dismissing those official numbers as “wrong” is not reassuring.

Furthermore, any honest advocate of a minimum wage hike must certainly grant that a large increase would surely produce some level of job loss, and raising America’s national wage floor from \$7.25 to \$10.10—a jump of 40%—is hardly insignificant. The CBO report suggested that somewhere between zero and one million jobs might be lost as a consequence, with the most likely figure being in the 500,000 range. Now I claim no great economic expertise myself and have certainly not reviewed the underlying calculations, but such figures seem perfectly plausible to me. However, I believe that the contending parties and the media have severely misinterpreted their meaning.

First, how substantial is the potential loss of 500,000 jobs relative to the size of the American workforce? One useful point of comparison is number of workers who would benefit from that same minimum wage hike, and when we include the “spillover effect,” most estimates put that total at roughly 25 million, a figure fifty times greater than the likely job loss. So one way of presenting the numbers is that of the low-wage workers directly impacted, roughly 98% would benefit—in most cases by thousands of dollars per year—and 2% would lose. Major changes in government policy inevitably produce both winners and losers, and I would think that any proposal in which the former constitute 98% of the total should be considered remarkably successful.

America’s population of low-wage workers themselves certainly come to this exact same conclusion, supporting a large minimum wage hike in overwhelming numbers. To the extent that they are the population group directly impacted—for better or for worse—should not their own wishes be considered a determining factor?

Consider also that the growing desperation of this exact low-wage population has made them a leading source of government lottery-ticket sales, vainly hoping that a lucky number will improve their miserable economic plight. For most such workers, the fully capitalized value of the proposed minimum wage hike is close to \$100,000 cash-money, and such a hike gives them a 98% chance of winning that amount rather than the 0.0001% chance that buying a scratch-off at 7-Eleven might give them. Is it morally right for the elected officials to deny them the former while encouraging them to squander part of their weekly household-budget on the latter?

And how much would the losers really lose? Economic logic indicates that job-losses would tend to be concentrated at the lowest wage-levels since those are the workers for whom an employer would find the jump to \$10.10 most difficult to justify in business terms. But bread-winners currently earning \$7.25 or \$7.50 already exist at the poverty-level and have high employment turn-over, while also receiving enormous social welfare subsidies from the government. So in many cases neither their personal difficulties nor the amount of their taxpayer benefits would be hugely different if their job suddenly disappeared.

Finally, the CBO conclusions seem to totally demolish one of the central economic dogmas presented by ideological opponents of minimum wage laws.

Rigidly doctrinaire libertarians argue that minimum wage laws serve no valid purpose since our free market in labor ensures that employers must pay all workers their true economic value, no more and no less. Thus, they say that if a worker earns \$8.50 per hour, that is the approximate value of the labor he produces and his job would disappear at any higher required wage. By contrast, economists who support a minimum wage suggest that low-wage businesses benefit from their “monopsony” position in the labor market, and regularly use that great market power to pay workers less than their true value, much like a monopolist can unreasonably bid up the price of his products.

This obscure technical dispute is central to the theoretical basis for minimum wage laws, and I would argue that the CBO figures decisively resolve this question. According to the CBO, some 98% of those low-wage workers impacted by a 40% hike in the minimum wage would keep their jobs at a much higher rate of pay, thereby demonstrating that their economic value to their employer was vastly greater than their current rate of pay, which had been artificially reduced due to their lack of effective bargaining power. When 98% of workers are paid below their true economic value, any assumptions of a truly efficient market in labor are absurd, and the rectifying impact of a higher minimum wage becomes absolutely justified.

During my own media appearances I repeatedly emphasized that the CBO report demonstrated that 98% of American workers would benefit from a wage hike and only 2% might lose, a success ratio as good as anyone could possibly expect from a major change in governmental policy. No other individual seemed to be making that obvious and important point.

Gaining Media Momentum and Additional Elite Supporters

As the days went by, political and media momentum continued to build for a wage hike in general and my proposal in particular. Irwin Stelzer, director of economic policy at DC’s conservative Hudson Institute took to the pages of the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative flagship organ, to publish a major article endorsing a big hike in the minimum wage and right-winger Ann Coulter proposed a \$14 minimum wage in her widely syndicated national column. At the other end of the ideological spectrum, Rolling Stone magazine, with a circulation of 1.5 million, released a blistering 2,700 word feature article entitled “Hey Washington! the Pay Is Too Damn Low: The Minimum-Wage War,” a piece that quoted me extensively.

Around that same time, a couple of even more momentous developments occurred, as I described in a column:

I published an article in Forbes arguing that Walmart—America’s largest low-wage employer and often treated as the Great Satan by pro-minimum wage activists—would benefit greatly from policies that would lift the disposable incomes of their struggling customer base, a point I had been making to people for several years. By fortuitous circumstances, my article was immediately brought to the personal attention of a prominent Walmart board member, and perhaps coincidentally, less than two weeks later, a story on Bloomberg Financial News carried the shocking headline “Wal-Mart Says ‘Looking’ at Support of Minimum Wage Rise”. The breaking Bloomberg story was quickly republished across numerous other major business media outlets and Tweeted out several hundred times,

Within hours, Walmart had denied the Bloomberg account and claimed that its official position on a minimum wage hike remained unchanged as being completely “neutral,” with the remarks of its corporate spokesman having been misinterpreted; but the incident was certainly a very odd one. I find it difficult to believe that Walmart’s official spokesman would be careless in his words and equally unlikely that Bloomberg journalists—who constitute a gold standard for breaking business news—would have totally mischaracterized the position of America’s largest corporation on such a sensitive matter. Slate also found the events very curious, and reported my own speculation that Walmart’s remarks had constituted a trial balloon in support of a minimum wage, with the company quickly caving under massive pressure from the Congressional Republican leadership, who are desperately trying to hold their own ranks firm against a Democratic-sponsored minimum wage hike.

Large corporations try to avoid political crossfire and possible punishment at the hands of a political party that controls the House and half the governorships. But technology multi-billionaires are far less vulnerable and can speak their minds much more freely, if they are so inclined. And one of the most outspoken of such individuals is Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, earliest backer of Facebook, and a legendary figure in Silicon Valley investment circles. Late last week, a San Francisco reporter asked Thiel what he thought about my \$12 minimum wage initiative, and he suggested that the idea might have considerable merit given the enormous problems inherent in our existing social welfare system.

Now there are exist a multitude of different types of conservatives, with Phyllis Schlafly and Bill O’Reilly being social conservatives who are often populist in their economic sentiments. So their support for a minimum wage hike was perhaps not nearly as surprising as the media believed. But Thiel is widely regarded as perhaps the staunchest conservative-libertarian in America on economic issues, having been the largest financial backer of Ron Paul in 2012 and considered far harder-core than the Koch brothers. His public sentiments favoring a \$12 minimum wage constituted an ideological thunderclap, and was treated as such, generating major articles in ThinkProgress and the Huffington Post, and quickly generating over 700 Tweets, nearly twice the number of the Bloomberg piece on Walmart, perhaps because Thiel’s minimum wage support was twice as astonishing as the pro-hike sentiments of our top corporate retailer.

 

For many years, backers of a higher minimum wage had been pushed onto the defensive, and the federal figure of \$7.25 had lost some 15% of its value during the seven years since its last increase. As a consequence, many advocates eventually shifted their efforts into local so-called “living wage” campaigns, working to raise wages for some particular subgroup of workers. For example, unions invested enormous resources in the national “Fight for \$15” campaign, aimed at raising the wages of fast food workers to \$15 per hour, and in Los Angeles, a similar drive was underway to raise the wages of workers at large hotels to that same amount.

For more than twenty years, LA’s premier public affairs discussion show had been hosted by Warren Olney, and in mid-February he invited me on to discuss this proposal. Perhaps to his surprise, I was sharply critical, arguing that legally doubling the wages of 1% of LA’s workers would introduce enormous economic distortions and made much less sense than raising the wages of all of them, a suggestion that seemed to astonish my liberal interlocutors.

A week later he invited me back on his show, this time hosting a discussion of the national issue that was broadcast by NPR and included a New York Times reporter and a couple of other guests. I think the points I made were very effective ones, and by the end of the segment the sole doubtful voice—Clive Crook of Bloomberg View and formerly of the Economist—had largely come around to the pro-minimum wage position.

Elite public affairs discussion shows may sometimes attract an audience of elite listeners. It seems more than a pure coincidence that just a few days later, the Los Angeles Times carried a story that two of LA’s wealthiest billionaires—one a moderate Republican and the other a moderate Democrat—were both calling for a large hike in the minimum wage for all the city’s workers rather than just a few:

The debate on whether Los Angeles hotel workers should be paid at least \$15.37 an hour opened last week with some less-than-expected allies for a “living wage” and some questions from City Council members about whether the proposal goes too far, or not far enough.

Two of the city’s business titans, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and mall developer Rick Caruso, broke from the standard business-versus-labor divide when they said in interviews they support a higher minimum wage.

Broad said he favors a gradual increase to \$15 an hour for all workers in the city, not just those at big hotels, as proposed by three members of the Los Angeles City Council. Caruso said he supports a government mandate for higher pay, probably \$12 to \$15 an hour, though he would prefer the higher wage be imposed by either the state or federal government.

Given the donor-driven nature of California politics, these new public positions of billionaires Broad and Caruso seemed likely to have enormous future political impact.

 

Three months had now passed since I had begun my initiative effort, and these had been among the most exhausting of my life.

As a single individual with almost no planning nor preparation, I had launched a campaign to shift the national debate on an issue involving tens of millions of workers and hundreds of billions of dollars. The possibility of achieving any success in this effort might have seemed totally implausible but it had actually happened.

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In early November 2013 few prominent Democrats had expressed any interest in the minimum wage, but by late December the party leadership had declared the issue their central focus for the 2014 campaign cycle. Soon afterward, several high-profile Republicans and conservatives such as Bill O’Reilly, Phyllis Schlafly, Peter Thiel, and Ann Coulter had also endorsed a large wage hike, a possibility that would have been dismissed as sheer fantasy just a few months earlier.

To achieve such remarkable results with absolutely negligible resources had required an extremely high degree of leverage, and only the media could provide such leverage. By broadcasting my ideas across the state and the country, the media had allowed me to reshape the beliefs of influential individuals whom I had never met, most of whom probably barely knew my name. So to a large extent, my entire campaign had necessarily been a media operation.

Aside from my numerous interviews with journalists and appearances on radio and television programs, I had published a series of opinion pieces for major outlets, targeting a variety of different audiences. In addition, every week or two I had produced an informal column for my growing distribution list, discussing recent developments and seeking to shape the ongoing debate, and taken together these constitute a useful historical record of the entire project:

 

Although my primary focus had been on shaping the media environment in order to conjure my economic transformation into reality, other practical actions were obviously also necessary.

Qualifying a measure for the California ballot required gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures, a specialized operational skill. Fortunately the experienced petitioning contractor I’d worked with during most of my previous campaigns was available when I approached him. The California Attorney General normally required a couple of months to produce an official title and summary, and I also made arrangements with a printer to produce the petitions once the text had been finalized. Just as in the past, I was functioning as my own consultant.

I had never previously worked with Democrats or labor unions, and indeed they had usually been on the other side of my past campaigns, so I needed to quickly build bridges to them. Although I had been heavily involved in the minimum wage issue for the previous couple of years, all my activities had been at the national level, so the local groups operating in California were generally unaware of my record and they initially regarded me an interloper and perhaps even an opportunist, hardly unreasonable suspicions.

Fortunately, a series of personal meetings with these different unions and other key Democratic Party figures all went very well, and amicable relations were soon established. In the political world, media is an extremely valuable commodity and a currency of influence, and the fact that I had managed to accumulate so much of it so quickly gave me a great deal of legitimacy in their eyes, as did the effectiveness with which I articulated the arguments that they had been trying to present—usually with very mixed success—for the previous several years.

Most political campaigns sponsored by large organizations tend to be ponderous and slow-moving, run by committees and consultants and hence less effective for that reason. When a top California union leader met me for lunch in Palo Alto, he expressed amazement that the operative section of my minimum wage initiative contained merely a single sentence. He explained that when an alliance of some local unions had previously considered doing something similar, their draft proposal had had so many exceptions, exclusions, special cases, and other complexities that it ran thousands of words long and was eye-glazingly confusing. He agreed with me that an extremely simple proposal was far less vulnerable to distortion and hostile attack than something so long and complex.

Even under the best of circumstances, organizations react much less quickly than single individuals, and research groups are often particularly sluggish. For more than a year, the Congressional Democrats had been unsuccessfully pushing a \$10.10 federal minimum wage, so their thinktank allies had produced a wealth of statistical analysis regarding the economic impact. But now that I had suddenly opened wide the political door to a much more aggressive target of \$12.00, they said it would take them several months to produce similar data for that figure, which forced me to rely upon my own much cruder estimates. One of their academic allies sadly admitted to me that they were rather slow to take advantage of new political opportunities when these suddenly appeared.

Some local California politicians did react quickly. State Sen. Mark Leno was a prominent San Francisco Democrat considering a future race for mayor, and a few weeks after my \$12 initiative began to attract national and state headlines, he decided to outbid me, introducing a bill in the State Legislature to set a \$13 minimum wage; with Democrats holding super-majorities in both Houses, it stood a reasonable chance of becoming law. Although the measure might ultimately undercut my own campaign, the effort did fully establish the legitimacy of my proposal in respectable political circles, and it also provoked additional news stories, thereby helping me in maintaining my media momentum.

During one of my meetings with senior California union leaders, they similarly suggested that I consider abandoning my current effort and instead form an alliance with them, after which we would jointly refile a new initiative based upon a \$13 figure. But I explained that although I had no deep philosophical commitment to \$12 rather than \$13, initiative campaigns operated on a rigid timetable, and restarting the clock after three months would enormously increase the cost and difficulty of qualifying a measure for the November 2014 ballot. So my existing initiative represented the only game in town.

Central to my plans were the obvious national implications of my campaign. By all indications, my measure would be extraordinarily popular in California, including among Republicans and independents, and this latter support would only continue to grow as additional conservatives joined Bill O’Reilly and Phyllis Schlafly in eagerly climbing on board what looked like an unstoppable freight train. From the very beginning, our media coverage had been absolutely picture-perfect, and this coverage now increasingly included leading conservative publications.

Although California was an overwhelmingly Democratic state, with its once-proud Republican Party reduced to a shadow of its former strength, the huge population meant that the Congressional delegation included 15 Republicans, more than any state other than Texas and Florida. And with an extremely popular \$12 wage on the ballot, many of these congressmen might be risking their seats if they didn’t support it, especially given the growing conservative backing.

If many or most of these California Republicans endorsed a \$12 wage for their own state, they would find it very difficult to justify their opposition to Congressional legislation establishing a similar figure, let alone the \$10.10 Democratic bill that had been stuck in committee for the previous year. The Daily Caller—so influential within their caucus—had headlined a high minimum wage as “rocket fuel” for Republicans, and O’Reilly, the biggest star on FoxNews, had given the idea his blessing, while the anti-immigration right-wingers of their activist base demanded action.

Under such a scenario, the resistance of the Congressional Republicans in DC seemed likely to crumble, and America would probably see a large federal wage hike within the next year or so.

A Personal Failure but a Political Triumph

Thus, any informed outside observer in early March 2014 would have believed that a political miracle was on the verge of becoming reality.

A campaign had suddenly appeared from nowhere in our largest state and seemed likely to enact an unprecedented hike in the minimum wage, putting an extra \$15 billion per year into the pockets of California’s working-poor. Within just a few months, the effort had already transformed the national debate, also attracting the astonishing support of numerous conservative opinion-leaders and publications, and the momentum from a likely landslide victory would probably break the Republican logjam in Congress, leading to passage of a large wage hike on the federal level.

From a personal perspective, I would have won a stunning political victory comparable to what I had achieved in the English Wars a dozen years earlier.

But matters were not exactly as they seemed.

Having long been away from California politics and lacking any time for careful preparation, I had soon discovered that the costs of qualifying a ballot measure were far higher than they had been fifteen years earlier. Launching my initiative campaign had only cost a few thousand dollars, but the expense of placing it on the ballot and waging even an absolutely minimalist campaign would run well into the seven figures, far more than I could easily afford.

In recent years, American politics had seen the influx of numerous wealthy individuals who eagerly spent millions or tens of millions of dollars on their campaigns, so there was a natural if mistaken assumption that I fell into that same category. Every now and then, I would emphasize to journalists that I was not remotely in the financial league of a Mitt Romney let alone a Warren Buffett, but the crucial misperception remained and I did not do anything to correct it.

A recent phrase I’ve sometimes heard regarding Tech start-ups is “Fake It Till You Make It” and my political campaign start-up had been operating along exactly those same lines.

As the media momentum behind my effort increasingly became a juggernaut, I began to believe there was a good possibility that I would succeed in attracting the necessary financial backing to solve my dilemma.

For example, California’s powerful unions frequently spent many tens of millions of dollars in their initiative battles against opposing business coalitions, and merely a sliver of those sums would be enough to qualify the initiative and add an extra \$15 billion to the annual wages of the state’s workers. Lifting many millions of Californians out of poverty would generate an enormous outpouring of goodwill for the unions and achieve one of their stated political priorities.

Even the crassest economic calculation seemed to support such a decision. Although most unions had few low-wage members, the powerful Service Employees were a major exception, and a \$12 minimum wage would probably boost their annual union dues by \$10 million or more, easily justifying the small one-time financial investment required.

So as I began privately meeting with some of the state’s key union leaders, I candidly explained my position and sought their help. But although they were all sympathetic and recognized the logic of the case I was making, they explained that for unions, such substantial political outlays were controlled by a democratic decision-making process that operated with a long lead-time, so it would take many months of committee meetings and votes to authorize such a thing.

I had never been much of a fund-raiser nor did I have a network of donors, and those political contacts I retained from my past campaigns were overwhelmingly on the conservative or libertarian side, the sort of individuals most ideologically opposed to wage laws from the government.

Given my sudden political prominence, I’d been approached by the organizer of a group of wealthy progressives, who lavished praise on my project. I eventually explained my situation and solicited support from some of the members, but none of those efforts succeeded.

Obviously, any rumors that my initiative lacked the funds to reach the ballot would have dealt a devastating blow to the media momentum I had so carefully accumulated, so at first I was very discreet in my efforts, but I gradually became more and more open as the clock ticked down. I finally explained the situation in a March 18th column:

Given the widespread public attention attracted by the effort and the powerful political tide on the issue, this unfortunate outcome is surely shocking to many people, including myself. Last night I spoke to a national journalist who said that he found it difficult to believe that no wealthy and public-spirited citizen would step forward to ensure a November vote on the subject. California alone certainly contains many, many thousands of individuals able to fund the petition drive with a single check and never even notice the cost, and anyone who did that would certainly gain huge national recognition as a consequence. But no such person has yet appeared on the horizon.

A couple of weeks ago I had taken the dramatic step of repeatedly running a full-page ad appealing for financial support in my local Palo Alto newspaper, whose distribution also includes several neighboring communities, together containing dozens of billionaires and large numbers of others just below that level.

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Somewhat to my surprise, a person in exactly that category—moreover someone with decidedly conservative views on economics—quickly came forward and proposed making a donation large enough to qualify the measure for the ballot. But although the dollars were totally insignificant to him, the enormous public attention likely to result from such an unusual ideological pairing soon led to doubts and second thoughts, and by the end of last week, the prospect of this had faded away. Hence on Monday I released my announcement that there was unlikely to be a minimum wage vote on the California ballot in November.

The Democrats were raising many hundreds of millions of dollars for the 2014 Congressional elections, and several Democratic operatives had become enthusiastic that a high-profile minimum wage measure would share the same November ballot, potentially shifting the outcome of many races. So they made various unsuccessful attempts to enlist wealthy donors, and one of them even published an open letter to Nancy Pelosi in the Huffington Post, urging her to fund-raise for the project as a “high-leverage political play.” But there was no response.

In a subsequent column, I expressed disappointment at the failure of my project, but placed the story in a broader context:

A renewed focus on basic economic issues by the liberal wing of California’s totally dominant Democratic Party would anyway be a very welcome change from the situation of the last couple of decades in which avant-garde social issues have drawn nearly all the ideological enthusiasm and donor dollars. Meanwhile, the abandoned majority of ordinary California workers suffered under greater and greater economic hardships in their daily lives, leading to Golden State poverty rates that were the worst anywhere in America.

When we consider the initiative campaigns of the last fifteen years, I can’t recall a single one directly aimed at improving the economic lot of our state’s millions of working-poor, as opposed to giving them the right to smoke medical marijuana or send their children to voucherized schools.

Indeed, at the end of the 1990s one of California’s leading liberal consultants told me that the wealthy donors in his circle showed absolutely no interest in funding the sort of working-class economic issues that had once been central to the Democrat Party, and this explained the lack of ballot measures on such topics. Hilda Solis’s 1996 minimum wage measure had barely scraped together the dollars necessary for qualification before winning a landslide victory at the polls. Instead, that top Democratic consultant joked with me that the ideal initiative for attracting liberal dollars would be one entitled “Save the Gay Whales from Second-Hand Smoke.” But perhaps that is now starting to change, though not quickly enough to put my own initiative on the ballot.

Over the years it has become obvious to me that the political world contained a curious paradox, with important issues attracting either heavy funding or large public support, but rarely both. However, this contradiction is more apparent than real and a moment’s thought reveals the simple explanation of this seeming mystery. Any prominent issue that possesses both dollars and popular appeal is quickly victorious and therefore disappears from the political landscape.

Today in California, the polls show overwhelming support for a large rise in the minimum wage, and the idea has now been endorsed by multi-billionaires of the left, right, and center. Let’s hope that such a potent combination of dollars and voter sentiment quickly produces enacted legislation and causes the issue to permanently vanish from the political radar screen just as would be suggested by my theory.

Despite the financial collapse of my campaign, the political and media momentum I had generated during the previous few months continued for some time on the national level. As I noted in a May 12, 2014 column, establishment Republicans who never would have previously considered the idea began endorsing a hike in the minimum wage, including both the nominee and the runner-up from the 2012 presidential primaries:

On Friday, several top national Republicans including Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Tim Pawlenty all publicly declared their support for raising the federal minimum wage. Such a dramatic political breakthrough—obviously coordinated at the highest levels—greatly increases the likelihood it will actually happen, and tens of millions of low-wage American workers will see a large rise in their annual incomes.

But on Friday, that settled political landscape was transformed as Mitt Romney declared his support on the MSNBC show of Joe Scarborough, himself a former Republican Congressman. As the most recent Republican presidential nominee and a cadet member of America’s ruling financial oligarchy, Romney stands as a Republican pillar, and given his notorious caution such a decision would only have come after exhaustive discussion. It appears certain that a major segment of the Republican Establishment has decided to embrace rather than oppose the minimum wage issue, presumably after extensive polling and focus group analysis.

I think Romney and his advisers fully recognize that if he had taken this sort of economic position two years ago, he would be sitting in the White House today rather than traveling the rubber-chicken circuit, and perhaps a third major run for the presidency lurks in the back of their minds. One of the incidents that doomed Romney’s 2012 candidacy was his remark that 47% of all American voters paid no income taxes and were therefore deaf to GOP economic arguments. I have pointed out that a \$12 minimum wage would shift tens of millions of American low-wage workers into the net taxpayer class, and perhaps Romney’s people have considered this point.

Admittedly, Romney is very much an establishmentarian Republican, whose conservative credentials are mixed at best, and he hardly inspires the party faithful. But Romney’s support for a minimum wage hike was immediately echoed by former Sen. Rick Santorum, a darling of the hard-right and Christian conservatives, whose enthusiastic supporters had enabled his under-financed presidential campaign to sweep several states and give Romney enormous trouble in 2012. When the top two Republicans from the most recent presidential campaign—representing entirely different wings of the party—simultaneously endorse a minimum wage hike, something is definitely afoot. And former governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, also once considered a viable presidential or vice-presidential nominee, quickly joined the chorus.

These very favorable developments occurred even after my campaign’s demise. This suggests that if I had managed to place my measure on the ballot, I could have maneuvered a large fraction of the entire Republican Party into endorsing a wage hike by the November vote.

 

In many respects, the collapse of my initiative campaign was hardly surprising. Business history is replete with companies that pioneer important new innovations but fail to secure the necessary capital to properly exploit them, leaving others to eventually assume that role.

I had successfully established a high minimum wage as an important issue on the political landscape, demonstrating its overwhelming popularity and also making a strong case that it was good public policy. During that process I had won over much of the media as well as many opinion leaders, so my departure left a vacuum that I expected others to fill. Public policies are not subject to copyright, and there was now a political pot of gold lying in the street awaiting an eager pair of hands.

A hike in the minimum wage merely required a simple majority vote in the State Legislature, and the Democrats held super-majorities in both houses. As mentioned earlier, Sen. Mark Leno had already introduced a \$13 wage bill, and he now sought my endorsement and support, which I gladly offered. He felt reasonably confident about passage, and asked me to testify at the hearings he planned to hold later that year. But to his surprise and disappointment, his business lobbyist opponents successfully won over enough Democrats to kill his bill in the Assembly labor committee, though Leno later announced in December that he intended to reintroduce it.

Meanwhile, the national 2014 elections became a total disaster for the Democrats, who lost nine seats—and control—in the Senate, along 13 in the House. This gave the Republicans their largest majority since the onset of the Great Depression and led the media to characterize the outcome as a “Republican wave” election. Total campaign spending had reached \$3.7 billion, a new record, but with the election lacking any central theme, voter turnout was the lowest in more than 70 years.

However, while Democratic candidates fared badly, minimum wage measures were on the ballot in four small, heavily Republican states—Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota—along with an advisory question in Illinois, and all won by huge landslides. A similar California wage vote that November would have allowed the Democrats and the media to nationalize the election on that the issue, possibly with major impact on other races across the country. During 2016, 2018, and 2020, seven additional minimum wage initiatives were placed on state ballots, all of them also winning by landslide margins.

In 2015, two rival factions of the Service Employees union in California both launched initiative campaigns to raise the state minimum wage to \$15 per hour, and spent months battling each other for control of the issue, before one group finally dropped out and the other qualified for the November 2016 ballot. Faced with the pressure of a looming popular vote, Gov. Jerry Brown and the overwhelmingly Democratic State Legislature agreed to enact a \$15 minimum wage and it was signed into law on April 4, 2016, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York signing a similar a \$15 wage bill later that same day.

From a policy perspective, I had mixed feelings. Although \$15 might have been fine for Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and other urban centers having a high cost of living, the Central Valley was much less expensive, so the figure was probably somewhat too high for state as a whole. But the powerful political momentum I had generated for the issue continued pushing forward, and anyway a \$15 wage floor may still have been better than the existing \$10.

Lacking any campaign or organization to give me standing on the issue, I was obviously no longer of further interest to the media on these developments, and unfortunately few of my powerful policy arguments were articulated by the backers of these measures. Instead, these were party-line Democrats who made party-line arguments, and for that reason their successful efforts attracted relatively little media interest. Meanwhile, the conservatives who had endorsed a large wage hike during the brief lifespan of my campaign may have felt that they had risked themselves for nothing after it collapsed, and they henceforth remained silent. So although individual states raised their wages, little pressure was exerted on Congress, and the federal figure remained unchanged.

And the failure of the leading minimum wage advocates to effectively make their case in public meant that although they did succeed politically, they changed fewer minds on the underlying policy issues. As a perfect example of this problem, consider the views of Gov. Brown, who after resisting the issue, finally signed into law the highest minimum wage in American history. As he took that historic step, his public statement revealed that no one had ever properly explained to him the economic case for such policies:

Economically, minimum wages may not make sense. But morally, socially, and politically they make every sense because it binds the community together to make sure parents can take care of their kids.

But regardless, I’ll settle for my role in shifting the politics of the minimum wage in California, New York, and many other places.

Related Reading:

 
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  1. Ghali says:

    “High immigration” was not the reason that American workers fall on economic hard times. The primary cause was, American corporations relocating their manufacturing off shore to harvest the benefits of cheap labour and tax intensives offered by countries like China, India, Indonesia among many others..

  2. But Bryan Caplan, one of the leading George Mason libertarians, argues that minimum wage is Fool’s Gold:

    One of the greatest experiences one can have on YouTube is watching Ron Unz soundly trounce Caplan in debate:

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  3. The Hispanic woman – who was probably an illegal alien – complained that \$8.00 an hour was not enough money to live on. Although she’s correct, my first thought was that she didn’t belong in the U.S. and, therefore, was not really in a position to complain about her wages.

    When I was a cop (now retired), I used to ticket Mexican illegal aliens who were driving without licenses. I’d also impound their cars according to State law as a result. They would bitterly complain that by impounding their car they couldn’t go to work. The degree of self-entitlement they possessed never failed to amaze me, and my response was always the same: “You don’t even belong in my country, let alone driving and working in it!”

  4. A sudden explosion of state-by-state wage hikes began soon after 2012, and the ideological positions of Democrats and even many Republicans were transformed during that same period.

    Which is why the unemployment rate for the least educated Americans is now running at 20-year highs.

    /sarc

  5. Why didn’t you just say you support UBI, Ron? Would have saved some space.

    • Agree: Bob - Enough, Legba
  6. Ron, that’s awesome. I had no idea.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  7. Oh man, I’m exhausted reading through this enormous jungle consisting of 95% “I said this” and “I wrote that” and 5% of interesting ideas.

    Interesting but – childish.

    For everyone living in the real world, in one of the mentioned fallen states, it is immediately clear that the article was written by someone who never had to live outside the intellectual saloons.

    To make it short – you can not stop the immigration by increasing or decreasing the minimum wage. Poor people from destroyed countries will come to the USA for 0.00\$ wage and for 20\$ wage.

    You can stop them only by stopping to destroy their countries.

    • Agree: Lurch685
  8. meamjojo says:

    It would be helpful on these long articles if you could append an “Executive Summary” at the beginning or a statement to the effect of ‘What I intend to accomplish in this article’.

    Few people have the time or patience to read such long articles, my self included…

    • Agree: Realist
  9. The first half demonstrated that although a large influx of non-white immigrants tended to provoke the racialist fears of local whites, these concerns were transitory and soon dissipated.

    Right, after a lot of complaining about your people being replaced in you own country, things simmer down once you have been mostly replaced, you are told you are a hateful scumbag for complaining anyway (by people like Ron Unz), and the replacements don’t complain.

    As a consequence, those conservatives or Republicans who regularly sought to ride such an anti-immigrant tidal wave to political power were pursuing fools’ gold, and they inevitably destroyed their long-term prospects. This had been the case with the total collapse of California’s once-mighty Republican Party in the aftermath of Pete Wilson and Prop. 187.

    I’m pretty sure VDare has shown you are completely wrong on the anti-invasion stance having hurt the CA GOP.

    VDare is light-years ahead of you on all things immigration. To think that it took you, what now, till 10 years back(?) to understand the economic problems inherent in importing dozens of millions for cheap labor. You were wrong about the immigration issue throughout your whole political career.

    I got through about 1/3 of this whole toot-my-horn fest, then did a ctrl-F for “Trump”. Besides “… George W. Bush trumpeted…”, I got nuthin’. No, of course serious immigration control will not handled by the 2 squads of The Party. That’s why they ALL hated Donald Trump. That’s why he came to be President – it’s the sole issue that propelled him to the nomination and the Presidency. Where have you been the past 5 years?

    Anyway this is all water under the bridge, as the time to have handled the immigration invasion was 15 to 30 years ago. Peter Brimelow could have told you 30 years back, at the time you were aiding and abetting it all.

    Oh, and they’d better index any minimum wage to REAL inflation somehow, because the dollar is going down, and inflation will be a thing for the remainder of the life of this country. The official inflation numbers just plain don’t cut it.

    • Agree: Legba
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  10. Bruno says:

    In France, most immigrants don’t get jobs and are on welfare.

    The cost of work is extremely high because France has 1% of worldwide work force and 15% of social taxes. If you want to pay 2000 a month to someone, it costs you 1600 a month in social taxes (welfare taxes)

    A cleaning lady will cost 30 euros an hour. That’s why the government give a 50% tax credit on those jobs who would have disappeared. For home service jobs, you can reclaim a reduction of your taxes up to 1000 a month wich amount to 50% of the salary paid.

    All that to say that the forces wich want to dump 3 world people into western societies are not only driven by the desire to diminish pay. And France is one example since 1975 where immigration became family and misery (anti social) oriented.

    You might end with the same thing

    • Replies: @Hannah Katz
  11. The minimum wage is good. It should be 40 dollars an hour. You people are just rich people trying to soak the poor. As usual. Nothing new to see here. Move along.

    • Agree: Daniel H
    • Troll: Lurch685
    • Replies: @haha
    , @flashlight joe
  12. JackOH says:

    FWIW, Ron, the role played by America’s unique group health insurance in unduly diminishing both labor and capital has yet to be honestly explored by academics and pundits.

    For example, my local Podunk Tech announced faculty layoffs a while back. I suggested in a published letter that the faculty could be retained in a budget-neutral way if Podunk were to stop enrolling non-workers in group health that’s 85% paid by Podunk.

    I was asked sharply by a newspaper editor what made me believe non-workers were enrolled in group health insurance. I replied: non-workers are contractually qualifying dependents.

    After token protest by faculty union leaders, the selected professors were laid off, and I’m not sure anyone really noticed yet another labor union had sacrificed dues-paying bargaining unit workers to preserve group health benefits for contractually qualifying dependents who do not earn wages and do not pay union dues.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  13. geokat62 says:

    Resurrecting America’s Minimum Wage: An Intellectual and Political History

    A more relevant topic would’ve been…

    Resurrecting America

  14. @Bruno

    Maybe we should do like the Swiss and have no minimum wage. Leave it up to the employer to pay the amount necessary to attract and retain reliable workers.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  15. Ron, I am yet to read your article but will do so when I find the time.

    I did watch your 2013 DC Aspen Institute on Minimum Wage video in which you figured.
    I have to say I’m somewhat surprised by some of your comments.

    I believe that it is NOT THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT to dictate to anyone what wages should be.
    Any wage should be negotiated between the employer and prospective employee in accordance with market conditions.
    If an employee has a particular skill set and is more productive then they will be able to negotiate a better wage. If they don’t, it is intheir own interest to improve their skill set and build up a resume over a period of time, a resume that shows punctuality, longevity in a particular job with good references from previous employers which will be used as a bargaining chip at their next job interview.

    One has to remember, when one first starts a job, one generally knows NOTHING and either the boss or other workers have to invest time and energy to NURTURE and BABYSIT you, thus reducing the productivity of these other workers in the process until you can do the job unsupervised.
    I say this from personal experience.

    Factoring that in, said new worker may be only contributing a few dollars per hour of productivity at the beginning and thus incurring a LOSS in net terms as other workers are slightly less productive.

    When one starts at the minimum wage, this is an ENTRY LEVEL JOB. It is the first rung on the ladder. It is not meant to provide a living wage.
    Most people that do these sort of jobs live with their parents. They’re young people that should NOT have a family and kids.
    If you’re starting a family while you’re on the minimum wage, you need to wake up to yourself and prioritise things in your life.

    Ron, I couldn’t believe that you seriously believe that a substantial rise in the minimum wage (WITHOUT FIRST ACHIEVING THE NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS IN PRODUCTIVITY), would lead to a significant net benefit to society.

    [MORE]

    Let’s assume that the minimum wage of \$7.25/hour in the U.S is bumped up to \$15.

    Yes, some workers that are on \$13.50 or \$14/hour presently would get the pay rise and that they’d be better off in NOMINAL TERMS*.

    But many workers that are on \$11 or \$12 an hour, and certainly those on say \$8/hour presently, they won’t be getting bumped up to \$15.
    No, they will be getting a PINK SLIP. They will be getting FIRED.

    All a too high minimum wage does is PRICE CERTAIN WORKERS OUT OF THE MARKET and never allows them to get onto the first rung of the ladder.
    Many of those that never get onto the first rung of the ladder will never get the opportunity to go onto the second, third and subsequent rungs.
    They will be doomed to a life on perpetual welfare.

    For a certain category of worker, once wages rise beyond a certain level, it will incentivise employers to AUTOMATE.

    Do you remember how many workers were in any particular McDonalds store 20 or 30 years ago ? Well, far fewer are working there now, especially on the counters as cashiers.

    Now there are touchscreens and such where you can order and pay with your debit cards.
    And so it goes in other industries as well.

    (*Note how I earlier wrote ‘nominal terms’ , implying that these few have a numerically larger pay packet at the end of each week. But, seeing as employers are increasing wages across the board in every category of the job market, said employers will be PASSING ON THE INCREASED COSTS to the consumer in the way of higher prices for their products or services.

    In other words, a particular employee who, after the minimum wage increase, is [for example] now getting \$200 more in his pay packet each week, also finds that the products and services he previously acquired for less are now MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.
    In other words, his purchasing power may well have DECREASED and he finds it more difficult to make ends meet.

    Bottom Line: Switzerland and Singapore have NO MINIMUM WAGE and yet their average wages are amongst the highest in the world.

    Hong Kong too had no minimum wage up until some time around 10 – 15 years ago when it was legislated. Prior to the introduction of the minimum wage law, hourly wages consistently grew in HK year after year bit have stagnated since introduction of the law.

    At the end of the day, employers (for the most part), are not seeking to extract every last cent of profit from you. Those unscrupulous employers that do this are soon avoided by quality employees and their productivity [and bottom line] suffers.
    If you’re capable of providing \$50/hour of productivity for your employer, NO potential boss will hold out for weeks and months by trying to scrimp and save an extra dollar per hour by only offering \$29.50/hour when the going rate is \$31/hour.

    And, needless to say, the ‘going rate’ can change in a heartbeat as market conditions change and a new entrant offers \$33/hour which can soon thereafter by trumped by offers of \$35 or even \$39.

    Think about it logically. If a particular employee is offering \$50/hour in productivity, the employer that is only offering \$33/hour and holding out at that price (when he could easily employ that person at \$35 TODAY), is FOREGOING \$17/hour in LOST PROFITS every hour of the day – which can translate into millions of dollars in lost profits per year if said employer has thousands of workers.

    NO EMPLOYER would do that. The vast majority of employers are paying that wage that MARKET CONDITIONS and their OVERHEADS dictate is feasible.

    Remove some of those overheads for your employer and they can pass those savings on the worker.
    I’m in Australia and employers DO NOT have to pay for health insurance for their workers.
    That’s one of the major reasons that minimum wage is AUD \$20.33/hour (just under USD \$15/hour).

    I’m not sure what the Payroll tax is that’s levied on Australian workers but last time I looked it was significantly less than in the U.S.

    Solution: Get rid of the payroll tax as it’s a disincentive to hire workers.
    The less money the U.S Federal government gets, the better. Hopefully they can fire some of those hundreds of thousands of parasitic government employees that the private sector are paying for through crushing levels of taxation.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
    , @Anon
  16. @Ghali

    Plus, the destruction by inflation – i.e., theft by counterfeiting – of currency by the (not-)Federal Reserve “Bank”.

  17. TG says:

    A good article but missing some points.

    “This relates to another perfectly valid criticism raised by anti-immigration activists, namely that the net fiscal impact of many immigrants is substantially negative. The notion that large numbers of immigrants and their families subsist on welfare or that Mexican immigrant mothers often have five or ten children is sheer nonsense. Immigrants actually have very high labor force participation rates and relatively low rates of welfare dependency, while the vast majority of their families stop at two or three children, a number somewhat higher than that of today’s native-born whites but really no different from the typical American family during the hallowed 1950s. And since, as mentioned earlier, immigrant crime rates are about average, there is no large additional cost for police or prisons.”

    There have been two major spikes in crime in American history. One starting after 1888, and one starting after 1965. The issue is not whether immigrants themselves are more or less likely to commit crimes than the native born. The issue is that driving down wages, making it increasingly impossible to support a family through honest work, tears away at social stability and yes tends to radically increase crime. I mean, look at how the population explosion in Mexico has gone hand in hand with massive crime.

    Who cares about the labor participation rate of immigrants? Starting in 1965, newly unionized blue-collar blacks were fired and replaced with Mexicans. So you had more people, no increase in production, more profits went to management, and more people on welfare. Immigration floods the labor market and has these effects, whether it’s the natives or the immigrants that are on welfare does not matter.

    In the American baby boom Americans had a bit more than 3 kids each, because times were good. However, because the baby boom was both preceded and followed by periods of lower fertility, the total demographic impact was modest. The trick is that in first world countries people have numbers of children that they can REASONABLY support given current circumstances: low in the depression high in the 1950’s, low today. Mexicans have enormous number of children under all conditions. That’s not the same.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @JimDandy
    , @Mefobills
  18. Virtually all immigrants come here for jobs, so eliminating government benefits would merely serve to further immiserate millions of families, who would remain in this country regardless.

    If you are underwater with no air, do you stay there to die or do you surface? The above claim is logically false since starving to death is a great motivator to make sure it doesn’t happen. Huge numbers would go back where they came from, typically rural areas that grow food where their relatives would help them out.

    The problem with immigration, minimum wages, wealth disparity, unions and most everything else in the US is due to the attempts by gov’t to construct a one size fits all solution using law as the vehicle to enforce change.

    Immigration could be stopped and even reversed if the penalties were high enough. If caught in the US illegally, it’s 5 years of hard labor repairing US’s infrastructure. A second offense would double the duration, and so on.

    Minimum wage laws are a great way to increase price inflation, something the Fed and gov’t want to lessen the value of every dollar. Any broad increase in wages at the low end increases the cost to everyone everywhere. Soon the increase in the overall cost of living negates the temporary benefits the increase created but the inflationary effects are permanent.

    Wealth disparity is built atop the fiat currency scam. The increases in the currency supply go largely toward the paper wealth products particularly the stock market. More money chasing a limited supply of stocks drives up prices – who would have guessed? This will correct itself when fiat fails and people will once again use stock certificates as wall paper.

    Unions are extortion made legal under law. They shouldn’t exist. If a worker doesn’t like his job, he should quit and go elsewhere. That’s a free market where both the employer and worker have equal rights. Once a union enters the picture, the employer loses his rights via extortion sanctioned by law. All this does is raise wages in unionized settings that all the non union working people get to pay for when they purchase the products or services of the unionized entity that will naturally pass along the cost of the unions demands. Unions hurt the vast majority of workers that aren’t unionized. Those shallow thinker that will state that all workers should be unionized are too stupid to realize that unions only work when only a fraction of the population is in a union. If all were in unions, then there would be no one to take advantage of and no point in having a union.

    All these things are as a result of trying to meddle in a free market. These are problems that gov’t invents when it passes the first law to “fix” an issue that then requires the next dozen laws to “fix” the side effects of the meddling, wash, rinse and repeat. It’s a great scheme to create dissension among the population that becomes the political platform that the political scum use to get elected by the brain dead that vote to guarantee the continuation of the problems and the invention of new ones.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  19. jsm says:

    Meh.

    Why won’t the illegals come, and be willing to be paid one penny less than minimum wage, under the table? Why would they not? Why would scofflaws suddenly straighten up when they don’t have to, when in fact it benefits them even more than before to scoff at laws (such as entering other people’s countries illegally, which is defacto breaking and entering.)

    Working under the table is what they did way-back-when, “in the shadows.” W hy would they not continue? In fact raising the minimum wage would ENCOURAGE even more of them to come (mo’ money.)

    This will only work if employers caught hiring illegals fear being thrown in the dungeon for a very, very long time. But as you pointed out, we can’t even BEGIN to enforce laws against illegal immigration. No employers will be going to the rack for hiring illegals, just as they didn’t before. And without the threat of the Iron Maiden, there’s no INCENTIVE to do the proper thing and hire an American and pay him a proper wage. It’s way way cheaper and easier to hire an illegal for a penny less than minimum wage. Because the cost isn’t **really** the wage so much as it’s the FICA tax and benefits and costs of paperwork, yada yada yada. So long as it’s cheaper (fiscally or to one’s own personal bodily freedom) to hire illegals than Americans, scofflaw employers will continue to do so. You know this, Ron. VDARE told us all 20 years ago.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  20. @RockaBoatus

    And yet you benefit from the fruits of their labor without complaint.

  21. @Truth Vigilante

    Factoring that in, said new worker may be only contributing a few dollars per hour of productivity at the beginning and thus incurring a LOSS in net terms as other workers are slightly less productive.

    Oh snap, here come the libertarians, trying to fit messy reality onto their Procrustean bed of abstract rationalism.

    When I was a teenager, and in my early 20s, I washed dishes for money. I was often the only white person in the kitchen. None of my Hispanic coworkers ever accused me of “lowering productivity.” On the contrary, they were delighted to find someone who would show up every day and do the shit-work. They would invite me to their homes to drink beer and watch football.

    Since Truth Vigilante has likely never had a minimum wage job, and engages with the world through libertarian cliches, he doesn’t understand that these are often the hardest, most thankless jobs of all.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
    , @Ummm
  22. @Ghali

    Supply and demand works, even for wages. As mass immigration has increased the supply of workers, wages have stagnated or dropped. All immigration has been bad for America and Americans, starting with the hordes of Irish and Germans in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s.

    • LOL: 36 ulster
    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  23. @Punch Brother Punch

    PunchDrunkBrother back to his old tricks, by choosing the inarticulate and unknown entity Bryan Caplan to make the case for the minimum wage.

    Try this interviewee on the Joe Rogan show, where a coherent case is made:

    Let’s pick a real world example of a kid that’s just left high school and is looking for a job.

    Job A offers him \$8/hour and is thus a legal job as it’s above the legally mandated minimum. (The downside of the job is that it is back breaking manual labour that must be done in the hot sun on a summer’s day).

    Job B offers only \$5/hour but is in an air-conditioned office and said worker is also allowed to access the internet for his own leisure when it’s not busy.

    Job C offers ZERO dollar per hour.

    Obviously Jobs B & C are illegal as they’re below the minimum wage.

    But, unbeknownst to the government bureaucratic meddlers that mandated the minimum wage, this high school kid actually would have preferred Job C as his first choice. And absent that, he would have chosen Job B.

    What I didn’t tell you was that Job C was being an intern for Elon Musk that worked without pay.
    In return this kid would rub shoulders with Elon Musk in an excellent working environment where he’d be able to absorb the insights of other captains of industry and business executives that would, in his opinion, be invaluable for his future as these individuals would act as mentors.
    Also, to have been an intern for Elon Musk would look very nice on his resume and help his future job prospects.

    WHO is the government to tell this kid where he can and cannot work and what rate of pay he should be getting ?

    Not all terms of employment are solely about wages. There are other NON-MONETARY FACTORS that come into the equation.

    Bottom Line: The government should stop trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives. People make rational decisions based on a multiplicity of factors in terms of:

    1) What they eat
    2) Where they live
    3) Who they marry
    4) Who they work for and at what rate of pay.

    It is NO ONE’s BUSINESS other than the two consenting parties involved.

  24. Anon[423] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ghali

    Lax regulations?

  25. Reaper says:

    Minimal wage increase cannot elevate the poor.

    1. Expenses simply rise similarly, or more.
    Example:
    In my country there are/ were some massive minimal wage increase. While they present us with official (BS) statistics about the average inflation (they make it = with price rise) that is simply not a poor man`s basket.

    2. If cheap workforce not present locally will be found elsewhere.
    Example:
    There (still) is a website people per hour with their truly ridiculous wage expectations – anno did check out and did not believe they are serious – but in fact they are REALLY believe in that. Was able to gfind freelancers for the same tasks for far-far less price – but that was not the most important thing: but elsewhere find honest ones, who actually do what they undertake, instead of complaining with uppish attitude.

    3. Attitude and legalisation:
    No business likes hight expectation from the workforce when not offered hight quality work.
    Things like: “Entitled for that”, “Have a right for that” “Will not do less than that” – that is attitude
    “Meetoo”, “racial quatas”, must employ x % of this/ that, LAWSUITS – that is legalization
    Off course any sensible business will go there where such things are non-existent or at least far less prominent.

    There are historical examples where businesses offered far above the minimum.
    Corporations like Krupp and many in that age with their relatively hight wages, and tons of benefits in corporate housing, education, health care, etc…
    BUT: they expected hard work, good quality work, loyality and obedience.
    The company provide and care for the workforce who have the MERITS.
    When merits are replaced with legalization and uppish expectations that is no good for business.

    In the other hand:
    Life ability and rightful agression is a must.
    If a corporation does not esteem a workforce with merit, and wish to exploit: that must be torn down. THAT what happened historically: not just some peacful (good for nothing) demonstrations and cries, but real wars, often not just between knocsticks/ strike breakers (with bats), but up to machine guns, and massacres by authorities.
    https://michaelruark.blog/2019/02/24/ludlow-massacre-colorado-national-guard/

    “In retaliation for the massacre at Ludlow, the miners armed themselves and attacked dozens of anti-union establishments over the next ten days, destroying property and engaging in several skirmishes with the Colorado National Guard along a 40-mile front from Trinidad to Walsenburg.”

    That way achived results not with cries and barking.
    Nobody is entitled for anything or have a right for anything, but the ones who capable to enforce it will have it.

    In short:
    From corporate side: being sensible and esteem a good quality workforce, take care of them.
    From workforce side: offer a good quality and honest work, but when not rewarded for that take steps to enforce: up to a war.

    There is no need for up to down legalization (which includes high minimal wage) which only benefits the less productive ones and cowards – not the ones with merit.

  26. @jsm

    But as you pointed out, we can’t even BEGIN to enforce laws against illegal immigration.

    Well, that depends on who you and Mr. Unz mean by “we”. No, the Feral government is too beholden to a) those who want the cheap labor, b) those who want more D-votes, and, above the 1st 2 c) those who want to replace the White middle class. The people have not raised enough hell over the last 50 years and are paying for it now. It CAN be done, and it always COULD HAVE been done.

    Americans are waking up to this replacement process very late in the game, especially the legal immigration version. One solution that could have been implemented all along, on the illegal alien problem, is that of Federalism, the States taking care of the problem. I don’t know if Governor Abbott down in Texas is serious or just making a show. The numbers are getting ridiculous right now – 3 million a year levels, purposefully caused by Brandon.

    Yeah, and the lack of mention of Donald Trump here is egregious, because he actually DID take lots of measures to lower the numbers considerably. The problem is, due to his lack of ability to think strategically, and the Lyin’ Press’ being completely against him, all these actions were taken at a bureaucratic level, easily reversible by Brandon on Day One.

    About 2 weeks before the ’20 election, Peak Stupidity posted “President Donald Trump: the Bad, **the Good**, and the Ugly”, in which we commented on VDare writer “Washington Watcher II”‘s run-down of all the good Trump had done on this issue – what’s funny is that Mr. “Watcher”‘s article is a summary of a NY Times article that was written to condemn the President. See NYT Delivers Unintentional Endorsement Of Trump’s Immigration Triumph if you want to learn details.

  27. @Truth Vigilante

    the inarticulate and unknown entity Bryan Caplan

    One could accuse Caplan of many things: arrogance, lack of common sense, etc. but “inarticulateness” is not one of them. And he’s pretty well-known in libertarian circles. His “Open Borders” graphic novel was a best-seller (who actually bought and read it is another question).

    Try this interviewee on the Joe Rogan show,

    Oh look, son of died–in-prison criminal Irwin Schiff! And more hero worship for snake-oil salesman Elon “Justin Bieber doesn’t tweet enough” Musk, son of another crazy father!

    Why do all libertarians have Mummy and Daddy issues?

    Bottom Line: The government should stop trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives.

    The average citizen has very little interaction with the government. They pay their taxes once a year, occasionally they get a traffic ticket and have to go to the courthouse to pay it, etc. Stop blaming “gubbinment” for everything.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • LOL: RoatanBill
    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  28. Apu says:

    I am from Australia…our minimum wage is \$20 and we have 4% unemployment…the idea that minimum wages kill jobs is a myth and even unskilled work can get \$30 to \$40 an hour….

    • Agree: Daniel H
  29. haha says:
    @obwandiyag

    Economics, the “dismal science” especially under neoliberalism, in the main part consists of a pseudo-scientific discourse to convince the poor that it is “efficient” that they slog away at \$4 an hour so that the guy making \$4,000 an hour will have the largesse to toss some scraps their way from his overladen buffet table.

    The ideal worker is one who is relocatable, fire-able, voiceless, mindless, and happy to subsist on a diet of bread crusts and watery soup. Such workers would greatly enhance the “efficiency” of our economy and the shareholders would love them.

    • Agree: Alden
  30. @Chris Mallory

    All immigration has been bad for America and Americans, starting with the hordes of Irish and Germans in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s.

    Damn Pikeys and Krauts. They’re what screwed up America, clearly.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
  31. Jim H says:

    If one may respectfully say so, the high word count of this post will limit its readership.

    By contrast, the excellent horizontal bar chart for the fifty states and DC is apprehensible at a glance.

    Spot the red state outlier in the top 15. 🙁

  32. @Truth Vigilante

    Bottom Line: The government should stop trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives. People make rational decisions based on a multiplicity of factors in terms of:

    1) What they eat
    2) Where they live
    3) Who they marry
    4) Who they work for and at what rate of pay.

    It is NO ONE’s BUSINESS other than the two consenting parties involved.

    For citizens.

    It also matters how this person is surviving in the absence of pay. Parents? Inheritance? Savings? Public benefits? See any difference?

    Repealing the minimum for citizens might make sense if the minimum for non-citizens was jacked up to several times what it is now.

  33. Ron Unz did good in defending a minimum income. Any society not based on social Darwinism will have fail safes designed to limit the damage of human greed. There are multiple citations from the pyramid age of Ancient Egypt in which the elite declare on stele that they paid fair wages for all the work they had done – their eternal life depended on it. What is a fair wage? A moral answer is that which allows a single income to support and raise a family.

    The ownership through public stock companies was not going to cultivate such sensitivity. One company has to outsource their manufacturing in order to compete. Another contributory factor is the corruption of the political elite through legalized bribery (they make the rules which exonerates them). Another one is controlling the media which through advertising income controls the acceptable “news”.

    Making an idol out of the “free market” leads to destruction as we see in the West today when greed reaches it zenith – there had to be something more. J. K. Galbraith:

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    I am a conservative but not in the “free market” sense.

    As an aside the mechanism has long been in place through letters of credit (a primary means of international trade) with conditional clauses that ensured not only the quality but fair wages were paid as a leg up to developing countries.

    Happy Easter to one and all, He has risen.

    • Replies: @Jack McArthur
    , @Reaper
  34. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    Ho, hum. Yet another assault on freedom for employees and employers.
    I part company with Unz on this one.
    I’d like it to go away. Forever.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  35. Dutch Boy says:

    Outsourced production +insourced labor = poverty. Minimum wage laws can only nibble at this equation.

  36. Dutch Boy says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    The Micks and the Krauts showed up when there was abundant available farmland and an expanding industrial economy. Neither is true now. The main economic problem of the 19th century was not an abundance of labor but deflation and recurrent “panics” caused by a constricted money supply (the gold standard) which benefited the creditor class at the expense of the indebted. The situation was bad enough that the oligarchs decided to create the federal reserve system to stop the deflationary collapses (and to concentrate the creation of money in their private banking cartel).

  37. SafeNow says:

    https://i.insider.com/5d80fb016f24eb00cd2ea18c?width=750&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    The reference to the 1950’s as “hallowed” is, without more, sarcastic and dismissive. I grew up during this pleasant, decent time. The U.S. of today would do well to emulate this time, rather than destroy it, or even mock it.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  38. profnasty says:
    @Apu

    Yes, because you send your immigrants to Birdshit Island (Nauru).
    If you and your mates were free, Aus would be paradise.

  39. Ron, my son, simple rectification of the morass:
    Abolition of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.
    Abolition of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.
    Abolition of like Amendments in all 50 states.
    Abolition of any “statues” that will or may impinge free barter between employer and employee.
    In all states.
    More to this later. Above will “correct” the problem.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  40. anon[160] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ghali

    The primary cause was, American corporations relocating their manufacturing off shore to harvest the benefits of cheap labour

    Off-shoring manufacturing is, practically speaking, the same as in-shoring cheap migrant labor.

    FYI the bulk of minimum wage increases have been in high cost of living states with high numbers of nonwhite invaders. There’s less political urgency for min wage hikes in states without those two conditions. The truth of the matter is that the minimum wage cause experienced a revival because it became to be seen as an equity redistribution project that would benefit nonwhites. If the working and service classes were still predominantly White, the Left and Right may have stayed wholly opposed to minimum wage hikes.

    As for California White anger at mass nonwhite invasion “dissipating”, that is just wishcasting bullshit. Whites acutely feel the pressure to conform to socially approved beliefs, and once opposition to immivasion was equated to “racism” by nonstop jmedia agitprop — and real threats to one’s social status and livelihood intimidated Whites into suppressing their true feelings and. pretending to welcome their demographic genocide — the political calculus for pro-White anti-immigration patriots in left-wing hovels like CA changed dramatically.

    If you want to know just how little anti-invasion anger dissipated among Whites, look at their real estate decisions. Don’t listen to what Whites say, watch what they do. Whites are fleeing California en masse.

    • Thanks: Rosie
  41. @Truth Vigilante

    I don’t think you need to worry about the poor high school kid losing his chance to intern with Elon Musk due to a \$12 an hour minimum wage law. Musk can obviously afford \$12 for interns. Other kids who might want to volunteer or intern with low-budget nonprofits will still be able to do so, because unpaid internships and volunteer positions don’t violate minimum wage laws, any more than universities violate them by not paying students the minimum wage for studying.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  42. JimDandy says:
    @TG

    The issue is not whether immigrants themselves are more or less likely to commit crimes than the native born. The issue is that driving down wages, making it increasingly impossible to support a family through honest work, tears away at social stability and yes tends to radically increase crime.

    What’s going to become of blacks? America has a black problem. America’s black problem might, in fact, be its biggest problem. I’ve read that there is a direct connection between black male unemployment and illegal immigration–when the former spikes, so does the latter. I listened to a startling Jordan Peterson talk some years ago wherein he asserted that with the advent of technological advances, most jobs were becoming more complex and required a higher minimum IQ than in the past–Peterson said that 10 percent of the workforce would be unfit for anything other than menial labor. Blacks make up a a disproportionate percentage of that 10 percent. If immigrants do those jobs, that 10 percent of Americans is unemployable.

    Blacks and their white liberal life-coaches love to blame all black woes on everything and everyone but blacks themselves, but I rarely if ever hear them talk about this.

  43. Alden says:

    One slight quibble that most free market economists who wrongly believe employers and employees make a tacit contract about wages.

    Immigrants don’t come to America to search for jobs. They and their future employers have already made the job arrangements before their arrival. And before the immigrants began their trip.

    All over Central America there are 800 numbers advertised to call and get a job and arrange travel.

    The agriculture, restaurant, landlords, some factory nursing homes and most janitor and maintenance companies are involved. The jobs are already arranged. When the employer needs more workers an employee just calls down to the village in the Honduras Highlands and another crew arrives.

    That’s how it works.

    And it worked that way for most of the 19th century . Some of the German Slavic Irish Italian British immigrants arrived via indentured servitude contracts. Slave away for years till the transportation fee was paid. Problem for so paid that Congress finally passed another law banning indentured servitude in the 1870s.

    When there are 2,000 applicants for every job the prospective employee is in no position to make any requests other than please oh please kind sir give me a job.

    As for getting a raise or promotion based on productivity that’s a joke. Or just Econ 101 nonsense the petty bourgeoisie believe in. “If I’m a good boy and work lots of unpaid overtime and work better than anyone else I’ll be rewarded.” Not if you’re a White man for the last 54 years in America.

    I assume most of the commenters have heard of section 8. In California it’s \$3,500 a month. Which is about \$42,000 a year. Which is the entire pre tax gross income of many and more than many people earn in a year. The proposed \$15 an hour minimum wage for a 40 hour week is about \$30,000 a year. \$12,000 a year less that California section 8 rent for poor people.

    Then there’s the fact that minimum wage is lifelong wages for adults. It was always a National Review myth that minimum wage is only for teens and married women wanting to make a little extra to supplement the husband’s income.

    Not even a single person can really live on a minimum wage job. For an American it means 3 roommates at age 40 and public transit taking a big chunk of the minimum wage page check.

    For the minimum wage and lower immigrants it means the community is living off the petty bourgeois taxpayers who just live minimum wage for everybody but themselves.

    The Hispanic immigrant community basically lives off the women ( allegedly single moms) and kids welfare. Rent, food utilities health care all the basics are taken care of by the taxpayers. The money earned by the minimum wage adults goes for cars clothes bikes entertainment. And much if the clothes and toys for the kids are taken care of by the gazillions of charities. There’s usually clothes 3 times a year. August back to school clothes, Christmas clothes and toys and Match April when the retailers get rid of all the unsold winter clothes.

    The clothes are brand new overstock of course. God forbid an illegal immigrant kid should have to wear second hand clothes.

    The immigrants will keep coming. And the employers will give them more and more jobs. There’s hundreds of thousands of men in China India and other countries perfectly capable of learning how to code.

    And they don’t mind living 20 in a 2,000 sq ft little house. With their parents and grandparents getting SSI social security and low cost apartments in the local low income senior housing. Which they rent out by the way. And live in the garage of the home the grandson shared with 20 other immigrant welfare scammers.

    The complete ignorance and naïveté of the Econ 102 fans on this site never ceases to amaze.

    I can foresee a time, in California at least, when the welfare slugs will all live in section 8 and other government subsidized housing. And the White American workers whose taxes pay for it all live in their cars.

    • Replies: @Reaper
    , @Rosie
  44. Jon Chance says: • Website

    ZERO MINIMUM WAGE is necessary or desirable.

    But if I tell you the real reason why this is so, and why both Marxists and Misesists are lying to everyone, whoever is practicing destructive POLITICAL CENSORSHIP on this website (Ron Unz?) will delete the evidence I’m trying to share with the public.

    https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/artconf.asp#art8

  45. anarchyst says:

    Wall street sees “labor” as being a necessary evil, its true value to be minimized at all cost while valuing the CEOs and “stockholders” above and beyond their true worth.
    This even applies to CEOs, that run their corporations into the ground while still receiving massive “rewards” for their “expertise”.
    Let’s not forget the corporate vultures (a la Mitt Romney) that specialize in parting out viable businesses in order to maximize their “profits”
    Henry Ford “got it right” when he CREATED a market for his cars by making them inexpensive while paying his workforce a decent wage. He realized that a well-paid workforce would be able to buy his products, among other things. It could be safely argued that Ford, CREATED the middle class. Automobiles, once “playthings for the rich” were made affordable for the “ordinary common man”.
    Henry Ford KNEW who the banksters and vulture capitalists were and made no bones about calling them out and naming them, Father Charles Coughlin did the same thing and was ostracized by the Catholic Church for pointing out the TRUTH about our vulture capitalist society.
    “Vulture capitalism” can be defined as the owners of businesses and industries that collude with each other, also in collusion with the “money types” (banksters) depressing wages solely to increase their stockholder “profits” at the top while impoverishing those who actually WORK, producing their products.
    All one has to do is look at today’s CEOs, even in failing companies, being paid exorbitant salaries, along with stock options and other “perks” while pleading poverty, pushing down wages for their employees.
    Today’s capitalist “mantra” is that labor costs must be as cheap as possible while the “value” (profit) to the stockholder must be as great as possible. Sacrificing labor on the altar of “maximum profits” NEVER works in the long term.
    Of course, in the short term, with cheap Chinese goods flooding the market, the economy looks, good, but without CONSUMERS who hold jobs that pay reasonably well, all bets are off. There needs to be a balance between profits and labor.
    Presently, labor is looked upon as a “necessary evil” to be minimized at all costs. The problem arises-without labor there are no consumers. As I previously stated, a “balance” must be maintained. Labor is not evil, but a necessary and valuable component of capitalism.
    Pre-WW2 Germany’s economic successes and the rapid rise of the German economy was predicated on labor being assigned “value”and monetized-something that is (and has been) missing in capitalist societies today.
    If labor costs need to be trimmed to assure “profit” at the top, something is seriously wrong. In fact, in the well-paid American automobile industry, labor costs account only for approximately 10% of total costs.
    Offshoring production results in consumers (customers) being “lost”.
    As to “tariffs”, the American country ran on tariffs from its inception until 1913, when the “income tax” and “federal reserve” was established.
    The American economy is being propped up by the “social safety net” which obscures the TRUE economic situation in the U S .

    • Agree: Alden, Adam Smith
  46. It is really spooky how everyone ignores the elephant in the room. The biggest boot on the neck of the working poor is the FEDERAL INCOME TAX ON WAGES. But no one talks about it. Instead they talk about “rearranging deck chairs”.

    Get rid of the federal income tax on wages. Stop paying it. Tell the rich billionaire war mongers to fund their own overseas wars.

    Stop taxing people when they produce something. A reasonable tax system should tax what you want less of, because that’s what you’re going to get. Right now you are getting less jobs because the feds are taxing jobs.

    If the feds really need additional money, they should tax the 5 P’s: Pollution, petroleum, pesticides, poison, and plastic.

    Instead, the feds are taxing jobs, which discourages jobs. And you wonder why the working poor are having a hard time and why we keep getting involved in foreign wars.

    Just delete line #1 of the 1040 form and the federal tax on jobs is gone.

    Tell your neighbors; write your congressman; shout it from the hilltops: DELETE LINE ONE!!!

    • Agree: CelestiaQuesta
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  47. @obwandiyag

    How about we make the minimum wage a million dollars an hour.

    Then we will all be millionaires and we will only have to work one hour a year!

    • Agree: meamjojo, Jack Kennedy
    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  48. The Minimum Wage By State chart above showing states with the highest minimum wage are also the most expensive to live in. Which translates into more government benefits for those to fat, dumb and useless, aka PIGs (people in government), and their government plantations indentured servants (slaves).
    And with tens of millions more pouring into the US from everywhere they can, most landing in Mexico where the largest human trafficking rings in the world run by drug cartels shuttle them to border towns, then onto nearby Border Patrol stations for immediate processing into cities across the nation.
    If that’s not a RICO Act racket, what is it?

    With that kind of low wage competition, US citizens wages will be stagnant for the unforeseeable future.

    Get used to owning nothing and being happy.

  49. @Kevin Barrett

    Thanks for that Kevin.

    Always good to hear from you.

  50. Yet another painful, RU article that I couldn’t get through (and normally I can get through stuff that’s pretty verbose, technical, legalistic, etc.) I won’t repeat the well known criticisms — all of them valid — expressed about the MW, but let me share two personal anecdotes about it.

    I have a relative who was born with severe disabilities, but is otherwise mid-to-high functioning. It has never been able to hold a job (on the few times when it was hired). I don’t know what its proper wage should have been, but clearly MW — even when half of it was covered by employer tax credits — was too much. MW did its predictable part in preventing my relative from ever acquiring significant work experience.

    Another relative had a service job that paid MW + (tax-free) tips: Total ~1.5*MW. (Legally, the employer could have paid as little as ½ of MW, and counted tips towards the difference, but Corp was trying to be progressive.) When the MW was raised (+12%), the employer determined that its compensation policy was non-competitive (i.e. too high). It adopted the industry standard of paying half. Relative’s pay dropped to the new MW (100% taxable).

    But, hey, gotta scramble a few eggs (and increase tax revenues, and make labor consultants and lawyers rich).

    • Replies: @Alden
  51. @anarchyst

    You allude quite rightly to the long term effects on an economy based on rapacity. One of the principle attacks by them on the poor has been workfare which has spread, like so many other diseases, from a country formally run by Americans. This led to brainwashed masses actually supporting policies which would in the long term impoverish them and in the long term their greed driven corporate promoters:

    Tax credits are a form of “tapering income subsidy” which, in effect, has the tax payer funding the profits of the shareholders of the companies which no longer have to pay a living wage. Workfare creates unemployment by displacing paid workers with no cost welfare/workfare substitutes. Encouraging such an economy is ultimately self-destructive as those same companies/shareholders have a declining customer base because formerly paid employees are now working for subsistence level benefits that has to be funded out of taxes which come from…..

    https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/welfare-pensions/beware-workfare

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  52. @anarchyst

    “ This even applies to CEOs, that run their corporations into the ground while still receiving massive “rewards” for their “expertise”.

    You can say the same for elected government PIG’s (people in government).

    Not only do they run blind trusts to evade insider trading, like the Clintons, Bush’s, Biden’s, who run criminal enterprises on the side protected by lifetime appointments to run the government mafia, aka Deep State.

  53. @Apu

    Thanks for that reply Apu.
    I appreciate that you took the time from your job at Kwik-e-Mart (on the Simpsons TV series), to post your message.

    The 4% unemployment rate declared by the Australian government is a MYTH.
    They admit themselves that you only need to have ONE HOUR per week of gainful employment to be declared as employed.
    If one factors in the unemployed with the significantly under-employed, then the figure is well into double digits.

    As for our wages, let me digress for a moment to the case of Norway, which is analogous to Australia’s situation in many ways.

    Fifty years or so ago, Norway had one of the lowest per capita GDP’s in Europe.
    Then they discovered North Sea OIL. Immediately there was a turnaround.

    Today GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world and they have a sovereign wealth fund with over a Trillion dollars in it. Not bad going for a country with only 5.4 million people.

    People will say that Norway is a socialist state with high taxes and a cradle to grave welfare state and that’s why they’re rich.

    No dummies – it was the OIL.

    They still managed to get rich DESPITE the squandering of countless billions on welfare entitlements and subsidies for wealth destroying unviable green energy and other boondoggles.

    Similarly, Australia with only 25.5 million people, is the world’s largest iron ore exporter, the world’s largest producer-exporter of Gold, one of the world’s largest exporters of coal, LNG, a huge exporter of agricultural output/meat/livestock and much, MUCH more.

    Distributed over 25 million people, Australia was always going to have a high hourly wage rate – no matter how much money we’ve squandered on welfare and Big Government boondoggles.

    Of course, as I mentioned before, Australian employers do not have to pay for health insurance for their employees – unlike U.S employers.

    If U.S employers were in a similar position, they could afford to pass on that money they saved towards employee wage remuneration.
    Australia has Medicare for all so no need for employers to pay for health insurance.

    However, Medicare for all is not free. Our top tax rate in Australia is around 48%. Add to the Medicare levy of around 2% or so (that all workers pay, no matter matter their tax bracket), and half your wages are gone.

    So, things are not as rosy as some people make it out to be.

    And, because there are long queues on a range of ‘non-urgent’ elective surgery through Medicare (like hip replacements etc), this entails that many Aussies end up taking private health insurance anyway.

    So not quite the utopia here in Oz that some make it out to be.

    • Thanks: CelestiaQuesta
  54. @Jack McArthur

    There are multiple citations from the pyramid age of Ancient Egypt in which the elite declare on stele that they paid fair wages for all the work they had done – their eternal life depended on it. What is a fair wage? A moral answer is that which allows a single income to support and raise a family.

    and not to forget that more than 2000 years later the bible would be the source of the “sins that cry to heaven for vengeance” which includes “injustice to the wage earner”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sins_that_cry_to_Heaven_for_Vengeance#Catholic_Church

  55. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch-Drunk-Brother writes:

    Bryan Caplan …. he’s pretty well-known in libertarian circles

    I’m a Libertarian and I’ve never heard of him – and I can assure you I’m familiar with all the substantive Libertarian aligned commentators.

    No follower of PURE untainted Libertarianism (ie: the Rothbardian/Ron Paul version), as opposed to the infiltrated type in the Libertarian Party which is choc-a-block full of pretend Libertarians, would have anything positive to say about this Caplan bloke.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  56. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch-Drunk-Brother living up to his name when he writes:

    Since Truth Vigilante has likely never had a minimum wage job, and engages with the world through libertarian cliches, he doesn’t understand that these are often the hardest, most thankless jobs of all

    I drove a taxi cab part time while I was at university as my [then] sole means of income.
    I’d work a 12 hour shift straight finishing at 3am , with no breaks other than for bladder emptying.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  57. Forget Tolkien and Harry Potter. The two most popular fantasy stories around here seem to be A) employers allowed to set their own wages will result in something other than paying as many people as few peanuts as possible, and B) someone is ever going to appear and wave their magic wand to make uncontrolled immigration and pesky amendments disappear.

    Ron came up with a creative solution and worked hard to get the bug in peoples’ ears. Kudos! Sure, it wasn’t a magic bullet… because magic bullets don’t exist. But the guy is actually trying to fix problems with the tools at hand. Y’all have mostly just put away your tools and are typing with one hand.

    Although I humbly suggest that he hire an editor. I’ll do it for the low low price of \$10 per every 500 words of the rough draft. What we’ve got here will pay my mortgage for 3 months.

    • Agree: Alden
  58. @flashlight joe

    You hit a sore spot, Joe, today, as I work on the forms to get ’em out and in the middle of the proverbial pile. Actually, I should get back to it instead of writing comments here, as isn’t the deadline today? (Shows you how much respect I have for the Infernal Revenue Service*)

    Of course you are right that the Income Tax has been an abomination that is a big factor in hampering actual Americans who would like to move up in life via hard work and not via illegal labor.

    The monetary disincentives being one of them, in Part 3 of our 3-part <a title=”"https://www.peakstupidity.com/index.php?tkid=98"Morning&#8221; href="https://www.peakstupidity.com/index.php?tkid=98"Morning Constitutional" series about the abominable Amendment XVI, Peak Stupidity listed the 5 evils of the income tax. Believe it or not, the money itself only fell in at #2 (read the post if you can’t guess #1).

    Number 5 is the regulatory burden, and here’s my take. I’m not adding insult to injury by paying MORE money to have someone figure this shit out. I take an hour or two, and if the IRS doesn’t like my numbers their computers can figure it the fuck out themselves and get back to me. (It’s gone both ways on this before.)

    See, I’m not in a good mood! I’ve also got an interesting post on American divided up into 4 classes as far as their attitudes on the income tax.

    .

    * Which is how I address them on the envelope.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  59. anonymous[870] • Disclaimer says:

    Mr Unz falls into this binary view of Liberal/Conservative..GOP/DEM scheme which is a articificial dichotomy in fact BOTH parties abandoned the Working Poor long time ago..I would say that the debate about Minimum Wage laws was NOT accidental due to political indifference quite the opposite. The second pitfall of Unz arguments is that HE asssumes again that ONLY WHITES (conservative/gop/deplorables) opposed open borders/ endless flows of illegal immigration..Blacks? Asians? Native born displaced Hispanics. Mr Unz seems detached from REAL World working people lives…The govt can declare a \$15+ minimum wage THAT does NOT mean that every worker will receive \$15..and enforcing such laws is political toxic, humanly impossible, and the burocratic/policing measures too costly. Weather Mr Unz wants to accept IT or not the major/fundamental problem of Minimum wages provisions is indeed ILLEGAL Immigration specially in agriculture/service industries..there is no way going arpund it. IT is a matetr of simple economics a large abundant (illegal) LABOR pool leads to poverty wages..And mr. Unz is delussional thinking that the GOVT can enforce wage laws, more delussional is his assertion thate illegal labor does not impact the ECONOMIC/FISCAL policies of the cities/states… many booming agricultural rich cities with large populations of illegal LABOR and their families\$\$\$ are suffering from sanitary crisis such as DENGUE/Diarrhea/Chagas and other diseases that spread because the Localities DO not have the fiscal revenues to inplement PUBLIC sanitary measure. You would think that booming labor will lead to booming fiscal revenues..in Rural CA…is NOT the case..Fresno was overwhelmed by the proliferation of mosquitos..While AGRO/retail corporations have double/triple their profits cities go bankrupt. Mr Unz also assumes (again) that people that oppose illegal immigration are ALL (white/illietrate/racists whites) purely on Economic ignorance..which is utterly false…many oppose IT because they are concern about the FUTURE of their “country”, their children..mr. Unz will regard those Civic, legal, cultural concerns as foolishness..BUT they do matter..Most people that I know do not oppose immigration they want LEGAL immigration. On a lighter note Mr Unz if you go to Salinas CA at abput 5AM you will see bus loads of illegal workers..on the papers they are earning Minimum wages…in reality they probably make less than \$10hr…and on weekends the children go along inn teh buses to work…the LAWS?? when the state inspectopr comes everyone is legal making \$15hr when the inspector leaves is back to normal..the laws are no better than toilet paper..This is teh case for garment workers, carwahers, gardeners, busboys etc. I have been there. To enforce minimun wage laws YOU must enforced LEGAL immigrations laws at the POINT of entry that is UNscapable..I will give a hint LOOK at Canada…PD Mr Unz mandatory BIlingual education still the rule in LA…you LOST…that fight…

  60. FKA Max says: • Website

    The notion of individuals and businesses carrying their own weight seems just as alien to the sort of present-day Republicans whose perspectives are welcome within the confines of the elite media. For example, a long New York Times column by Prof. Gregory Mankiw, a former top economic advisor to President George W. Bush, suggested that it was unfair and morally wrong to expect businesses to cover the costs of their own employees since the responsibility was obviously that of our society as a whole. Whereas Hillary Clinton famously declared that “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child,” the sort of thinkers who will probably be advising her Republican opponent in 2016 are suggesting that “It Takes an Entire Country to Run a Business” (or at least to pay the business’s employees). Back when I was younger, I think this notion was called “Communism,” but these days it’s considered Mainstream Republicanism.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/resurrecting-americas-minimum-wage/#p_1_195:1-151

    Absolutely love it!

    Coincidentally enough, just three days ago the Youtube algorithm recommended the following video below to me after I had searched and watched a whole slew of libertarianism-related videos on the platform, so I was extremely pleased to find this autobiographical masterpiece of an essay featured on the Unz Review, and I read it all in one sitting last night. Fantastic and absolutely outstanding work!

    Ron Unz: The Paradox of Government Subsidizing Low-Wage Work
    Aug 29, 2013 by The Aspen Institute

  61. @Achmed E. Newman

    Sorry about the munged-up links there, my fault I’m sure. (No matter I disagree with Mr. Unz quite a bit, I have no beef with his highly-functioning commenting software.)

    I went and did those taxes. The child credit stuff got hairy, so I just threw in a number on the main form, and that’s that. I’ll be danged if I’ll spend the whole afternoon on this crap.

    Here’s the Morning Constitutional (topic key) link. There’s a whole long “Peak Constitutional Amendment” series. Our take on the matter is that, with only 2 or 3 non-important exceptions, we’d all be better off if none of them had been ratified – past the initial 10 Bill of Rights, that is.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  62. Corrupt says:

    Like unions rely on prevailing wage laws to compensate for their lack of competitiveness, blue states try to force the rest of the country to raise minimum wage so they will be competitive.

  63. Polymath says:

    You recognize the appropriateness of the Central Valley having a lower minimum wage than the LA and SF metropolises so why should you regret not raising the Federal minimum wage? The states that haven’t raised theirs yet are the ones for whom it would cause more problems, a Federal minimum wage is a unidirectional restriction so must be conservative. The states are mostly doing a good job of adapting the minimum wage to their own circumstances.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  64. @Ghali

    Lemme guess, you voted for Blumpf?

  65. Alden says:
    @Abolish_public_education

    If your severely disabled relative was not able to preform any job he was paid minimum wage for, what makes you think any employer would want a severely disabled dis functional employee around for \$1.00 an hour or no wages? You’re not an employer nor have you ever functioned in any kind of managerial capacity it’s obvious. No one, even a a shift manager at McDonald’s wants a useless disabled employee around who will probably hurt himself or another employee or cause problems.

    You’re just off in Econ 101 dreamland. Consider how much trouble it is to supervise 90 IQ blacks. Start a business and employee workers. Or get some sort of management job. And you’ll learn why employers don’t want dis functional types getting into trouble around.

  66. Alden says:
    @anonymous

    When did you drop out of school? After third grade? Obviously you’ve never heard of paragraphs.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  67. Only the most utterly egregious employers of those workers have ever paid serious penalties, and the dollars involved are usually trivial compared to the economic benefits of ignoring the law. In almost all cases, “employer sanctions” have amounted to just a (small) cost of doing business. When both worker and employer have a strong mutual interest in evading a law, enforcement becomes very difficult and cumbersome, just as we have seen in the case of our endlessly violated drug laws.

    How about a federal law mandating the ‘validation’ of citizenship by means of a national registry where an Employer would send an applicant’s Social Security number? If the SSN was a valid one used by no one else and matching the age/sex of the potential worker, all would be well. If it did not, No Job.

    Any Employer who did not do this correctly would be on the hook for a one-way First Class airline ticket to a nation of the employee’s choice. Maybe also a hefty monetary fine for that employer.

    I skimmed this very long piece, but didn’t see anything objectionable. My main problem with the proposal to increase the minimum wage is my belief that neither US political party has any reason to rock the boat.

  68. Mefobills says:
    @TG

    “This relates to another perfectly valid criticism raised by anti-immigration activists, namely that the net fiscal impact of many immigrants is substantially negative. The notion that large numbers of immigrants and their families subsist on welfare or that Mexican immigrant mothers often have five or ten children is sheer nonsense.

    YES, immigration is a net negative. You cannot put lipstick on that pig.

    https://cis.org/Report/Immigration-and-American-Worker

    This report was 2013, but the effect would be even higher today:

    Illegal Immigration

    Applying the standard textbook model to illegal immigration shows that illegal immigrants increased GDP by \$395 to \$472 billion. As before, this “contribution” to the economy does not measure the net benefit to natives.

    The immigration surplus or benefit to natives created by illegal immigrants is estimated at around \$9 billion a year or 0.06 percent of GDP — six one-hundredths of 1 percent.

    Although the net benefits to natives from illegal immigrants are small, there is a sizable redistribution effect. Illegal immigration reduces the wage of native workers by an estimated \$99 to \$118 billion a year, and generates a gain for businesses and other users of immigrants of \$107 to \$128 billion.

    The above estimates are generated by the presence of additional workers in the labor market, not by the legal status of those workers.

    Then there is the BOWLING ALONE perspective. And the economic cost of a high friction civilization is not calculable, but must be somewhere close to a Trillion dollars. When people “hunker down” and turtle in place, that makes everything worse, including the desire to have economy with their fellows.


    Diversity is Fatal:

    https://nationalvanguard.org/2022/03/diversity-is-fatal/

    What Putnam showed was that when diversity proliferates people tend to “hunker down.” That is, they don’t feel free and easy about going outside; they feel afraid. You never know what you might find out there — or what might find you. So lock the doors and close the blinds, put that TV dinner in, and watch some network pap. That will keep your mind off the Road Warrior terrain and urban hellscape outside your apartment.

    At least for a little while.

    The more diverse society gets, the more the bonds of community are broken, the more the social fabric is frayed, the more alienation there is. People become fearful of one another because they don’t recognize in the the other someone like themselves. These others seem to have strange customs, or bizarre ones, they act differently, and they often will speak an indecipherable language.

    This bodes ill for social trust.

    Simple survival becomes much more of a concern.

    Not only does one separate oneself from the other races — which would be a positive thing — but, tragically and disastrously, also from members of one’s own race.

    That is, the hunkering down is well nigh universal. Margaret Thatcher said “there is no such thing as society,” but she was a libertarian mercenary. Of course there is such a thing as society, and such a thing as community, but only in homogenous nations. There is truly no society in “diverse” ones. It is all just atomized individuals, no social trust, no social cohesion — it is a dog-eat-dog world; the war of all against all.

    In a high trust society, then something like a minimum wage law is a moot point. Radiating waves of kinship do not have an issue with taxes that support their own kin.

    It a multi-culti hellscape, taxes taken and then distributed to the “other” are a hard sell.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @Alden
  69. @anonymous

    That was a very good comment on the illegal immigration side, #870, though I agree with Alden about the paragraph thing.

    Regarding legal immigration, hell no, that’s not how most people feel! No, don’t look to Canada. No matter that plenty of working class people are of other races, when you change the basic population make-up of the country, you have changed the country. Canada was, what 98% White, back in the day?

    Cheap LEGAL immigrant labor is a problem too. How would you not know this? The use of who are basically indentured servant H-1B immigrant visa holders has changed job prospects for actual Americans drastically for the worse the software field, for example.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  70. @Truth Vigilante

    Driving a taxi is not a minimum wage job. The average cab driver makes \$15-20 an hour.

    Source:
    https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/taxi-driver-salary

    If you made less than the equivalent of that in the time period’s dollars your company was screwing you.

    And you clearly have heard of Bryan Caplan as you seem to hold a strong opinion of him.

    “True Libertarianism has never been tried!”

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  71. Minimum wage talk is a distractionary rhetorical lure to avoid focusing on the IMMIGRATION invasion going on in European Christian nations.

    Trump won in 2016 because he focused on stopping mass illegal immigration and reducing mass legal immigration and building a wall.

    Trump lost in 2020 because he didn’t build a wall and Trump didn’t deport the illegal alien invaders, and Trump lost because he was ranting and raving about flooding the USA with mass legal immigration “in the largest numbers ever.”

    Trump just endorsed JD Vance in Ohio and a lot of that has to do with JD Vance making the case that illegal immigration is out of control under Biden and that legal immigration must be at a level that doesn’t harm the best interests of the US citizens and the USA as a whole.

    Minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour? fine.

    BACK TO IMMIGRATION ISSUE

    [MORE]

    Tweet from 2015:

  72. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Mefobills

    Margaret Thatcher said “there is no such thing as society,” but she was a libertarian mercenary.

    Thatcher was a neo-liberal, not a libertarian.

    London Journal; Now It’s Noblesse Oblige vs. the Trickle-Downers
    Oct. 31, 1990
    https://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/31/world/london-journal-now-it-s-noblesse-oblige-vs-the-trickle-downers.html or https://archive.ph/uexQE

    Scathing critique of Thatcher by British libertarian Sean Gabb, highly recommended viewing:

    Sean Gabb – Margaret Thatcher – Hero or Villain? (PFS 2016)
    Oct 1, 2016 by Property and Freedom Society

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  73. kemerd says:

    Paying workers higher wages is also probably best way of collecting taxes from rich. They create themselves a lot of loopholes for not paying taxes but they cannot avoid paying wages if they want their companies to function.

    In addition to moral imperative that an honest hard-working person must be able to provide for his family, a high minimum wage is good policy. 15\$ is probably still too low in many places given the fact that the latest hikes in housing costs but I don’t believe any business have any right to exist if it cannot afford to pay decent wages to its workers.

    • Replies: @Lurch685
  74. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    No follower of PURE untainted Libertarianism (ie: the Rothbardian/Ron Paul version), as opposed to the infiltrated type in the Libertarian Party which is choc-a-block full of pretend Libertarians, would have anything positive to say about this Caplan bloke.

    https://fallacyinlogic.com/no-true-scotsman-fallacy/

    Definition
    No true Scotsman fallacy occurs when someone attempts to defend a universal claim by excluding any counter-examples for not being “pure” enough.

    In other words, they reject instances that don’t fit into the category by changing the definition to a more specific one, rather than acknowledging the evidence that contradicts the generalization.

    Note that in this fallacy “Scotsmen” can be replaced with any other group.

    _______________

    Libertarianism is a Jewish dialectic, and it cannot be defended as it has internal contradictions. For example, free movement of labor and capital, to then get the best return, is a nation-wrecker ideology. Capital wants to make sordid gain, and if that means importing cheap labor, then so be it.

    Libertarians are nation wreckers.

  75. Rick Santorum did indeed endorse raising the minimum wage, and Santorum also talked a great deal about about American voters without college degrees, but Santorum also wanted to staple a green card to the diploma of every foreigner interloper who got a degree from a US university.

    Minimum wage talk is fine, but the main focus must be on these policy prescriptions:

    Immigration Moratorium

    Deportation Of All Illegal Alien Invaders

    Immediate Halt To Refugee Overload Flood

    Immediate Halt To Asylum Seeker Inundation

    Whites Without College Degrees can be grabbed by the Republican Party by means of an immigration issue Viking raid on the last remaining Whites Without College Degrees in the Democrat Party coalition.

    Minimum wage talk is used by the Democrat Party and the Labour Party in England to deflect and avoid having to talk about the wage-reducing effects of mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration.

    The Trump endorsement of JD Vance for Republican Party US Senate primary in Ohio is a good indicator that Trump might be getting back to base on the immigration issue. This horrible shyster who was running in the primary contest against JD Vance, Josh Mandel, backed Marco Rubio for president in 2015, and Rubio is a mass immigration fanatic millstone that the GOP must sink in the political pond.

    Rubio supports amnesty for illegal alien invaders and Rubio wants to flood the USA with double or triple the already massive legal immigration numbers. Josh Mandel endorsed Marco Rubio for president in 2015. Trump crushed Rubio on the immigration issue in 2015 and 2016.

    I referenced Rick Santorum’s green card staple immigration extremism in 2019:

    Rick Santorum was talking some sense on reducing immigration to boost wages for Americans and to reduce the nation-wrecking aspects of mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration, but even Santorum was caught up in the fanatic extremism of the Republican Party Cheap Labor Faction’s call for green cards to be stapled to the diploma of all foreigners in the USA.

    I confronted Santorum on this at a presidential primary town hall and I said the foreigners shouldn’t be here at all and I said that the foreigner student visa scam was a special interest ploy to drag more foreigners into the USA.

    Santorum dropped that “staple a green card to the diploma of foreigner STEM students” crud later on in the campaign.

    Nick Fuentes and his Groyper Patriot Army are doing great work by hammering the propaganda whores of the GOP ruling class and the GOP Cheap Labor Faction on this “green card stapled to foreigner diplomas” stuff.

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/the-green-card-staple/#comment-3560032

    Tweet from 2014:

    [MORE]

  76. anonymous[870] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    BUT Compare Canada vrs USA..who is better off? immigration/LABOR/Economics/FISCALLY/CULTURALLY…?? Without LEGAL immigrants LABOR …Canada could NOT replace its Labor force…Canada could NOT compete in the Global economy..I disagreed with you about HB labor. In Canada they paid\$ is comparable with domestic workers…and employers/employees are strictly supervise regaridng SALARY/job benefits/VISA requirements .etc. In the USA the Left/liberal/DEMs let mass influx of illegal labor and they dont care about their fate.(no minimum wages, no health benefits, no OT paid, 6days/12hrs work shifts, sex abuse/child labor…) the LEFT/DEM are hypocrite LIARS…. they care nothing about the consequences for cities/states…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  77. anon[107] • Disclaimer says:

    Mmmmm-
    What used to be minimum wage jobs that you just filled out an application, now they want a resume, experience and education for that pay raise. So people moving into new fields, young just starting out, retirees looking for part time or full time work could find they aren’t qualified for that minimum wage job at McDonalds. Now it would be specialty work? When I was young all the high school kids worked at McDonalds for spending money, now it’s a career choice at 15 an hour. Two cheese burgers fries and a drink medium is \$11 and change. People on fixed incomes can’t get a job there and cant afford to eat there either, especially older people who find they need to go back to work but can’t find a job. They may find they are still penalized for not having health insurance too in the great state of california.

  78. anonymous[870] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden

    ALDEN is the COMMENTS section..duh.It is NOT your PHD panel..Alden ..IF you are a boy…let me tell you IF a girl offers you Kiddie dont ask about race/weight/time/…go and FUCK it…

  79. Lurch685 says:

    I like Ron’s writing and website, but raising the compulsory unemployment law in the weakest economy we’ve had in decades is the dumbest policy proposal I have ever heard. Yeah, let’s force the overwhelming majority of low wage workers into unemployment by making them unemployable. That’ll sure show the Mexicans who will do their job for \$3/hour!

    The only way to fix the economy is a multifaceted approach: mass deportation of illegal aliens, slashing of business regulations that benefit large corporations and hurt mom and pop shops, and the abolition of the federal reserve and restoration of sound fiscal policy.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  80. Mefobills says:
    @FKA Max

    Neo-liberal vs Libertarian is only one degree of separation. Both are Jewish dialectics.

    People like Mises and Hayek, working in the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, worried about how a rump nation like Austria could get along in a global landscape. They were afraid of rising nation states calling the shots by doing things like RAISING TARIFFS, especially nations governed by democracies that recognized the interests of national labor.

    How could (((capitalists))) survive without a vast network of colonies to rely on for resources? How could they protect themselves from interference in business, seizure of property, or god forbid debt cancelation!

    What Lolbertarians, Atlantacists, Finance Capitalists (and Neo-liberals) want is a SACRED space free from such turmoil, a transcendent world economy where capital, labor, and goods could flow without restraint.

    Capitalists are to be secure from the demands of national labor through their representative democracies.

    The donor class runs the creditor democracies from behind the scenes.

    Lolbertarianism, by demeaning government, acts as smoke screen so that the donor class can continue to take rents, usury, and unearned income, while remaining hidden from view.

    • Agree: Humbert Humbert
    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @Anon
  81. Ron Unz: “And in a widely discussed Vanity Fair article, Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz characterized today’s America as being a country “Of the One Percent, By the One Percent, and For the One Percent.” This state of affairs is clearly not beneficial to the less wealthy 99 percent of our society, but he also pointed out that the obvious potential for social instability should deeply concern the more thoughtful members of the One Percent themselves.”

    I have to wonder how much of this self-congratulatory article is motivated by self-interest. Ron’s certainly a member of the One Percent he’s talking about, and really, it seems to me the only way to affect the distribution of wealth is just to straightforwardly tax it and redistribute it. Raising the minimum wage won’t do it, since the effect would be inflationary, companies passing along their increased costs by increasing prices, thus almost immediately eating up any rise in the standard of living for the working poor who received the pay increase. It’s a perpetual motion machine.

    Of course, a direct tax on accumulated wealth that actually hurt the rich has a lot of problems. It would be hard to make work as a practical matter and is probably unconstitutional. Then too, would we really want gov’t bureaucrats deciding who gets what fair share of the wealth? It could be argued with some truth that that’s what’s happening now anyway via affirmative action schemes, minority set-asides and preferences; they’re just being more subtle about it. Yet these things hurt the white poor and middle class much more than the rich, so they really don’t address the problem. If you want a more equitable society in terms of the distribution of wealth there’s just no way around a revolutionary, communist-style confiscation.

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @FKA Max
  82. Lurch685 says:
    @kemerd

    “but I don’t believe any business have any right to exist if it cannot afford to pay decent wages to its workers.“

    Good thing it’s not up to you. Who the fuck do you think you are to decide what businesses “deserve” to exist?

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  83. I’m usually a “let the market solve its own problems” guy but when you have CEOs making 300x what entry-level workers make then I’d say you have an issue that the private sector isn’t adequately able to address. I’m not sure what the answer is, either. Maybe workers should do what others have suggested–quit and find some other job. In a lot of rural America, Wal-Mart is the only game in town.

  84. @anonymous

    Without LEGAL immigrants LABOR …Canada could NOT replace its Labor force…Canada could NOT compete in the Global economy..

    Hogwash! Canada doesn’t need to “compete in the Global economy”. The country has a lot of resources (that unfortunately the provinces in the east rip off from the west) and it HAD a decent hard-working White population, making it a nice place to live*. It could do just fine – all that lumber and wheat? Charge for it! Quebec has got hydro power out the ying-yang too.

    Then, take a look at Japan. It’s got a population that is getting older and shrinking slightly so far and will more quickly in the future. So freaking what. They still have 5 times as many people as California in slightly less land. They are automating. If they are able to resist the Globalists incessant push for DIE-versity, Japan will be the country of the future, as in the better 1970s sci-fi movies, not the dystopian ones that we are living in.

    Immigration Moratorium NOW! Send everyone but citizens back, NOW! Border control, NOW!

    .

    * If you like the cold, which I surely don’t.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  85. @Ghali

    ‘“High immigration” was not the reason that American workers fall on economic hard times. The primary cause was, American corporations relocating their manufacturing off shore to harvest the benefits of cheap labour and tax intensives offered by countries like China, India, Indonesia among many others…’

    Both, actually.

  86. I still can’t get through this.

    [Existing pay > MW] would be true for government employees, resulting in negligible cost to the taxpayer.

    Negligible difference or not, the cost to taxpayers is the gov worker’s entire salary (welfare for the college educated, actually); though the damage his bureaucratic efforts inflict on the private sector often costs substantially more: Think brains bricked by public school teachers.

    Every protection granted to gov workers is taxpayer unfriendly. While a GW often provides negative value (see above), MW prevents that worker’s “pay” from ever falling close to its true worth. For example, a freshly minted schoolteacher might get paid ~MW. Her true worth, if any, is really only about the equivalent of a single apartment, three squares, and a small stipend. For the duration of the (90 day) term. Think Ichabod Crane.

    While MW infringes on the right to private contract, when it’s imposed as a legislative mandate upon the executive, it violates the doctrine of Separation. A legislature has no business telling the governor how much he should pay his subordinates.

  87. @Lurch685

    Good thing it’s not up to you. Who the fuck do you think you are to decide what businesses “deserve” to exist?

    Heroin is a business. Human trafficking is a business. Yet we as a society have determined these businesses don’t deserve to exist and have therefore outlawed them.

    Likewise, if a business model requires paying employees so little that a full-time worker can’t even get started in adult life then that business model is immoral and dishonorable and should be dismantled.

    Businesses are not holy institutions. Businesses exist to serve the populace, not the other way around. Anything that exploits, weakens, demoralizes the people is to be abhorred.

    We’d be better off with fewer fast-food joints and Wal-Mart’s. F’em.

    • Agree: silviosilver
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Realist
  88. Tony B. says:

    The whole concept of a minimum wage is a talmudic “use ’em like cattle” concept.

    For centuries, when the Catholic Church was still Catholic, pope after pope wrote and spoke for FAIR or LIVING wages, not minimum wages. They described a fair wage, a living wage, as one that allowed families comfort in their needs with the free time to do their duties to family and to God.

    As a kid before WW2 I knew that people were generally hard up but I didn’t know the only reason was the talmudic misuse of the exchange media under their federal reserve scam.

    Still, monopoly corporations had little control of local wages, local business still being largely local. Most businesses were privately, family or small local partnership owned. “Companies” (parnerships) were fairly common but corporations were pretty much foreign out of the cities. Employers largely knew their employees personally. Wages were set accordingly. Women worked only as a last resort. A head of a family of five or six and a young man doing basically the same work generally were NOT paid identically. Each was paid a living wage according to his needs as fairly as the business could allow. Wages grew with new responsibilities of employees. Merit raises were given if the business could afford them but necessities were first priority. No one got a raise just because he had been around X number of years.

    This system works PROVIDED THE MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE IS MADE HONEST, something this nation has seldom had. The green backs were not perfect but at least they did not exist as loans owed to the total talmudic Jewish cabal headquartered then and now in the “City of London” and still sucking out a portion of every last transaction anywhere by anyone.

    So long as the exchange medium is created as loans at usury, or any charge, economies are forced to forever grow, expand, call it what you will, but the loan holder is forever sucking the economy dry while becoming rich beyond imagination at the expense of everyone else.

    True exchange medium amounts to coupons used to equalize exchanges only, and at no charge, allowing a true economy to solidly exist forever without insane expansion for no legitimate needs.

    Meanwhile, until the criminality is curtailed by force, debts created only to feed the leaches who have created the debt media as their property will continue to pauperize every economy on earth for the greed and control of the criminal few.

  89. Alden says:

    I remember Walmart ads featuring their employees. It was all about how Walmart employees generously gave back to the community by volunteering to work at the food bank and the annual Christmas toys for poor kids.
    Everyone who saw those ads laughed. Because on what they made Walmart employees were all eligible for food stamps. And the only way they’d get toys for their kids would be to sign up for all the charities.

  90. Alden says:
    @Mefobills

    Great post, thank you so much

  91. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Mefobills

    Recommended reading for you:

    Libertarianism, the Alt-Right and AntiFa
    October 20, 2017 by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    https://www.unz.com/article/libertarianism-the-alt-right-and-antifa/

    [MORE]

    Many libertarians hold the view that all that is needed to maintain a libertarian social order is the strict enforcement of the non-aggression principle (NAP). Otherwise, as long as one abstains from aggression, according to their view, the principle of “live and let live” should hold.
    […]
    The lesson? The peaceful cohabitation of neighbors and of people in regular direct contact with each other on some territory—a tranquil, convivial social order—requires also a commonality of culture: of language, religion, custom and convention. There can be peaceful co-existence of different cultures on distant, physically separated territories, but multi-culturalism, cultural heterogeneity, cannot exist in one and the same place and territory without leading to diminishing social trust, increased tension, and ultimately the call for a “strong man” and the destruction of anything resembling a libertarian social order.

    Libertarianism is a preferred worldview and structuring of society, that is most popular among White males: https://www.cato.org/blog/libertarians-are-more-racially-diverse-people-realize or https://archive.ph/6PMOL
    Sure, some or even most important, past and current thinkers and leaders within the politically organized libertarian movement are ethnically Jewish, but that doesn’t mean that they have a monopoly on the libertarian philosophy and way of life. They just have been its mainstream interpreters and public representatives and faces for decades especially in the U.S., and which probably hasn’t helped the cause to have Libertarianism be more widely adopted and be properly understood by the general public, for some of reasons you cited. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater though, would be me advice to you.

    This is my favorite, public, distinctly non-Jewish Face of Libertarianism, also named Ron, who practices “Welfare Avoidance” 😉

    IMHO, Ron Swanson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Swanson has probably properly and also very efficiently and effectively educated more ordinary, non-elite Americans and non-Americans all around the world about the benefits of non-crony Capitalism and Libertarianism than even Ron Paul and/or the non-Jewish Koch brothers capitalists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers

    Since his worldview and memes have been going viral on Youtube and social media, etc. for many years:

    Ron Swanson Loves Capitalism and Libertarianism | Parks and Recreation

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  92. niceland says:

    This is interesting read, just like the article about your prior campaign regarding bi-lingual education. Incredible achievement, it’s a shame this one didn’t run to it’s conclusion because lack of funds – if only to see the effects.

    Thanks!

  93. Ron Unz says:
    @Polymath

    You recognize the appropriateness of the Central Valley having a lower minimum wage than the LA and SF metropolises so why should you regret not raising the Federal minimum wage? The states that haven’t raised theirs yet are the ones for whom it would cause more problems, a Federal minimum wage is a unidirectional restriction so must be conservative. The states are mostly doing a good job of adapting the minimum wage to their own circumstances.

    Not really. My point was that \$15 was probably too high for the Central Valley, but \$12 would have been fine, so a \$12 statewide figure would work.

    Similarly, \$15 would be far too high on the federal level, but I think \$12 would be alright. Again, lots of other developed countries have much higher MWs, as did America itself during the peak of our national economic prosperity.

    Relative to economic productive, the 1968 MW would be something like \$22 or \$23 right now. Here’s an interesting graph showing the sharp divergence between worker wages and total American productivity:

    https://www.epi.org/publication/raising-americas-pay/

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Yevardian
  94. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    NO and absolutely wrong…Canada is below population replacement (yes specially among WHITE Canadians) and so is Japan. BUT Canada has stringent immigrantion policies which extend beyond socioeconomic criteria. Canada has voluntary and INvoluntary social bench marks sepcially LANGUAGE, and other CULTURAL assimilationists policies. Although Canadians tolerate the multidiversity narrative..the official STATE polices focus on being Canadian. On a footnote ,In fact I would go as far as saying that in Canada due to crossracial births ,the term “WHITE” is being REDEFINED… The only “white” European country that has been able to resist the influx of illegal immigrants from Africa, MEast, is Hungary. They have been injecting huge social investments to subsidize more (white) childbirths among their working low/upper Middle Classes…and Its being effective (Natalism). In my view the only hope for the USA are 1) Immigration policies that control the borders and emphasize assimilation of LEGAL immigrants 2) Reclaim ECONOMIC (industrial/tech) Nationalism and 3) RE/foundation of its POLITICAL ideological/Cultural Fabric..1+2 will lead to higher economic standars and thus HIGHER WAGES…huh? whats that the original topic..? BUT again YOU can NOT decouple both IMMIGRATION and WAGES.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Anon
  95. @Anonymous

    The only “white” European country that has been able to resist the influx of illegal immigrants from Africa, MEast, is Hungary.

    “Been able to”? You mean made an effort with politicians that actually care about the people. (In this case, actual Hungarians.

    In my view the only hope for the USA are 1) Immigration policies that control the borders and emphasize assimilation of LEGAL immigrants.

    First of all, why can’t you see the parallels between illegal and legal as far as the effect of lowering wages for the people? Is it because one set is at the low end and one at the upper-middle? Either way, Canadians (and Americans) would be able to work jobs to support families, as they used to, without a) the massive 50-year ongoing immigration invasion, and b) the outsourcing of manufacturing to China.

    You understand Toronto is majority non-White and Vancouver is half Chinese, don’t you? Do you understand anything about the numbers? Toronto will be a black city and Vancouver will be a Chinese city. How in the hell is that assimilation? Assimilation only works for small numbers, maybe 1-2% of the population being foreigners. Do you know what the number is in the US? It’s something in the high teens right now. Tell me the number for Canada.

    Numbers Matter!

  96. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    it seems to me the only way to affect the distribution of wealth is just to straightforwardly tax it and redistribute it […] Then too, would we really want gov’t bureaucrats deciding who gets what fair share of the wealth? […] If you want a more equitable society in terms of the distribution of wealth there’s just no way around a revolutionary, communist-style confiscation.

    The stock market is the non-violent, productive and most efficient solution to this problem. I just recently had a lengthy discussion/debate on this very topic, in the following comments thread: https://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-dollar-devours-the-euro/?showcomments#comment-5290808

    Excerpts:

    [MORE]

    a/the stock market is a way for ordinary citizens/workers to own a part of the means of production and thus participate in the profits hopefully generated by the companies they are invested in, without the state having to redistribute wealth violently and/or inefficiently/unproductively.
    […]
    Studies have also shown (see below) that in stock market-centric, capitalistic economic systems there is a lot of churn among the richest families and individuals in relatively short periods/amounts of time, so power can never be concentrated and consolidated in the hands of just a few individuals and families for too long, which usually helps to deal with wealth inequalities more effectively than in feudalistic and communistic economic systems, which are usually controlled over many generations by only a few elite bloodlines

  97. Anon[956] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mefobills

    But most people hate on the “capitalists”/billionaires, i.e. not hidden from view?

  98. Anon[956] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bragadocious

    What does the market have to do with CEOs making 300x what entry-level workers make?

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  99. Anon[939] • Disclaimer says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Heroin…/Human trafficking does exist, but not for law-abiding citizens.

  100. Anon[163] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    …below population replacement… just occurs out of nowhere?

  101. @Mefobills

    MoFo-Bill writes:

    Libertarians are nation wreckers.

    Dr Ron Paul is the highest profile Libertarian in the world. Let’s look at his resume:

    1) Captain in the USAF during the Vietnam War where he was a surgeon that attempted to put back together dismembered and mutilated soldiers.
    2) Specialist Obstetrician in private practice that delivered over 4000 babies
    3) Congressman since the 1970’s that was the sole dissenting ‘no vote’ in House of Reps votes that went 434 to 1 (usually these bills were for increasing Defence appropriations/increased surveillance of citizens/diminishment of civil liberties etc), than ALL the other 434 to 1 votes in the entire post WWII period combined.
    4) One of Dr Paul’s first votes in Congress was in 1976 when there was a vote on whether or not to mandate a rushed-to-market vaccine for the alleged Swine Flu that was going around.
    The vote went 433 to 2 in the House. The sole no votes were Dr Paul and the only other medical doctor in the House of Reps.
    Needless to say the vaccine was a debacle and thousands were severely injured. The vaccine was withdrawn after dozens died.
    5) Fast forward to 2020 and Dr Paul was the FIRST high profile ex politician or medical doctor to come out and call out the Covid Psyop with this 4 min video titled ‘The Coronavirus Hoax’:

    https://www.brighteon.com/1c32b6b0-e83f-4f3b-8d79-78cc31a00672

    I urge everyone to watch that video that came out in MARCH 2020, ie: at the VERY START and see how prescient Dr Paul was.
    Everything he forecast in that video played out exactly as he said it would.
    6) Dr Pail has been a fearless advocate of auditing then ENDING the Federal Reserve. Yes, that same Fed that is the endless money tree for the Zio cabal with which it can fund the endless misery that grips the planet since its formation in 1913.
    NO OTHER INDIVIDUAL in Congress has had the guts to make this an issue for even one minute – let alone the five decades that Dr Paul has been relentlessly campaigning for.
    7) Ron Paul is the ONLY politician advocating for the U.S to close ALL of its over 900 bases in 130 countries and bring all the troops home, concurrent with the U.S withdrawing from ALL foreign military misadventures and theatres of war that it’s engaged in.

    Yes UR readers, MoFo-Bill said all these things constitute NATION WRECKING.

    Only a dickhead would say such a thing about Dr Ron Paul and his ilk in the Libertarian community.
    Ron Paul is a LIVING TREASURE.

    Only a despicable MoFo would think otherwise.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  102. Anon[956] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mefobills

    Libertarians are proponents of individual sovreignty.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  103. @RockaBoatus

    Fair points all, as to illegal aliens. Now what about the millions of native-born US citizens who work for a grossly inadequate minimum wage?

  104. @Achmed E. Newman

    You’re right that the minimum wage needs to be indexed to automatically increase with inflation — and it must be an honestly measured inflation rate that does NOT exclude housing, fuel, or food costs (purportedly because of their “volatility”).

    But imagine the burden and unfairness to small businesses, over time, if the wages they must pay their workers increases at the rate of inflation, but they also simultaneously pay federal (and usually, state) income taxes on inflationary (illusory) “gains.”

    Index the minimum wage to inflation, sure, but also index the employers’ income for inflation. None of us, including individuals (not corporations) who employ others, should pay tax on “increases” in income that merely keep up with inflation and nothing more. If there must be an individual income tax on the non-elite, the income brackets must be adequately indexed for inflation, again including housing, fuel, and grocery costs; they have not been.

    Other than worker’s-compensation premiums, reduce the amount that smaller employers pay to the federal and state governments in taxes, by more adequately indexing brackets for inflation and lowering the rates that most small businesses pay. Then require the employers to share some of that tax savings with their workers through a minimum wager that is higher and amply indexed for inflation.

    Less for the government AND more both for workers and their human (not corporate) employers. What a novel concept.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  105. @Punch Brother Punch

    \$15-17 already IS minimum wage in Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, Seattle, and other cities, and rightfully so. Any Uber/Lyft driver earning that amount per hour after his expenses is earning less than minimum wage in those cities.

  106. @flashlight joe

    Why not 10 million? Think how rich we’ll all be!
    Then we can pay off the debt with trillion dollar coins.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  107. Yevardian says:
    @Ron Unz

    Trickle-Down Economics in action. Paul Craig Roberts should be proud.

  108. The Libertarian minded commenters in this thread have come close to answering the question I’m about to pose while those like Mofo-Bill and his Big Government statist authoritarian offsiders are clueless as usual.

    The big question that needs to be addressed is:

    WHY have wages for entry level workers in the U.S failed to keep up with alleged productivity ?

    Ron Unz posts a graph in his comment # 93 which shows productivity climbing over the last 50 years in the U.S with hourly compensation lagging far behind.

    For some reason this graph has a line going through the year 1973, implying that this was the pivotal year but closer inspection shows that divergence began on or about mid-late 1971 (which just so happens to be when Nixon took the U.S off the gold standard and America went on the disastrous Fiat Monetary experiment which ALWAYS ends badly in the end – with NO exceptions).

    We have to ask ourselves, did business owners get more greedy in the last 50 years. ? My contention is that there have ALWAYS been a subset of business owners (and teachers and doctors and farmers and brain surgeons etc) that have been greedy, unscrupulous and conscience free in every era.

    However, the circumstances that have been engineered by the Zio owned Fed, utilising a Fiat Monetary system, have ENABLED an environment where this situation has been exacerbated.

    In relation to the graph of rising productivity posted by Ron Unz, this is misleading when compared to productivity gains from before the 1970’s.

    In simple terms, productivity is all about maximising output for a given level of workers employed.

    So, if you had a call centre in the U.S employing hundreds of domestic workers, if you sack the lot of them and instead contract out to India, your output may be unchanged but seeing as you have less workers on your U.S payroll, this shows up as a productivity improvement.

    Same goes for the major corporations that have moved their manufacturing base to other countries and offshored jobs.
    And I think most of us agree that this offshoring of jobs was accelerated in the U.S post NAFTA in the last 25 years.

    Meanwhile, a basic lesson in economics is forthcoming because we seem to lose sight of this one simple concept that is at the root of wage compensation deterioration.

    [MORE]

    Tens of thousands of years ago, when someone within a tribe died, they’d dig a hole by hand or using crude implements to bury them. This was no doubt labour intensive and tedious.

    Then, at some point later on, someone invented what today we’d identify as the first shovel which greatly expedited the digging of holes for graves, wells or whatever other purpose.

    Fast forward to the 20th century and a large excavator operated by one man can dig the equivalent of what it took 100 men 100 days to accomplish in the Bronze Age.

    American workers in the 20th century used these large excavators and thus their productivity was orders of magnitude greater than those of workers in 3rd world shit holes that used primitive tools.

    The American worker did NOT work a longer shift than the 3rd world equivalent.
    The American worker did NOT sweat more profusely than his foreign counterpart in the process.

    The American worker was more productive BECAUSE OF THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT in plant and machinery by his employer that enabled him to be more productive than workers in other countries.

    This is the business model that America operated under for most of its existence prior to the last 50 years.
    American businesses and corporations, operating under a low tax environment prior to FDR and his New Deal (in fact a NO TAX environment seeing as there was NO corporate or income tax until early in the 20th century), would be incentivised to make a buck.

    With said profits and after the workers were well compensated with the highest wages in the world relative to other countries, some would be paid out to shareholders in the way of dividends and the bulk of the remainder would be invested in plant and machinery and R & D – to make sure that said U.S corporation was at the cutting edge in technological terms.

    So, what happened in the last 50 years ?

    Answer: The U.S economy was financialised. It became more profitable to minimise expenditure in Capital Investment and Research and Development (R & D), and instead Wall Street and the financial hustlers pocketed the difference while U.S industry incrementally produced poorer quality products with every passing year using existing outdated methods and technology and ageing plant and equipment.

    Let’s look at what has happened at an accelerated rate post the 2008 GFC in the world of a ZERO or near zero Federal Fund Rate where corporations could borrow at 25 or 50 basis points. (ie: one quarter to one half of one percent interest rates).

    Look at this article titled ‘U.S. companies spent record \$1 trillion buying back own stock this year’:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/copmanies-spent-record-1-trillion-buying-back-their-own-stock-this-year/

    That article was from 2018 but that year was NOT an outlier. U.S corporations have been spending even greater sums in recent years buying back their own stock.
    Total stock buy-backs post the 2008 GFC are well north of ten trillion.

    Question: WHERE did this \$10 trillion come from ?
    Answer: A big chunk came from profits. Instead of investing the bulk of their profits in plant and equipment, R & D etc, they instead BOUGHT BACK THEIR SHARES.

    Instead of paying say a 4% dividend to shareholders from their profits, these corporations BORROWED at 0.25% and thus made a 3.75% windfall profit from this arrangement.

    And if the borrowing rate stays at 0.25% then the servicing of these borrowing is all good.
    But the PRINCIPAL borrowed is unchanged and when interest rates go up, which they inevitably will, ALL of these heavily indebted U.S companies (and that’s most of them), will all go bust.

    More importantly, the profits from U.S companies over the last 14 years don’t come even remotely close to the \$10 trillion plus corporations have spent on share buy-backs.
    The BULK of that money is also borrowed. That’s why the U.S stock market (just like the bond market) is an illusory house of cards that will topple spectacularly – taking the U.S economy with it.

    Question: WHY would U.S companies undertake such reckless borrowing to buy back their own shares ?

    Answer: Most U.S companies have had flat earnings in NOMINAL TERMS post the 2008 GFC but miraculously manage to report Earning Per Share (EPS) growth year after year and this is reported triumphantly on the Zio owned MSM business channels and results in share price appreciation.

    Some companies, like Tesla Motor Corp HAVE NEVER MADE A PROFIT ON ANY CAR THEY’VE EVER MADE.
    They haemorrhage RED INK ON EVERY CAR THEY SELL.
    The only reason that Tesla has reported some minuscule profits in the last year or so is because of TAX CREDITS and other financial chicanery from the U.S government.

    How can the earnings be flat in nominal terms and yet EPS is going up, you ask ?

    Well, let’s tax an imaginary company X that has 2 billion shares issued and makes a \$10 billion profit in a given year.
    Earnings (\$10 Bill) divided by Shares on issue (2 billion) = \$5 of EPS.

    Now, let’s assume that the company buys back 5% of its stock, When that happens, the 5% of shares that have been purchased are now been CANCELLED and there are now 1.9 billion shares on issue.

    If the following year this Company X makes the SAME profit of \$10 billion, this is divided by the new LOWER number of shares on issue (1.9 billion) to yield an EPS of \$5.26.

    ie: a 26 cents earnings per share improvement on the previous year.

    And the Zio owned MSM business channels will be euphoric and trumpet out loud how U.S stocks and thereby American ingenuity are leading the world.

    Bottom Line: It’s a ALL ONE GIANT FRAUD.

    U.S corporations are NOT investing in Capital Equipment that would allow increased productiity to be passed on in the form or higher wages.

    This is ALL BY DESIGN.

    The Zio cabal always intended to IMPOVERISH the middle class because an impoverished citizenry is a COMPLIANT citizenry and more likely to be prostrate itself to the ruling elite, less likely to bite the hand that feeds it, more likely to inject experimental mRNA gene therapies masquerading as Covid vaccines into their eyeballs because their wise government overlords told them it was safe.

    This is where we’re at. It started with the destruction of a SOUND MONEY monetary system (the Gold Standard in 1971) and implementation of a Fiat Monetary abomination in its place.

    Yet, there exists a Mofo here in the UR commentary that continually uses PROJECTION to claim that the Libertarians are Zio aligned when it’s obvious to all that the MoFo and his messiah Michael Hudson are the useful idiots advocating on behalf of the Fiat Monetary System that greatly enriches the Zio miscreants and leaves many of us destitute.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
    • Thanks: RoatanBill
    • Replies: @Mefobills
  109. @RadicalCenter

    No big argument with your take on income tax, RC, but you may notice from my other comments here that I am against the whole idea, PERIOD. (In that one post I linked to above, I have 5 big reasons the income tax has been evil for America.)

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  110. @Adam Smith

    Thanks, Adam, and Flashlight Joe. I’ve got a trillion dollar coin burning a hole in my pocket right now. … oh, I forgot to mention it’s a Zimbabwean trillion dollar coin. It’s been a tough call between a Kardashians poster or a Snickers bar.

    This may be you, America.

  111. @Anon

    “The market” is broadly defined as anything the private sector does, so that includes board decisions and executive pay.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  112. Reaper says:
    @Jack McArthur

    “What is a fair wage? A moral answer is that which allows a single income to support and raise a family. ”

    Disagree.
    A fair wage is depends on the quality of work.
    Not on personal needs.

    Worker 1 outperforms 2-3 others than a fair wage for him is 2-3 times of the average.
    But if worker 2 is a low quality workforce then the fair wage for him can be even less than the minimal wage (when the only reason why kept employed because needs numbers).

    Anyway this is not just about fair business, but also eugenics: that is for the better when the best performing ones able to have large families.

  113. Mefobills says:
    @FKA Max

    You are ate up the same as Truth Vigilante. You want me to watch your cult heroes. Did it even occur to you that I might be fully versed on Libertarian doctrine?

    The core doctrine of Lolbertarianism is the FREE movement of labor, goods, and gold money.

    Capital is to go wherever to make gains.

    No amount of recommended reading changes the core doctrine.

    Libertarians have quite the Hutzpah to show up at a “minimum wage” article. Minimum wages are not necessary if you have a homogenous population. Lol’s are standing in the background silent, as their core tenant is the free movement of labor.

    Libertarian theology also makes pretend that all labor is the same, and that in-groups don’t form. So our in-group (((friends))) are made invisible. This invisibility is one of the reasons our friends invented the dialectic..

    It is story time for kiddies. And lastly, any sort of economics that cannot separate price from value is junk.

    It is junk economics, junk ideology, and the people that are attracted to it, seem to be cultists.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  114. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    WHY have wages for entry level workers in the U.S failed to keep up with alleged productivity ?

    Lolbertarian cultists preen as if they have all the answers.

    Hudson, who you demean as a Bolshevik has already answered your question, but since your brain cannot receive, you would not know it.

    Lolbertarianism cannot figure out price and value theory. It doesn’t exist in the doctrine.

    Wages failed to keep up because neo-liberal economics (liberatarian adjacent) also does not separate price from value.

    Things like capital gains have been untaxed and held up as if they have value equal to labor. In your free-dumb ideological world, the idea of taxing unearned income, rents and sordid gain cannot appear. All profits are the same.

    You cultists have no shame.

    • Agree: Humbert Humbert
    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  115. Mefobills says:
    @Bragadocious

    “The market” is broadly defined as anything the private sector does, so that includes board decisions and executive pay.

    Are you another Lolbertarian, lying about the nature of reality?

    The market is not broadly defined, as anything the private sector does. What kind of nonsense are you peddling?

    There are three kinds of markets, elastic/inelastic/mixed.

    Lols make pretend that everything is elastically priced. Making pretend is for little girls.

    In ne0-liberal clown world, where the borders are wide open, then Ron Unz’s idea of a high minimum wage makes sense. It also forces capital to price labor, rather than steal from labor’s mouth.

  116. Judging by the amount of retail workers and others not wanting to go back to work because the money from unemployment and covid relief is equal or greater than when they worked 40 hours per week.

    That says it all.

    • Replies: @Jack Kennedy
  117. The problem is that people are always lagging. They come to Jesus at the last minute or only when it is too late.

    At this point, most economic theories / policies are going to be problematic, since the world economy is now in flux reflecting the emerging multi-polar world. Economic systems rest on top of political systems to provide such things as law and order, contract enforcement, etc.

    Probably the best system I’ve seen for equity is the Australian Modern Award System. It provides a kind of generalized union for Australians. It functions like America’s Davis-Bacon Act, setting prevailing wages and standards, but on a wider basis

    What is a modern award?
    A modern award is a document which sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment on top of the National Employment Standards (NES). Moderns awards came into effect on 1 January 2010.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/tools-and-resources/fact-sheets/minimum-workplace-entitlements/modern-awards

    Australian minimum wage:

    The Australian minimum wage rate is 17.70 Australian dollars per hour,672.70 Australian dollars per week for employees who are 21 years or older and are not covered by an award or agreement; minimum wage for workers under 16 years old is 36.8% the 21+ minimum wage. The minimum wage is set federally by the Fair Work Australia Commission. Most workers in Australia are covered by a monetary award,which may vary by employee age,industry and geographical location. Australia’s minimum wage was last changed in 1-Jul-2016.

    People require gainful employment, not simply employment.

    • Thanks: Humbert Humbert
  118. Reaper says:
    @Alden

    The minimal wage and the fucked up social system is two different matters.

    In a sensible society simply needs to eliminate completely the current social system which (you right) benefits mostly who want to misuse/ abuse it and the undeserving ones.

    Social system and most of the charities are rotten by the core.
    Up untill it based on needs and incapability (without proven production history).

    Was wrong from the begining when the Catholic Church definied the deserving poor as the ones who both incapable to provide for themselves and will be incapable. By other words: they said the deserving ones are the ballast.

    While they said the nonsense: the ones who are temporary in difficulties, but otherwise capable are the undeserving poor who are not entitled for help.

    Later this nonsense get into the legalization with the first “poor laws” and workhouse decrees which aimed to punish all who can work and have production capabilities.

    This system adopted by the modern left-liberals (and it is the present social system).
    Pump funds into mostly the good for nothing and parasites, and punish all the outstanding who capable to better but temporary in a difficult situation (probably because of the system).

    Example:
    Anno I did learn social work.
    The reason why I never wanted to work in the homeless care field is because of the rotten system: where a social worker cannot give the donated new boots at winter for a sober, younger, clean homeless guy, who wish to actually wear it -> but must give it for the alcoholic dirty good for nothing who will sell it for a bottle of alcohol the same day when get it for free.
    In a rotting system where a scum junkie entitled for care which cost 4-5 times of the minimal wage per month but a poor guy who just kicked out by his wife (and legal system push wealth/ housing to the wife) entitled for no help.

    The exact opposite of all senses and merits.

  119. Mefobills says:
    @Anon

    Libertarians are proponents of individual sovreignty.

    It is an emotional attachment to individualism that borders on pathology. Most of my discussion with LoL’s convince me that they are on the spectrum, or are outright sociopaths.

    You post about individualism AFTER I said this:
    ________________

    https://www.unz.com/runz/resurrecting-americas-minimum-wage/#comment-5298570

    Diversity is Fatal:

    https://nationalvanguard.org/2022/03/diversity-is-fatal/

    What Putnam showed was that when diversity proliferates people tend to “hunker down.” That is, they don’t feel free and easy about going outside; they feel afraid. You never know what you might find out there — or what might find you. So lock the doors and close the blinds, put that TV dinner in, and watch some network pap. That will keep your mind off the Road Warrior terrain and urban hellscape outside your apartment.

    At least for a little while.

    The more diverse society gets, the more the bonds of community are broken, the more the social fabric is frayed, the more alienation there is. People become fearful of one another because they don’t recognize in the the other someone like themselves. These others seem to have strange customs, or bizarre ones, they act differently, and they often will speak an indecipherable language.

    This bodes ill for social trust.

    Simple survival becomes much more of a concern.

    Not only does one separate oneself from the other races — which would be a positive thing — but, tragically and disastrously, also from members of one’s own race.

    That is, the hunkering down is well nigh universal. Margaret Thatcher said “there is no such thing as society,” but she was a libertarian mercenary. Of course there is such a thing as society, and such a thing as community, but only in homogenous nations. There is truly no society in “diverse” ones. It is all just atomized individuals, no social trust, no social cohesion — it is a dog-eat-dog world; the war of all against all.

    __________________

    Lol’s are ate up cultists because of their “individualist” pathology. They are fertile ground for the cult ideology invented by our (((friends))), which in turn makes LoL’s unwitting sayanim.

    The only degrees of freedom any human has, are what has been gifted to him by society. But, the LOL cultists can’t have what they want, because their very ideology destroys society.

    Because its a cult, they emerge from their parallel universe, where up is down and left is right, and then start angrily spouting nonsense that only makes sense in their universe.

    At least Anon above is honest and gets to the core of Lolbertarianism: We are for individual sovereignty” I might add: And to hell with everybody else, because our pathology requires society is to be atomized. There is no society in Lol Lol land, everybody is at their own Walden Pond.

    Lolbertarianism engenders this output:

    It is all just atomized individuals, no social trust, no social cohesion — it is a dog-eat-dog world; the war of all against all. A perfect world for a sociopath.

    • Agree: Humbert Humbert
  120. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    SOCIOPATH ALERT. CULTIST ALERT!

    Only a dickhead would say such a thing about Dr Ron Paul and his ilk in the Libertarian community.
    Ron Paul is a LIVING TREASURE.

    Only a despicable MoFo would think otherwise.

    Is Ron Paul your idol made of Gold? We should all bow down and genuflect to the radiance the emanates from Dr. Paul, and if we look too close we might be blinded.

    I actually like Dr. Paul, but that doesn’t make him right.

  121. @Mefobills

    You write (I have corrected your dyslexic spelling error below):

    Libertarian cultists preen as if they have all the answers

    Libertarians don’t pretend to have all the answers – but real world outcomes demonstrate that they’re not far away.

    But one thing is for certain. The Big Government Socialist Statists like yourself Mofo and your guru Michael Hudson, HAVE NONE OF THE ANSWERS.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Mefobills
  122. @Astuteobservor II

    don’t you dare denigrate the gimmedats ….

  123. Reaper says:
    @anarchyst

    Well said.
    Especially: “Sacrificing labor on the altar of “maximum profits” NEVER works in the long term.”

  124. Bro43rd says:
    @Mefobills

    “Libertarians are nation wreckers.”

    Yes that’s the logical end of libertarianism, and I say what’s wrong with that. Nation states rule by force, plain & simple. That is why they are illegitimate. Thank you for helping me with that clarification.

    I realize Mr. Unz is attempting to work within the system to make life as livable as possible. And that is totally commendable. But if he truly wanted to improve life for mankind he would help us dismantle the current paradigm we slave under, namely the nation state. There is no greater force suppressing mankind than BIG GOV.

    • Agree: RoatanBill
    • Replies: @Mefobills
  125. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    You write (I have corrected your dyslexic spelling error below):

    Above, more proof of your sociopathy. This desire to put oneself above, to preen, to be superior.

    So, you make strawman arguments, and you also like to fling epithets. Your ad-hominems and epithet flinging is what got you banned by Hudson.

    I’m not a big government fan. I’m for local economy, and local economy is IMPOSSIBLE, if debt instruments are on-sold into “free market,” where said free market is the world.

    This whole idea of “globalism” is so that private banks can network their hypothecated credit. So the credit can swim back to its debt instrument.

    Your stupid ideology is ne0-liberal adjacent, as you are for the free-dumb of corporations, including private banking corporations.

    In other words, Lol’s are for that which they are against. It is really caved in head stuff, meant for “individualists” who are low IQ.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  126. Mefobills says:
    @Bro43rd

    Yes that’s the logical end of libertarianism, and I say what’s wrong with that. Nation states rule by force, plain & simple. That is why they are illegitimate. Thank you for helping me with that clarification.

    The string pullers behind the Nation States rule with force. Your very ideology gives cover and sanction for privateers to take rents and work to take-over from behind the scenes.

    Thanks to you for your clarification. Your attitude is the opposite of this:

    Of course there is such a thing as society, and such a thing as community, but only in homogenous nations. There is truly no society in “diverse” ones. It is all just atomized individuals, no social trust, no social cohesion — it is a dog-eat-dog world; the war of all against all.

    You could give two shits about society, you want communities to implode, you want dog eat dog world, the war of all against all.

    Your pathological individualism is on the spectrum, sociopaths are drawn to lolbertarian ideology.

    • Replies: @Bro43rd
  127. @anonymous

    Agree with much of your comment. But I have to say that the comment about forced bilingual education in CA does not describe our experience or that of any other California parents whom we know. Nobody has ever tried to require our kids to enroll in bilingual education. Maybe it is different in other counties.

    We have lived in Los Angeles for over a decade and most of our children attend the government schools (“LAUSD”).

    Of the elementary and junior high schools that we looked at around the city of LA, not one requires students to learn Spanish or any other foreign language (though it would be wise to finally get into the 21st century and get all our American children learning other major world languages from an early age — and not just Spanish).

    There are voluntary, optional dual-language immersion programs offered in LAUSD schools: 50/50 English/Spanish in some schools, 50/50 English/Mandarin in a lesser number of schools, a smattering of immersion programs offered in other languages at a limited number of schools. We CHOSE language-immersion programs for our kids.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  128. @Mefobills

    Your ad-hominems and epithet flinging is what got you banned by Hudson.

    LOL, Truth Vigilante got banned by Michael Hudson? That’s hilarious. I mean, that guy has all kinds of weirdos showing up in his comments sections and he doesn’t ban them.

  129. Mefobills says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Truth Vigilante went at Michael Hudson viciously.

    I’m not kidding when I say TV is a sociopath. Go ahead and look through his comment section to see for yourself.

    Lolbertarianism attracts a certain kind of malformed individual. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

    Hudson basically said that he doesn’t need to go to a flea-bag hotel to know that he would get fleas. He also said that Lol’s live in a parallel universe. I agree with Hudson’s assessment.

    So, Lol’s jabber on about what is real in their parallel universe, but their universe is unreal. It requires accepting provable falsehoods.

    They also remind me of flagrant homosexuals continuously trying to recruit new victims. Somewhere out there, is a young mind (a fresh butt) maybe an individualistic American, ready to receive LoL thrusting, um er brainwashing.

    • Replies: @Bro43rd
    , @Truth Vigilante
  130. If I ever saw an article on here that addressed the real-life actual horror that average people are going through with corporations buying up all the housing and jacking the rents into the stratosphere, then jacking the gas, then jacking the food, beyond any normal person’s ability to pay, just to suck the very last tiny little penny of savings out of every poor average person’s pathetic savings account, I would faint.

    Conservatives think it’s great that nobody can afford to live. And they love corporations. It’s a free country, so corporations bigger than whole countries should have the perfect freedom to buy up every single house in the country and charge a rent that will end with their tenants out in the alley digging through the garbage can for a pizza box to lick.

    You thought that news item about corporations buying up all the housing and jacking up the rents was just a news item. That it was just starting and it would take them years? Sorry Charlie. It’s already in place and the garrote is closing. Try, just try looking for a place to rent. Just try to find a landlord you can talk to, instead of an Indian call center trying to rent you a different rathole from the one in the ad you answered while surreptitiously stealing your identity.

  131. I was talking to a landlord who bought a place for 250000 that the former owner bought for 50000 in 1979.

    One of his girl tenants started crying uncontrollably when he told her he’d have to raise her rent from 650 (already too high), that the former owner, who bought the place for 50000 in 1979 (and so could afford to) charged her, to 1200.

    He said he felt like an asshole. But he can’t pay his mortgage at a rate any lower than that.

    2008 wasn’t nothin.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
    , @Lysias
  132. Bro43rd says:
    @Mefobills

    “You could give two shits about society, you want communities to implode, you want dog eat dog world, the war of all against all.

    Your pathological individualism is on the spectrum, sociopaths are drawn to lolbertarian ideology.”

    While you claim to know what I want or care about is hilarious, I only need 1 word to describe your comment.

    Projection!

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Mefobills
  133. Bro43rd says:
    @Mefobills

    More projection! No really LOL

    And your hero hudson is a thin skinned fathead. Banning me for calling mmt economic quackery, which it is. Just a tweaked version of Keynesianism, which has lead to the economic malaise we now slave under.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  134. @Ghali

    It’s the trifecta, dummy.

    Immigration.
    Off-shoring.
    Automation.

    Boom boom boom.

    And we’re off to the races.

  135. Mefobills says:
    @Bro43rd

    And your hero hudson is a thin skinned fathead. Banning me for calling mmt economic quackery, which it is. Just a tweaked version of Keynesianism, which has lead to the economic malaise we now slave under.

    I think for myself. Hudson just happens to be a similar logical thinker to me, who has come to the same conclusions.

    That is much different than hero worship.

    You probably don’t even know what Keynesianism is. Pretty much all Keynes did was sum up how the current “banking system” was defective, and that counter spending was required to prevent spiraling into depression. He also said that if the government spending for war overturned the depression, then he would be vindicated. He was vindicated.

    The private banking debt spreading corporations came into existence long before Keynes was born.

    MMT is not quackery, it is ONLY AN ANALYSIS. I’ve explained this to you before, but since your type is ate-up, you cannot receive new information. Your brain cannot update, it is fixed in place… you are a cultist, beyond reason.

    Why should Hudson or any author allow people who are beyond reason to have access to their comment section? I’m always surprised at Ron’s leniency in the comment section, when there are provable sociopaths present, who side track the conversation. If you are a cultist like Truth Vigilante and show up, then normal people cannot have a conversation. Your type actively derails the conversation.

    I noticed that Ellen Brown got attacked with angry Lolbertarian fleas, who flew over from their parallel universe to then sow discord.

    It is Ron’s website, he can do as he pleases. If I were Ellen, or even Ron, I would sniff out the sociopaths, those who are intent on causing harm, and ban them. If I got banned too, that would be ok with me, it just means that I didn’t meet the higher standard.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  136. Mefobills says:
    @Bro43rd

    While you claim to know what I want or care about is hilarious, I only need 1 word to describe your comment.

    Projection!

    What part don’t you understand about debt instruments being on-sold into free markets?

    This is the root of globalism, which you are both for and against. It is super caved in head low IQ stuff.

    Then you accuse me of projection like some sort of child.

    Here it is in the simplest language I can muster. 1) Debt instrument created. Note the debt can recall gold in your hypothetical gold is god universe. 2) Debt instrument is on-sold into a world wide free market. 3) The Debt instrument makes claims on the world in the form of labor or gold as capital, and these claims expand exponentially over time.

    The above is exactly why our (((friends))) love your type, as you are a dupe who allows them the world wide free market they so desire. The access to colonies, and minerals and labor anywhere in the world is the goal, and to hell with a nation’s people. If a nation’s people are driven into debt servitude, payable in some sort of international privateering money, then good.

    There is a reason London became the gold center, despite not having any gold in her lands.

    Lolbertarianism rarely talks about debts and credits, it is a brainwashing operation that pokes out eyes, so people cannot see.

  137. Mefobills says:
    @obwandiyag

    2008 wasn’t nothin.

    The housing bubble had many authors.

    The S and L fiasco was a big part of it. Back in the day, you had to come up with 25% of the house in down-payment (I think .. but please correct me if I’m wrong, maybe it was 20%).

    Then when you borrowed from the Savings and Loan, you borrowed existing money. There was no hypothecation event. You were borrowing Grandpa and Grandma’s savings.

    When you paid back your loan, a percentage went back to Grandpa and Grandma. So, it was a virtuous circle, that kept housing prices in check, and paid life energy back to the previous generations.

    Of course, the usual agents of (((mammon))) were present in the S and L gambit.

    The mammonites then proceeded to work their money magic in stages, with changes in Community Reinvestment Act, and making it easy for the FIRE sector to hypothecate by transferring risk, especially via Graham Leach Blily act. Then the ratings agencies were corrupted.

    So, yeah – young people now are cut out of life, as living costs are being sucked up by high priced housing, where the house prices were pushed by false neo liberal economy, as if all prices are the same, as if there is no value/price theory.

    Any sort of economics that has no way of separating value from price, is Junk Economy.

    The LoL’s that infest the comment section, cannot fathom that they are also junk economy.

    A house did not all of a sudden become 3 or 4 times as valuable as before, it is the same house. The price is signaling incorrectly. This bad signaling is fatal to civilization, especially as young people will stop breeding.

  138. Lysias says:

    If this policy had been enacted nationally in 2015, that would have taken the wind out of the sails of Trump and probably also Sanders the next year. Remember, Hillary Clinton won both California and New York in 2016. So the states that this issue gave Trump the electoral votes of do not include those two states.

    Well, if the national adoption of an increased minimum wage could have enabled Hillary to win the White House, maybe it would not have been a good idea.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  139. Lysias says:

    I’m not sure California is lost to the Republicans permanently, given how unpopular Biden and his administration’s policies have become, especially among Hispanics.

    Are there any polling data on what Hispanics think of the Ukraine war?

  140. Lysias says:
    @obwandiyag

    Why did that landlord have to buy the place? If he hadn’t bought, he wouldn’t have had a mortgage to pay.

  141. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Mefobills

    And lastly, any sort of economics that cannot separate price from value is junk.

    As mentioned upthread https://www.unz.com/runz/resurrecting-americas-minimum-wage/#comment-5298982 the price discovery and wealth (re)distribution mechanism of the stock market solves this, in my opinion: https://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-dollar-devours-the-euro/?showcomments#comment-5290535

    Initially, the Forbes List had 320 families on the list from 1982 to 1989. Out of that 320 families, about 30% of the families survived on the list until 2011, as seen in Figure B.Source: https://archive.ph/z5vhd#selection-1639.0-1639.619

    Sure, quite often price temporarily deviates from value, but it usually returns to fair value and balance in a free market system. This is just human nature, i.e. herd mentality, booms follow busts and vice versa, it’s natural law.

    However, what has always separated out the great investors from everyone else, is they have acted independently of the “herd.” They have a discipline, a strategy and a driving will to succeed. They don’t “buy and hold.” They buy cheap and sell expensive. They avoid losses at all costs and they deeply understand the relationship of risk to reward.” – https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2019/05/20/the-5-laws-of-human-stupidity-how-to-be-a-non-stupid-investor or https://archive.ph/U9fK8

    Value and success under natural law are determined by resiliency and adaptability ability or even “anti-fragility” (trouble is opportunity aka Buffett style value investing), e.g. the “Lindy Effect” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindy_effect

    That’s why libertarians like gold, because it’s a currency/monetary metal that’s been around for a long time and will probably stay around for much longer than most or all other currencies we use today. Gold doesn’t necessarily make a person wealthy, but it preserves their purchasing power: https://www.unz.com/pescobar/rublegas-the-worlds-new-resource-based-reserve-currency/?showcomments#comment-5271414

    I’m not saying Libertarianism is perfect, but it’s preferable to Crony Capitalism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism

    Rent-seeking entrepreneurs tend to use their relationships with the state to maximise profits. Technically speaking, an economic rent is the surplus remaining once capital and labour have been paid a market price. With perfect competition that surplus would not exist. But rents can be artificially elevated if firms win contracts at beneficial prices, form cartels to stitch up consumers or lobby governments for favourable rules. Most rent-seeking businesses are operating perfectly legally.
    Our index uses 25 years of data from Forbes’s annual stock-take of the world’s billionaires. In 2021 the publication listed 2,755 individuals with total estimated wealth of \$13trn. We have classified the main source of each billionaire’s wealth into crony and non-crony sectors. Our crony sectors include a host of industries that are vulnerable to rent-seeking because of their proximity to the state, such as banking, casinos, defence, extractive industries and construction. We have aggregated the data according to billionaires’ country of citizenship expressed as a share of its GDP.


    Source: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2022/03/12/our-crony-capitalism-index-offers-a-window-into-russias-billionaire-wealth or https://archive.ph/fOH7S

  142. Mefobills says:

    the price discovery and wealth (re)distribution mechanism of the stock market solves this, in my opinion.

    Your opinion is not historically accurate. QE pushed finance asset prices.

    Stop blowing smoke up Unz readers rectums.

    It has long been known that the Stock market does not do price discovery:

    Here is Hobson in 1902:

    My addition: The “creditor class” that runs America and the West from behind the scenes, was identified by John Hobson in 1902. Stock Market Capital and the “investors” behind the capital got their way by 1912, and the U.S. was no more.

    _______________

    The key concepts are laid out in Part I of Chapter IV: “Economic Parasites of Imperialism”

    “By far the most important economic factor in Imperialism is the influence relating to investments.”

    ….
    “If, contemplating the enormous expenditure on armaments, the ruinous wars, the diplomatic audacity of knavery by which modern Governments seek to extend their territorial power, we put the plain, practical question, Cui bono? the first and most obvious answer is, The investor.”

    ….
    “Investors who have put their money in foreign lands, upon terms which take full account of risks connected with the political conditions of the country, desire to use the resources of their Government to minimize these risks, and so to enhance the capital value and the interest of their private investments.”

    ….
    “If the special interest of the investor is liable to clash with the public interest and to induce a wrecking policy, still more dangerous is the special interest of the financier, the general dealer in investments. In large measure the rank and file of the investors are, both for business and for politics, the cat’s-paws of the great financial houses, who use stocks and shares not so much as investments to yield them interest, but as material for speculation in the money market. In handling large masses of stocks and shares, in floating companies, in manipulating fluctuations of values, the magnates of the Bourse find their gain. These great businesses—banking, broking, bill discounting, loan floating, company promoting—form the central ganglion of international capitalism.

    _______________

    (((international finance capitalism))) requires private credit as money. Federal Reserve Notes are not U.S. dollars. The private debt spreading BOE model spread to infest the Western World. Behind the model, are the worst types of craven people, who are money sick, and have no empathy. They want to control the world, and divide it up into debt instruments, that pay them in-perpetuity.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  143. nosods says:

    “Very stiff penalties, including mandatory prison terms, could assure near absolute compliance. Virtually no employer would be foolish enough to attempt to save a few hundred dollars a month in wages paid at the risk of a five-year prison sentence…”

    Which is exactly why no business – large or small – would support such a proposal. And no pol who depends on their largesse would be foolish enough to introduce or support such a law either. If they would, we could have had the border invasion largely licked long ago. As Fukuyama (who’s had some intersting things to say on immigration himself, recently) & others have averred, there has to be stiffer penalties on employers themselves to stem the tide. Why go end around & put the penalty on minimum wage violation when you can go direct & give employers hard time for hiring illegal aliens at any wage, in the first place?? Unfortunately, not even Trump (or Stephen Miller) has proposd that, at least not publicly. Anyone who is not willing, nay eager, to do that, is simply not serious about stopping the invasion. Put the illegal alien on the bus home (at her own expense) & put the illegal employer in the clink – problem solved.
    As for the minimum wage itself, Resurrection Weekend might or might not be the best time for
    ‘resurrecting America’s minimum wage’ (Jesus would probably prefer to leave it up to Caesar); but we would probably be better off leaving it to the states. Most of the states with higher minimums also have much higher costs of living (especially housing). Raise the minimum wage & costs usually go up along with it so you don’t get much farther ahead, but at least you don’t lose too much ground either. It’s not likely consumers in Beaumont & Birmingham want to pay the same prices & rents as those in Boston & the Bay Area. But it’s worth talking about anyway – even in a near book-length article such as this. Why not take a break from Ukraine, at least for a little while?

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  144. anarchyst says:
    @Jack McArthur

    In the days of the “robber barons”, the united States of America was largely successful due to the Protestant (lack of) ethics, most builders of industry raking in millions in profits while ignoring the basic needs of those who made their success possible by their hard work. It was common to see these Protestant “captains of industry” do their damnedest to pay their employees as little as possible while raking in massive profits benefiting only themselves. Protestants still consider anyone who cannot be successful as suffering from a moral failing of their own doing, not outside circumstances.
    The Catholic faith requires business owners to pay their workers fairly–not below subsistence wages. There is no comparable demand in Protestantism.
    These Protestant “captains of industry” attempted to redeem themselves by establishing “foundations” (which guarded their wealth, making it tax exempt) and indirectly countering their own Protestant belief that “good works” were not necessary for salvation.
    They always pleaded poverty to their employees while living grand lives themselves.
    This contributed to the rise of labor unions, which at first, were brutally suppressed.
    There were exceptions, such as Henry Ford, who almost single-handedly created the middle class by paying his employees well above “market wages” of the day. His \$5.00 per day wage was not entirely altruistic as it was also instituted to stem “turnover” as assembly line work was monotonous, but his writings have stated that one of his objectives was to make it possible for workers to “enjoy the fruits of their labor”.
    The Protestant Reformation resulted in the legalization of usury, the establishment of the debt based financial system and central banks which has enabled the usurers to accumulate so much wealth and power that they can impose their NWO.
    The Reformation resulted in capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, two world wars which resulted in the decimation of the European peoples by the jews and WASPS acting as muscle for the bankers, and various genocides and the dystopian difficulties that are a part of modern civilization.

    • Replies: @Jack McArthur
  145. Ron Unz says:
    @Lysias

    If this policy had been enacted nationally in 2015, that would have taken the wind out of the sails of Trump and probably also Sanders the next year. Remember, Hillary Clinton won both California and New York in 2016. So the states that this issue gave Trump the electoral votes of do not include those two states.

    But under the scenario in question, I would have won a landslide 2014 victory for my \$12 initiative, raising the wages of California workers by \$15 billion per year, and probably shifting enough Republicans so that Congress did the same nationally in 2015, giving a big wage boost to around 40% of all American workers.

    I’d already generated an enormous amount of media power merely by my skillful use of a one-page sheet of paper. So under those victorious circumstances, I probably would have had a great deal of influence on who the parties nominated and which candidate won.

  146. @Punch Brother Punch

    You wrote:

    Truth Vigilante got banned by Michael Hudson? That’s hilarious. I mean, that guy has all kinds of weirdos showing up in his comments sections and he doesn’t ban them.

    Agreed. Michael Hudson has Big Government Statists, Marxists and Trotskyists in his comments section, absolutely the weirdest misfits one could imagine.

    And then, when a sensible Libertarian comes along, he bans the one coherent person that offers workable solutions to society’s ills.

    I’m with you Punch Drunk Brother. It’s hard to fathom.

  147. @Mefobills

    Mofo-Bill writes:

    Truth Vigilante went at Michael Hudson viciously.

    I’m not kidding when I say TV is a sociopath. Go ahead and look through his comment section to see for yourself.

    Let me translate the Marxist Double-Speak into plain English.
    What the Mofo meant to say was:

    Truth Vigilante went at Michael Hudson objectively.

    I’m not kidding when I say TV is fair and balanced. It’s not his fault that Michael Hudson is thin-skinned – courtesy of the fact that this his theories have no foundation and are easily dismantled (hence his chicken-shit gutlessness in refusing to debate a Libertarian like Peter Schiff).

    Go ahead and look through his comments section to see for yourself that TV has repeatedly challenged Michael Hudson to a debate with Peter Schiff and each time Hudson has scurried off like a cockroach.

    Let’s face it, if you have a genuine conviction in your beliefs, you would take on all comers and try to get your message across to as broad a cross section of society as you could.

    But Hudson knows his belief system is built on sand. A craven coward like his groupie the Mofo.

  148. @Truth Vigilante

    Thanks. Mefobills has been right on a number of things, such as in this comment of his, but on his silly Statist, Keynsian, Monetary policy BS, he comes across as a failing Amway salesman.

    I have enough face cream already, Mefobills. Bugger off already.

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Mefobills
  149. @Mefobills

    Mofo-Bill proves his economic illiteracy with this statement:

    He [J.M. Keynes] also said that if the government spending for war overturned the depression, then he would be vindicated. He was vindicated.

    The Depression did NOT end with the start of WWII
    Keynes was long ago discredited and only dyed-in-the-wool socialist cranks still attach any credibility to his remarks.

    WWII was a prolongation of that Depression as war rationing was implemented and there was deprivation of all manner of goods and services (even more so than in the 1930’s).

    The Depression ended when WWII ended. ie: when the rapid expansion of Big Government ended and the troops returned to the private sector to be involved in productive wealth enhancing activities.

    Anyone who has looked into it in depth will tell you that. But the FDR obsessed New Deal cultist Mofo will not accept that reality – such is his blind adherence to Socialist doctrine.

    For those genuinely interested in the facts, this audio podcast aptly titled ‘World War II Did Not Cure the Great Depression’ narrated by Tom Woods Phd will enlighten you:

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
    , @Mefobills
  150. Daniel H says:
    @JackOH

    Making the case for centralized, national health insurance (Medicare all). Let’s rationalize labor/wage matters. Take health insurance out of the equation.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  151. Daniel H says:
    @Hannah Katz

    Maybe we should do like the Swiss and have no minimum wage. Leave it up to the employer to pay the amount necessary to attract and retain reliable workers.

    Stop being silly. In what fantasy world of your choosing can the USA ever be like Switzerland.

  152. Daniel H says:
    @Apu

    I am from Australia…our minimum wage is \$20 and we have 4% unemployment…the idea that minimum wages kill jobs is a myth and even unskilled work can get \$30 to \$40 an hour….

    The thing is, in Australia the elites don’t hate Australian proles (well, some do, but there aren’t enough of them yet) whereas in the USA the elite (Left/Right) thoroughly hate the proles.

  153. @Truth Vigilante

    I know you’re being sarcastic but the ‘weirdos’ I was referring to really are the libertarians. One of the few times I commented on a Hudson article I got sucked into a sperg-spiral with a bunch of LOLberts (including you if I recall) over who would build the roads.

    Total dreamworld-inhabitants. Very rigid in their thinking and irritatingly cocksure.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  154. @Bragadocious

    when you have CEOs making 300x what entry-level workers make

    Pay the NCAA, big sports players!

    The starting backfield combined must be worth as much as the head coach. Yet the players are still officially banned from receiving a paycheck for their services to alma mater. (There has been some recent, token reform which allows players to sell their names, e.g. on team jerseys.) Leave it to the highly funded, (often government) college athletic departments to pay their team CEOs millions while paying their star workers LESS than MW (i.e. nothing).

    Please don’t tell me about sports scholarships. A highly rated QB coming out of HS should receive a \$250K signing bonus. That alone would enable him to pay the full cost of his [four] -year, out-of-state tuition plus other expenses, and still leave him enough money to purchase a new Maserati with which to ride around campus.

  155. Anonymous[613] • Disclaimer says:
    @RadicalCenter

    It has NOT been MY experience..In fact MANY parents that I meet complaint that they are usually FORCED into bilingual Spanish programs, often times without their knowledge or consent. I am bilingual myself…so are my children BUT WE made sure they mastered ENGLISH first. I often find entry level college freshmen/women unable to score high enough in the SATs and other tests specially in the ENGLISH reading/comprehension sections. The level of college readiness among LAUSD students, in general, and former bilingual students particularly is just SHAMEFUL. Many of these Bilingual students are neither proficient in English nor Spanish. In writing as well as in reading they performed way below the average scores including MATH and sciences. They seem to mix Spanish with English freely creating words that as of today are NOT part of any language. A recent internal academic audit reveal that Bilingual Spanish students from LAUSD drop out of college at a higher rate than non bilingual students, even those that receive remedial support. I offer you a personal anecdote MY dentist was born and raised in Seattle WA..he walked into the room, he saw me and began to speak in PERFECT Spanish..HE did NOT go through any bilingual program before college. After graduating from University School of Denstistry , he applied and was accepted into an foreign exchange program in Guatemala. My second daughter is already planning to attend a summer extension program in France. The Bilingual program, as taught, in the LAUSD leaves students UNprepared for college work, with underlining negative psycho/emotional self/image regarding issues of race,nationality, ethnicity, vis a vis other non Spanish speaking peers.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  156. I support strong labor market regulation, including an increased minimum wage. However, I was involved for four long years in promoting labor law enforcement in a labor market affected by a flood of illegal aliens. It was futile. Illegal workers and nepotistic legal alien enclaves, not to mention sleazy American natives, turn whole sectors of the economy into off-the-book scams, with phony records, phony independent contractors, underpaying of wage minimums, no workers comp, no unemployment, even peonage and private coercion.

    The way to increase labor’s share of productivity gains is at the macro level, running a tight labor market (i.e., halting Unz’s beloved hordes of immigrants), juicing the economy, easing labor union organization. Trump, doing just a little of that, started the first relative increase in income to the least wealthy in 50 years.

    Michael Piore beat Unz to this lunacy 50 years ago. Piore, liberal economist at MIT, said don’t worry about millions of illegals, just raise high the minimum wage, then an increase in workers in a market won’t reduce wages. That sadly assumes that laws are self-enforcing. In my enforcement work I was surprised to discover that legal obedience is largely voluntary. If you doubt my claim, just look at Mexico, or Ukraine. Legal obedience is the product of inherited civic virtues and of laws that don’t flout economic realities. Piore’s solution, like Unz’s, amounts to pushing on a string. In alien-degraded labor markets to be an honest employer who complies with tax and labor laws means becoming a bankrupt employer.

    I’ve known a few ultraintelligent people like Unz. One problem they have is, rather than absorbing criticism and revising their views as strongly intelligent people do, their feverish intelligence constructs ever more arcane epicycles to protect their sacred priors. They are as resistant to change in view as morons.

  157. Rosie says:
    @Alden

    The Hispanic immigrant community basically lives off the women

    Indeed, and the White underclass is going the same way, yet Unz commenters often think that welfare is income redistribution from men to women. As you rightly point out, this is not so, because money is fungible.

    However, White people don’t like living 20 to a house, so there is no extra money for “cars clothes bikes entertainment.”

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  158. Thanks for writing this and your piece on the language wars, Mr. Unz. With how seemingly simple your media strategies have been, what’s the one issue in either California or national politics that you wish you could’ve offered a populist solution for like English immersion or higher minimum wage?

  159. @Rosie

    The Hispanic immigrant community basically lives off the women

    Indeed, and the White underclass is going the same way,

    Ha! I’ve worked with many Hispanic male immigrants. They work 2-3 jobs in order to support their families, afford things like SUVs and satellite dishes and send remittances back home.

    If anything, these guys are overworked peons, not exploiters of women!

    Most of the Hispanic women I’ve met have been very nice to me. I’ve heard they’re tempestuous in romantic relationships, but I’ve never heard of one letting a man entirely live off her. Not to the degree of black women or lower-class white women, certainly.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  160. @anarchyst

    The documents of the Roman Catholic Church have a value to anyone who seeks to understand what Christianity is and what it does on the basis that numerically it represents the biggest group of Christians and historically it contains by far the greatest body of written evidence which can be cited as evidence no matter if the person be friend, foe or simply a seeker of truth.

    What she has in the shop window and what her members do are of course something quite different at (most?) times – just look at the heads of state in the West today who represent another spirit entirely.

    It has been many years since I read them but I would pick out the following two as being of special interest to readers in the context of this thread and more generally on UR in matters relating to National Socialism and race. Even Christophobes will find them of great value and it will at least give them citeable material to write about:

    RERUM NOVARUM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR
    https://www.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html

    MIT BRENNENDER SORGE ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON THE CHURCH AND THE GERMAN REICH
    https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_14031937_mit-brennender-sorge.html

    • Thanks: anarchyst
  161. JackOH says:
    @Daniel H

    Daniel H, employer-subsidized group health insurance is almost surely one of the most radical and destructive ideas to come out of the WWII period. A self-imposed excise tax per unit labor, the main purpose of which is to block meaningful consideration of any national health care scheme. Think of it as a mandatory charity (or baksheesh) scheme that “works” when only 50% +1 of the population is enrolled.

    The academy simply refuses to tackle the subject of the origin, nature, meaning, and consequences of group health insurance. The relevant literature, when it exists at all, is too compromised, too inept, and just plain wrong.

  162. @Truth Vigilante

    I had a long discussion / argument with Tom Woods himself on his own channel where I called him out on the bullshit known as economics. He couldn’t dispute my claims so he got his tech to cancel only some of my comments as spam. One was a list of 2 dozen books on economics I have as PDF files.

    Woods is just another snake oil salesman for the discipline of economics that’s just as valid as phrenology.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  163. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    You pea-brained Lolbertarians are busy like little disinfo agents hoaxing reality.

    The depression was due to PRIVATE DEBTS built up during the roaring 20’s.

    The private sector then took the newly created money, created at debt, and then gambled it in the stock market.

    This then PUSHED the stock market… it was like empty calories, pushing stock prices. This then caused a feedback loop, making more people gamble, pushing the stock market more.

    Eventually the price to earnings ratio went too high, and the bubble collapse, and then we went into depression.

    The proper term for it is BALANCE SHEET RECESSION. Lol’s have no language for debt mechanics, so they pull crap out of their rectum.

    If you really want to know about balance sheet recessions, then Richard Koo’s, the Holy Grail of Economics, chapter 3 explains it. The great depression was due to private debts not being able to be paid.

    At the end of the war, the private debts had been paid down by government spending. Since the balance sheets were repaired, the U.S. went on another round of debt mechanics, where private debts accrued to buy white goods, housing, etc.

    Lol’s live in an alternate universe and don’t have the answers.

    I’m not a Keynsian or a Big Government guy. I am the guy watching one date rapist (LoL’s) attempting to rape the pretty girl. While at the same time the Neo-Liberal date rapist is trying to slip the pretty girl a roofie.

    Both of you, Neo-Libs and LoL’s are liars and hoaxers, and parasites. You both want the same thing, to screw over and take. You both need to be thrown into the wood chipper.

    This is you, the devastator of civilizations, with your free market worshiping debt spreading crap.

    Free movement of people, capital, and most especially debt instruments. End result, NATION WRECKER

    Paris before it was wrecked by your type.

  164. Mefobills says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Thanks. Mefobills has been right on a number of things, such as in this comment of his, but on his silly Statist, Keynsian, Monetary policy BS, he comes across as a failing Amway salesman.

    I’m not a statist Keynsian Neo-Liberal you retard.

    I’m a sovereign money person who is for local economy. Sovereign money is not Keynsian, nor is it private bank debt spreading.

    You should bugger off, as you are yet another planetary scale hoaxer, intent on deception.

    You retards don’t like your precious shibboleths punctured. I always present facts and do explanations.

    Ron is actually right, there needs to be minimum wages in this private bank debt spreading environment, as “capital” is taking outside gains.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  165. Mefobills says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Total dreamworld-inhabitants. Very rigid in their thinking and irritatingly cocksure.

    They are ate up. It is a form of pathology.

    They are incapable of rational conversation, and if threatened they react with histrionics.

    The whole Vigilante flaming of Hudson is a perfect example. So, Hudson rather than listening to a flea buzzing around, just banned him.

    There ARE different kinds of people in the world, some are sociopaths and TRUE believers, and will not broker any dissent.

    It is very cult-like behavior. How do you de program a cultist? My view is that there is already something wrong with them, and they are attracted to the LoL ideology. They are already personality defectives.

    https://freedomofmind.com/cult-deprogramming-vs-strategic-interactive-approach/

  166. Please allow me to put in my “two cents worth” in regards to the minimum wage topic, in particular, and to the general economic situation in the United States today, as I see it.

    I am a 70-year-old retired industrial electrician (United Auto Workers Journeyman Electrician), having worked practically my 40+ year lifetime as an electrician in various factories in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Upon graduating from high school in 1969, I got a job in a Green Giant food processing plant, where they canned vegetables and also packaged frozen vegetables. I worked in the “freezer section” and had a full-time job in which I earned \$2.28 per hour. It was just an ordinary factory job, which anyone could do, with a minimal amount of training.

    I retired from a factory a few years ago, where I was employed as an industrial electrician, being responsible for the production equipment, as well as for the physical plant. At the time of my retirement, I was earning \$25 and some change per hour. I could purchase MORE with that \$2.28 in 1969 than I could with the \$25+ in 2019.

    At the factory from which I retired, I used to be teased by the “kids” that I worked with about my “sky-high” wages that I was receiving. I refer to them as “kids,” because they were young enough to be my children. They were earning somewhere around \$16 or \$17 per hour at the time. Many times when I would be kidded by them about my “sky-high” wages, I would take them aside and explain to them about “our” wages that we were receiving.

    I told them about my first factory job and my \$2.28 per hour wage. I also told them about my (then) current \$25+ per hour wage and the fact that I could purchase more with the \$2.28 than I could with the \$25+ per hour wage. I told them that what I was trying to tell them was that I was working for 1969 UNSKILLED WAGES and that they were working for considerably less than that!

    A couple of the most recent “fatalities” here in the United States have been Hershey’s chocolate and Carrier air conditioning / refrigeration. The American employees that worked in those factories were highly skilled, turning out excellent products, and the operations were very profitable. But the parent corporations decided that they could make MORE profits by moving their production to Mexico, which they did.

    Hershey’s and Carrier’s examples are not isolated ones. The process has been repeated thousands of times over the past two decades here in the United States.

    The point that I am trying to make is that there is absolutely NO shortage of money with which to pay factory workers, fast-food workers, or Walmart workers. The simple fact is that the corporations want ever increasing amounts of money for themselves and the workers be damned. It all boils down to GREED, which is what is strangling the United States.

    The United States now manufactures very few useful products that American consumers can purchase and in doing so, earn relatively good wages. About the only “industries” left in the United States are the armaments (WAR materials) industry, the financial industry, which specializes in screwing people out of their money, the medical industry, which specializes in treating symptoms, with ever-increasing amounts of hugely profitable prescription drugs and the other sundry scams and economic conspiracies (all “legal”) that go on.

    In closing, I would like to state that my opinion of MY country is that it is a washed-up Banana Republic, which exists only because of unlimited amounts of debt that keeps being created, the bill for which will be coming due, sooner or later.

    Thank you.

  167. @Mefobills

    No, it’s not a pyramid scheme; it’s not even a scheme, per se …

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  168. Rosie says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Ha! I’ve worked with many Hispanic male immigrants. They work 2-3 jobs in order to support their families, afford things like SUVs and satellite dishes and send remittances back home.

    I don’t deny the 2-3 jobs thing. The question is what they’re spending the money on. Allen is correct that welfare pays for their basic needs. They don’t get married precisely to avoid losing their benefits because of the man’s income. The upshot is that the men have a lot of discretionary income despite their low wages.

  169. @RoatanBill

    I’m a bit surprised to hear you say those things about Tom Woods.
    After reading scores (and likely hundreds) of your comments in UR over a long period, you’ve demonstrated to me that you’re a knowledgeable bloke whose beliefs and economic viewpoints reflect real world cause and effect outcomes (as opposed to Mofo-Bill’s Keynesian textbook academic bubble utopia that never translates to reality).

    You may not identify with Libertarianism but from what I’ve gathered of your beliefs, they seem to correspond with Tom Woods on the bulk of issues.

    On the matter where you disagreed with Tom, you may well have been correct and he not.
    Let’s face it, none of us always get it right.

    But that’s not justification for trashing him in an overall context.

    Tom Woods is one of the lead authors of the Ron Paul home school curriculum and Dr Paul has nothing but praise for him (as do I after having listened to most of Tom’s 2000 plus podcast episodes).

    You can’t simultaneously criticise Tom Woods without also taking a swipe at Dr Ron Paul because, and this is no exaggeration, the two of them are in lockstep agreement on all the major issues.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
    , @Mefobills
  170. @Brad Anbro

    It all boils down to GREED, which is what is strangling the United States.

    Quite so, excellent post. Corporations are ignoring their social responsibilities to the communities where they provide products and services.

    There is a lot to be said for a functioning minimum wage. Here in Ecuador they have what is called the “basic wage”, which is the minimum wage. It is about \$2.50 per hour.

    There are some advantages, for example you don’t have to worry about tipping in restaurants, because waitstaff will be on the basic wage, unless they are family members, I guess.

    But the real benefit is that the basic wage can be used as an index for all sorts of other fees. For example, national health insurance premiums are calculated as a percentage of the minimum wage, or even a 90-day extension to a tourist visa is calculated as 1/3 of a monthly basic wage, or the requirement for a residential visa is a guaranteed income of 3x the basic wage.

    Even speeding fines are related to the basic wage. For moderate speeding it is 1/3 of the basic wage for a month. For speeding outide of the moderate range, it is a full monthly basic wage.

    Although not perfect, the basic wage system is the same for all, and does not give government employees or judges the opportunity to levy unreasonable fines or fees.

    (Another good system is that government fines or fees have to be deposited in person in a bank, and then you take the bank receipt to the office where payment is due. This prevents corruption and mishandling of funds.)

  171. @Truth Vigilante

    All of economics is opinion. Economists can only function in an artificial environment their predecessors helped create. The various branches of economics that don’t even agree with each other on the finer details all spout their opinions as though they KNOW something, which they don’t. The outright fraud that is economics has led the entire world astray from a common sense approach to economic issues.

    The economists can’t prove anything. Economics is called the “dismal science” and even that’s a lie since there’s no science in it. Any part of economics that makes sense was purloined by the economics “profession” from everyday common sense, like supply and demand. All they did was give it a catchy phrase.

    Economics has priests like Woods and Hudson that would like the world to accept their interpretation of what’s real and true when they have no more ability than the common man with regard to economic issues. It’s the economists that champion all the ridiculous theories they propose and petition the criminal class, gov’t, to implement them. Largely, economists are the defenders of the idiotic policies governments and the financial institutions implement, like fractional reserve banking, modern monetary theory, universal basic income, all of Keynes rot, fiat currency, central banking, etc.

    That they may agree with me or you on some issues is irrelevant. That they think they are authorities and have the right to judge what should and should not be done is the problem. They are egomaniacs that want to be in control of other people’s lives which is evidenced by their names being know along with the Hollywood types, the politicians, the banking and media moguls, etc.

    The practitioners of phrenology thought they knew of a truth that they wanted respected. Economics is in the same situation. It’s a pile of worthless opinions from a priestly class of academics that are responsible for all the world’s current monetary ills and are indirectly responsible for the plight of million that suffer under their baseless policies.

    As for Ron Paul, my estimation of him has deteriorated severely over the years. I don’t even bother reading his articles on this site because I know all I’m going to get is pablum. While in gov’t, he was as useless as teats on a bull. He took his salary, year after year, and his contribution was to be a voice that no one listened to in the criminal racket he joined as a made member. He then established the Paul political dynasty with his son now collecting a nice salary and saying all the right things to get the public salivating for solutions that will never be implemented because Rand knows, as Ron did, that the Fed Gov is a criminal enterprise that can’t be rehabilitated. Both are opportunists in the final analysis because they know they were and are actors playing for reelection.

    A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
    H. L. Mencken

    A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.
    H. L. Mencken

  172. @Mefobills

    Mofo-Bill, you called the Libertarians ‘Low IQ types’ in a previous comment and ‘pea-brained’ in this one (not to mention calling the far-more-knowledgeable-than-you Achmed E. Newman a ‘retard’).

    Supposedly then, in your divorced-from-reality mind, you think of yourself as a high IQ type.

    How is it then, that you make JUVENILE remarks like this ?:

    The depression was due to PRIVATE DEBTS built up during the roaring 20’s.

    Utter nonsense !!

    Yes, the Zio-owned Federal Reserve in the 1920’s, as in the lead up to the 2008 GFC and as they’ve done on an even MORE RECKLESS SCALE over the last 14 years, had loose monetary policy (ie: artificially low interest rates for too long), which enticed businesses and private individuals to borrow recklessly.

    Let me make an analogy. College kids at a party are drinking from the punch bowl and someone decides to spike it with some hard liquor.
    Yes, the college kids drank it and got hammered and ended up in a bad way. They’re kids, this is a predictable outcome when free liquor is on offer.

    But absent that individual that spiked the punch bowl, things would’ve turned out OK.

    Similarly, irrational exuberance from the private sector in the 1920’s would have resulted in a garden variety recession which, may well have been short and sharp (as was the case in the 1920/21 recession that came and went quickly), but the 1929 crash ONLY BECAME A DEPRESSION BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION that followed.
    First by Hoover, then by FDR on a larger scale with his New Deal and other socialist meddling.

    Both Presidents prevented the recession from taking its course. They prevented market forces from correcting the imbalances that would’ve seen the recession fizzle out in next to no time.

    They (esp. FDR) expanded Big Government and government programmes, and thus increased the burden on the private sector to fund said boondoggles (taxes shot up), at a time when they should have done the exact opposite and CUT government spending – thus freeing up capital for the private sector to use more productively and create sustainable jobs (something the government is incapable of doing).

    The following 6 min video explains in simple terms how Hoover and FDR were responsible for the Great Depression. (The last two minutes explains why the recession of 1920/21, which started FAR MORE CATASTROPHICALLY THAN THE 1929 equivalent – a 24% reduction in GNP in the 1920 recession – was over and done with very quickly as government got out of the way):

    Bottom Line: Recessions come and go in relatively short order if market forces are allowed to take their course.
    But Hoover and FDR turned what would have been a garden variety recession into a prolonged Depression with their ‘remedies’.
    Hoover (like Trump in recent years), was a RINO (a Republican In Name Only).
    He greatly increased government spending and ran colossal (for that era) budget deficits.
    Then FDR came along and did the same thing on steroids.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  173. Mefobills says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    What the hell are you talking about?

    My entire comment history is about releasing debts, and how to overcome pyramid schemes. It can only be done with a legal sovereign money system.

    It so happens that “international” gold as money always ends up having “international bank credit ride on top of it.”

    This is always the case, because gold is inflexible, and cannot flex to the S shape of a normal economy.

    Lol’s are completely clueless. They are sayanim, an unwitting cats paw, bouncing humanity back and forth in a dialectic. Neo-liberalism is one paw, and Lolbertarianism is the other paw.

    Clowns from clownworld are preening like they have the answers.

  174. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    (as opposed to Mofo-Bill’s Keynesian textbook academic bubble utopia that never translates to reality).

    I am a sovereing money person, and advocate for economy like NSDAP Germany. NSDAP had sovereign money, and were not Keynesians.

    It cannot cross your two digit pea brain, that there might be a third way between your enemy, what you call fiat money/Keynesianism, and Lolbertarianism.

    The academic bubble mostly does not translate to reality, especially LOL doctrine. It is more BS just like neo-liberalism.

    This is what you cannot stand, that you are on the wrong side of history. That you are the gas-lighter promoting BS that is just as bad as what you profess to hate.

    Classical Economics DOES translate to reality, it includes debt mechanics and usury and rents; things the LOL economics pretends are not part of reality.

    In other words, you are the hoaxer. You’ve spent your life butt-snorkling Jewish doctrine and now you are ate-up.

  175. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    Utter nonsense !!

    Geez.

    Utter nonsense to your utter nonsense.

    I even gave the book and chapter to read. You don’t want to learn, your brain is calcified.

    The depression was totally all about private debts.

    This is why lolberatarian fleas are from another universe. They don’t even have language that is operative to the real world.

    There is something called Wynne Godley’s Sector Equations, that explain how private debts worked to cause the depression.

    Bernake admitted that the interest rates were too low in the 20’s.

    Why? So that Europe could reclaim its gold. It lost its gold in WW1. I guess in LOL LOL land, since Gold is god, that cannot happen. Right?

    The too low interest rates encouraged private debt formation.

    https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/great-depression

    Regarding the Great Depression, … we did it. We’re very sorry. … We won’t do it again.”
    —Ben Bernanke, November 8, 2002, in a speech given at “A Conference to Honor Milton Friedman … On the Occasion of His 90th Birthday.”

  176. @Mefobills

    Mofo-Bill, you’re a specialist when it comes to PROJECTION. ie: projecting your character flaws on others.

    And nowhere is that more obvious than in this statement of yours:

    This is you, the devastator of civilisations, with your free market worshiping debt spreading crap

    You, the chief advocate for a Fiat Monetary system that has enabled stratospheric levels of debt increases.
    You, who criticises the Gold Standard which, as dumb as you are, even you know is a system that enforces FISCAL and MONETARY RESTRAINT and therefore NO reckless lending practices.

    You’re such a fraud and a hypocrite. Any objective readers here in UR can see that.

    Meanwhile, this video is not for you Mofo – seeing as you’re so indoctrinated with voodoo economics that there’s no hope for you.
    For interested readers who genuinely want to know how a garden variety recession should be treated so that there’s no repeat of the Great Depression, please take the time to watch all 49 mins of this video :

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  177. @RoatanBill

    Thanks for taking the time to write that.

    I think you’ve been too hard on Dr Ron Paul and one reason I say that is because Dr Paul was never a professional politician.
    He ran for Congress because he genuinely cared and wanted to make a difference. You only have to look at his record and there is none of that profiting from insider trading in the manner of the Nancy Pelosi’s of the world (Pelosi is worth well over \$ 100 million).

    You can check it out for yourself. Dr Paul was a Congressman since the 1970’s and he retired with the most modest of net worth – entirely a byproduct of his income as a specialist Obstetrician and his Congressional salary.
    In other words, all he has was derived from honest toil.

    That said, you’re a worldly and knowledgeable bloke whose remarks are invariably well thought through so I’ll be taking all that you’ve said on board.

  178. @RoatanBill

    I had to look up the word “phrenology”.

    Other than that, this is one of your very best comments.

    The emperor has no clothes.

    • Thanks: RoatanBill
  179. @Truth Vigilante

    Also in defense of Ron Paul, he has many detractors (not Mr. Bill from Roatan here) who will bitch that “he didn’t bring up a SINGLE piece of legislation, blah, blah ..”. Well GOOD! If we’d have 250 more Ron Pauls voting in the House over the last century, we’d be in much better shape.

    Ron Paul was known as “Dr. No” because he’s a doctor and he’d vote against any bill that was not Constitutional. Thank you so much for trying, Ron Paul!

    Thanks, Truth Vigilante and Roatan Bill for being some of the few here who understand freedom and sound money. I don’t have the energy to keep writing back to explain things to the couple of guys .. you know whom… some people ye just cain’t reach …

    • Thanks: Truth Vigilante
  180. @Truth Vigilante

    entirely a byproduct of his income as a specialist Obstetrician and his Congressional salary.

    It’s his salary as a professional politician I was referring to. This is not an insignificant sum of money annually. These Congress Critters get paid very well considering they are forever increasing the tyranny that gov’t strives for.

    I have no idea how much of Dr. Paul’s time was spent delivering babies versus wasting time as a politician. My instinct tells me that once you’re a political animal, the masses clamor for your time and that leaves precious little time for rounds in a hospital. If he was making a decent living as a doctor, he could afford to donate his time as the original founders intended to work for the people and to do so for a very limited time period to go back to normal life.

    Call me a cynic, but actions speak louder than words and from his actions for two decades, I conclude he became a typical politician with a particular shtick that earned him an undeserved income. I know that when my company was installing microcomputer networks, we wouldn’t get paid if we didn’t do a proper job. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have the nerve to send the bill if we didn’t do a job I could be proud of. Even when a hardware manufacturer’s product failed within the first year, we would replace the hardware and provide the labor free of charge to make things right and is why we had the same clients for decades.

    Add in Rand going into politics confirms my suspicion that the family discovered a mechanism to both get respect and earn a healthy income without ever achieving much to be proud of.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  181. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    You are not even a mid-wit.

    You, the chief advocate for a Fiat Monetary system that has enabled stratospheric levels of debt increases.

    The NSDAP money system was sovereign, and not a debt money system.

    You don’t even know what FIAT means, and you are incapable of understanding, because you are low IQ.

    I mean that, sincerely.

    Because you don’t have an argument, you continuously put up strawmen and knock them down.

    You, who criticises the Gold Standard which, as dumb as you are, even you know is a system that enforces FISCAL and MONETARY RESTRAINT and therefore NO reckless lending practices.

    I recently gave an example of the Gold standard busting out Spain. This mis-identification of metal with money is some sort of seriously retarded nonsense.

    Gold does have its place, and that is in a basket for external trade.

    You’re such a fraud and a hypocrite. Any objective readers here in UR can see that.

    It’s you! You LoL’s have something wrong with your brain function. Most of you do hero worship, hence all the posting of videos. The low IQ mid-wit thing seems to be operative, as you get caught up in ideas that are obviously contradictory.

    Do you see now why Hudson wants nothing to do with your type. You are cultists, and on the wrong side of history. You have butt-snorkeled Jewish dialectic, and your ideas are NATION WRECKERS.

    You might as well be a Jewish money merchant, rubbing his hands in glee as he practices the usury game.

    The great depression was due to private debts, something the LoL’s could never understand, because they do not segregate debt types.

    JUNK ECONOMICS! JUNK IDEOLOGY!

  182. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Mefobills

    Your opinion is not historically accurate. QE pushed finance asset prices.
    […]
    It has long been known that the Stock market does not do price discovery

    Eventually, of course, the stock market always does price discovery, but the efficient-market hypothesis is mostly fantasy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficient-market_hypothesis#Criticism

    More recommended reading for you:

    Value Crashes: Deep History
    May 4, 2020
    https://www.twocenturies.com/blog/2020/5/4/value-crashes-deep-history or https://archive.ph/GfFUu

    Value Investing: Even Deeper History
    May 11, 2020
    https://www.twocenturies.com/blog/2020/5/11/value-investing-even-deeper-history or https://archive.ph/6VFkx

    [MORE]

    Here are 5 take-aways from the extended history:

    1. The -59% value crash as of March 2020 is on the very extreme side of an almost 200 year history.
    •Yet over the long-run, Value crashes of -50% appear ‘normal’. Well, they happened at least four times before the current one, if you count the -49% crash in 1862.
    2. Without the help of long history, and before the current drawdown, investors might have mistaken value investing as safe.
    •Back in 2006, which is when systematic value investing started to go mainstream, investors could see just one value crash of -54% back in 1932.
    •It was easy to dismiss it as part of a ‘very different history’ that was no longer relevant. Investors made a similar incorrect assumption about Price Momentum before it crashed in 2009.
    •With the help of extended history, the hypothetical 2006 value investor, warned about the periodic crashes, would estimate value’s risk differently, and as a result, would be less hurt during the current drawdown (I think it’s time for Excel to recognize dates before 1900).
    3. 1940 to 2006 was an exceptionally safe period for value investing compared to its full history. And this tailwind helped many great value investors, creating unrealistically high expectations for value investing.
    •For example, the Graham-Newman partnership years only saw the lowest value drawdown of -40% in 1939 – just three years after their partnership started. From then on, value rallied with minimal drawdowns during the twenty years that they operated with astonishing 20% per year returns (13% of which could be attributed to the top decile of book to value Fama-French portfolio).
    •Warren Buffett was also a benefactor of the 50-year low-crash-risk period that ended around 2006. He is now navigating the worst value drawdown in his very long investment career.
    4. Value investing, like any investing, looks like a never-ending series of drawdowns, with tiny intervals of absolute gains in between.
    •For example, out of 2332 months of value’s history, only 266 were not in drawdown – slightly over 10%. And yet when you look at the cumulative return, you barely notice the drawdowns, because the long-term compounding starts to deliver its magic.
    •In the end, I believe all investing comes down to balancing the two outcomes: drawdowns and average returns. And deep history can help us set the right expectations about both.
    5. So here we are, in a very different time and economy, and value crashed again.
    •Unfortunately, 2020 demonstrates that history does repeat itself, albeit in unexpected ways. Only in 1904 was the crash similar to its current strength.
    •The current value crash is challenging investors to make a tough decision: is value investing the riskiest or the safest thing to do now? If history is to continue repeating itself, then value should do pretty well going forward.

  183. anarchyst says:
    @Brad Anbro

    Thank you for an outstanding post!
    I have been saying the same thing for decades.
    I too am retired and do remember making much less but being able to live comfortably when the dollar was worth much more.
    There are many economists who discount the need for a monetary standard based on precious metals (silver or gold) but a standard is the only way to keep the banksters and country treasuries honest. In the old days, the only way to “short” a coinage was to “shave” the edge from silver or gold coins; hence the process of “reeded edges” on coins (grooving the edge of coinage) which was instituted to keep the banksters and everyone else honest.
    Now, back to a gold standard…
    The same amount of gold that would purchase a car in 1920 will purchase a car today. This is due to gold having intrinsic value which is free from manipulation or the printing of “more dollars” (which reduces the true value of every existing dollar).
    The last thing the banksters or world leaders want is a monetary standard that (((they))) cannot manipulate.
    We know who (((they))) are…it is long overdue for a country 110 to institute the process…

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
  184. Cking says:

    Wow, how did we get to this depth of disaster with no bottom in view; by the debt monetary financial, speculative, usurious, debt based, system, that demands the promotion and justification of cheap labor. All financial and economic downturns are blamed on high wages and most believe it’s true. The Federal Reserve system, it’s member banks, are hostile to American Labor.

    Our learned economists are simply under the power, brainwashed, by Wall St.’s perspective and demands. The organization of the American nation state constitutionally ordered to improve the population’s general welfare means nothing to them. Millions of unemployed and homeless Americans today serve as the monument to a higher cause, (a psyop), Climate Change.

    Since Henry C. Carey, author of the famous 1851 publication, Harmony of Interests, that compared the differences between the American System of economy and the British system, and Principles of Social Science, describes that in the American system of political economy, the high wage economy is actually less expensive, increasing the standard and Labor’s power of production, reducing the costs and price of all it can produce and/or manufacture. Carey wrote a letter to Rep. Schuyler, ‘The way to outdo England without fighting her’ Carey argued for the continuance of the Greenback, debt free, government issued, money to keep the nation free of British financiers. The enactment of the 1913 Federal Reserve system unleashed the war on American Labor.

    The problem with the minimum wage is that everyone aims too low. We live in a minimum wage economy now and the future is bleak. Free Trade, low wages, and usurious contracts killed the economy of India in the 17th Century, the Chinese economy in the 19th century, and America’s economy today. Both Henry Ford and Bill Gates saw and employed the power of high wages in their respective business models. Great America, realized by the high wage-high tech, nuclear powered, economy platform, the Redevelopment of North America is absolutely necessary if we want to reverse the Fed/Wall St. induced Greatest Depression upon us now. This endeavor goes through the termination of Globalization and the reorganization of Fed/Wall St. unlimited bailout system that has been killing the US working and middle class for decades. I propose a high minimum wage to fire up the down-in-the-dumps, US economy right now.

  185. @Mefobills

    Mofo-Bill persists with the discredited idea that:

    The great depression was due to private debts, something the LoL’s could never understand, because they do not segregate debt types

    The facts are the FACTS and they don’t lie.

    CHEAP MONEY, in the form of artificially low interest rates from the Zio owned Fed exacerbated the reckless borrowing of private lenders in the lead up to the 1929 crash.

    Cheap money from the Fed on an even greater scale caused the sub-prime meltdown that resulted in the 2008 GFC.

    Cheap money from the Fed on a STRATOSPHERIC SCALE (both in terms of unimaginably low rates and the DURATION that said low rates have been applied – ie: the entire 14 year post the 2008 GFC), will result in the most catastrophic bust the world has ever seen in the years to come.

    What will transpire in the coming years will be recorded in future history books as the GREATER Depression (seeing as the ‘Great’ Depression moniker is already taken).

    It might even be known as the MoFo of Depressions (seeing as minions and useful idiots of the Zio cabal like you and Hudson were instrumental in lulling your socialist brethren into a false sense of security by telling one and all):

    ‘Don’t worry comrades, we’re on a Fiat Monetary standard that’s being supervised by our wise Talmudic overlords. Just ignore what Dr Ron Paul and the Libertarians are saying because we’ve got your back’.

    ALL the facts are in my 6 min video from comment # 172.

    Hoover (and then FDR on a larger scale), went on a spending and government meddling ORGY that turned what would have been a regular recession into a DEPRESSION.

    That you can’t see this, let alone acknowledge it, shows you’re one DUMB-FUCK – and an arrogant one at that.

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  186. @Mefobills

    Further, in relation to this preposterous statement of Mofo-Bill:

    The great depression was due to private debts, something the LoL’s could never understand, because they do not segregate debt types

    …. most of us are familiar with the nonsense propagated by the Zio owned MSM, the Zio owned book publishing houses, the Zio influenced history books that our kids are indoctrinated with in the public education system.

    ie: that the Great Depression was caused by the greed and avarice of the private sector and by capitalism in general.
    And that the altruistic and selfless FDR came along with his New Deal and saved America.

    Those lacking critical thinking faculties (like Mofo-Bill and his messiah Michael Hudson), have lapped all that up and AMAZINGLY, still believe that garbage to this day, proof of how child-like and cartoonish are their grasp of economics.

    So, this begs the question(s):

    [MORE]

    1) WHY has the Zio cabal peddled this provably false idea that capitalism and the private sector were responsible for the 1929 crash that led to the Great Depression and the 2008 GFC ?

    2) WHY have the Zio cabal peddled the demonstrably false lie that 6 million Jews were gassed in those non-existent gas chambers in WWII ?

    3) WHY was 9/11 blamed on 19 Muslim hijackers and the alleged mastermind OBL working out of a cave in Afghanistan ?

    4) Why was the patsy Lee Harvey Oswald blamed for JFK’s demise ?

    And there are countless more WHY’s I could ask along those lines.

    Oh, fellow UR readers, do I really have to ask this question ?

    I’m well aware that ALL of you that have half a brain already know what I’m going to say.
    But, for the benefit of those dim wits like Mofo-Bill and Michael Hudson I will spell it out.

    In ALL CASES, such myths were propagated to DEFLECT AND DIVERT ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ACTUAL PERPETRATORS OF THESE CRIMES.

    Of course readers, the guilty party in ALL OF THESE CASES is none other than the Zionist Usury Banking Cartel (ZUBCAR), aka the Zio cabal.

    Mofo-Bill, despicable Mofo that he is, keeps carrying on about how Libertarians are covering for the Zio miscreants and how I’m the useful idiot acting on their behalf. ie: obvious PROJECTION.

    Seriously, I ask you all to consider what I’m about to say.

    Which one of us is propagating theories that COVER for Zio criminality ?
    Which one of us has tirelessly gone out of his way to expose here in UR the ACTUAL PRIME MOVER behind 9/11, the Covid Psyop, the Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud, the Manned Moon Landing Hoax, Britain’s 9/11 (the 7/7 Tube Bombings), Australia’s 9/11 (The Bali Bombings), Spain’s 9/11 (the 2004 Madrid Train bombings), the JFK/RFK/JFK Jr/MLK Jr/James Forrestal/Senator Paul Wellstone murders ?

    In ALL cases, the Zio owned MSM and Zio owned western politicians have GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO BLAME THESE EVENTS ON AN INNOCENT THIRD PARTY.

    Just as the Mofo and Michael Hudson go out of their way to blame financial catastrophes on someone else.

    This is your signature M.O Mr Mofo. (Or should I say Mr M.O-FO).
    And we’re all wise to it.

  187. @RoatanBill

    Bill, I was prepared to let the Ron Paul issue sit pat for the time being but you came back with some unjustified criticisms so I’m letting loose with a few salvos. Buckle up.

    You write about Dr Ron Paul:

    Call me a cynic, but actions speak louder than words and from his actions for two decades, I conclude he became a typical politician with a particular shtick that earned him an undeserved income

    I agree that what Ron Paul earned as a Congressman during his lifetime was inappropriate compensation for his efforts.

    [MORE]

    For what Ron Paul has done for America (and indeed the world), he should be getting the PRESIDENTIAL SALARY IN PERPETUITY, such were his HERCULEAN EFFORTS to do the right thing in spite of the barrage of demonisation and misrepresentation he’s suffered at the hands of the Zio cabal for FIVE DECADES – a cabal that has multiples of U.S GDP if financial wherewithal at its disposal and has not been afraid to expend a not insignificant chunk of that in smearing Dr Ron Paul.

    So, what do I mean by the Zio cabal spending big to destabilise Ron Paul ?

    Ron Paul entered Congress in 1976 and retired about 10 years ago. He is a twelve (or thirteen term ?) Congressman. Seeing as each term is only two years, it’s obvious that Dr Paul wasn’t in Congress for a consecutive and uninterrupted tenure during this period.
    In between terms in Congress he returned to private practice as a specialist obstetrician. (You don’t deliver 4000 babies during your career of you’re in Congress for going on 40 years consecutively).

    So, why did Ron Paul have an on-again off-again Congressional career, you ask ?

    As Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney will testify, once you enter Congress you are approached by the Israel Lobby and asked to sign a Loyalty Pledge to the Apartheid Israeli state.

    Needless to say, Ron Paul, a man of unimpeachable integrity, would NEVER sign a pledge with the devil.

    Not only did Ron Paul not sign it, he was a tireless campaigner for stopping all foreign aid.
    He is will known for saying:

    Foreign Aid is just taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries.

    In other words, the obscenely rich oligarchs from the U.S are not contributing to the foreign aid. It’s coming from the poor and middle class in the U.S and going to the warlords and military dictators in these 3rd world shit holes most of the time.
    The U.S has its own poverty issues at home and that money could have been allocated to Americans that are destitute and in need.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY, the largest recipient of U.S foreign aid since the Zio sock puppet LBJ got the ball rolling (BY A COUNTRY MILE), has been the Apartheid Israeli state.

    Yes, the blank cheque from the U.S taxpayer to the Apartheid Israeli state each year to purchase weapons of death that murder Palestinian civilians is classified as ‘foreign aid’ – as if this heavily funded by Rothschild abomination of a state needs any more money.

    Getting back to Ron Paul’s non consecutive terms in Congress, this came about because he was cheated out of some re-elections.
    Needless to say, he was voted back in soon thereafter because, even allowing for voting manipulation, the sheer weight of numbers of voters that LOVED this man and TRUSTED him in his Texas Congressional district, was enough to see him re-elected.

    So, the Zio cabal got steamed under the collar and threw countless millions into the fray, backing his opponents in that district.
    And, in conjunction with voter fraud, that was enough to make Dr Paul lose one or two elections.
    But STILL Ron Paul would stage a comeback and win the following election.

    In the end, the Zio cabal just kept throwing more and more millions to fund Dr Paul’s opponents and STILL Dr Paul kept winning.
    So the Zio cabal just gave up and said:
    ‘EFF that. The people in his Congressional district just can’t be bought. Leave him be. We still have most of the other 434 in the House of Reps on our payroll’.

    Meanwhile, I could post scores of videos from Ron Paul during Presidential debates and such, but this 5 min clip will suffice to show EMPHATICALLY why Dr Paul deserves (at a minimum), TEN TIMES whatever salary he was paid as a Congressman:

    I ask you, what Presidential candidate (on either side) even hints at a drastic reduction in military spending, let alone FORCEFULLY stating that he would INSTANTLY END ALL TH E WARS, CLOSE ALL THE OVERSEAS BASES and bring all the troops back home ?

    What about this 2 min speech of his that’s worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize – for the next 10 years running:

    Now, to the matter of the obscene amount of money that was thrown towards destroying Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential campaign and stealing the GOP nomination away from him*.
    (*This is NOT speculation. We now know that certain primaries that were declared losses to Ron Paul at the time, were in fact Ron Paul victories. Especially the first primary, the Iowa primary. Had Ron Paul won that at the time, which we now know HE DID FOR SURE, had he been announced the winner at the time this would have built up a momentum that would have followed on to the second and third primaries and so forth.

    This is what the Zio MSM did to Ron Paul in 2012:

    That needs to be watched again and again.

    There is NO CANDIDATE IN THE POST-JFK ERA THAT TH ZIO CABAL FEARED MORE THAN RON PAUL.

    And, this is one of the major reasons why.

    Ron Paul, and he ALONE, for FIVE DECADES has been reminding us about the malfeasance of the Zio owned Federal Reserve.
    He has been relentless in his pursuit to have the Fed audited – knowing full well that an audit would reveal financial chicanery on a monumental level that would result in a public outcry to END THE FED:

    Bottom Line: The Federal Reserve is the ENDLESS MONEY TREE that enables the Zionist Usury Banking Cartel to print/digitally create endless TRILLIONS that they can dole out amongst themselves and their Talmudic cronies.

    Surely RoatanBill, you must be able to see that the ending of the Fed is the first CRUCIAL STEP in unravelling the Zio cabal.

    And Ron Paul ALONE has been responsible for bringing this to the attention of the American public.

    Absent Ron Paul, the Fed would still be there in a hundred years time, exploiting the dumbed down masses and creating misery with the money they’ve digitally created ex nihilo to fund yet more False Flags, more wars, more fake virus pandemics.

    The Libertarian Ron Paul is the 21st reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson. That is NO WORD OF AN EXAGGERATION

    .

    In fact, I may even be short changing him.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
    , @RadicalCenter
  188. @Truth Vigilante

    Let me cut to the chase via a New York expression. Ron Paul was pissing up a rope for decades. The US can’t be fixed, and he knows that. Knowing that should mean that you stop taking people’s money for a job you can’t successfully do, if you’re completely honest.

    I don’t doubt that his intentions were honorable when he first entered congress, but being an intelligent man should have indicated early on that he stuck out like a sore thumb and wasn’t going to accomplish anything. He should have left in disgust and said so publicly, but he stayed and stayed and stayed.

    Not only did he take the public’s money for doing essentially nothing, but he got his son on to the gravy train by being a similar pain in the ass to the establishment and accomplish nothing. It’s a great shtick where all you have to do is to say the right things so people think highly of you, accomplish nothing, and get paid well, very well, above average.

    Ron’s presidential run was going to accomplish what exactly if he won? Was the deep state going to roll over and just quit? The office of the presidency is a joke. The US now has a demented criminal as head of state. No one seriously thinks Biden is running anything. All presidents, the members of congress and the supreme court are actors in a play to get the dumbest people in the country to applaud their performance by voting. It’s a spectacle, a con game for rubes to be fleeced.

    I made the mistake of voting once in my life, for Ross Perot, and swore I’d never make that mistake again, and haven’t. There was a time where I thought the visible members of the gov’t were the ones in charge. Life experience eventually taught me that I was mistaken. That’s why I’m an anarchist.

  189. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Businesses exist to serve the populace, not the other way around.

    Businesses exist to make money…they do that by serving the populace…or a segment thereof.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  190. Mefobills says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    CHEAP MONEY, in the form of artificially low interest rates from the Zio owned Fed exacerbated the reckless borrowing of private lenders in the lead up to the 1929 crash.

    That is exactly what I said.

    You have low reading comprehension. The low interest rates were so that France, Germany and England could recover their gold. The “private bankers” all conspired. It is even in the congressional record, when they all met, and at the hotel they met at, etc.

    Oh that’s right! You are for private companies and gold as money!

    It is just like Elon Musk said, “Most people have to die off, they cannot change their minds.”

    It would be bad if old people kept on living. Society would not be able to move forward, because it became Ossified.

    Anybody can read TV’s comment history… unhinged, sociopathic, and ossified.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  191. @RoatanBill

    Rand Paul goes through the motions like he’s on autopilot.

    But why single him out? The entire shooting match is a complete joke.

    I’m waiting patiently for the USG and the monetary control mechanism to fall apart.

    There is high demand for physical gold—- but look at the spot price.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  192. @Ralph B. Seymour

    We were talking about Ron Paul and Rand Paul is a natural associated topic.

    All of congress, without exception, is nothing but a criminal enterprise. The entire Fed Gov, all their employees past and present are part of a crime syndicate – Murder Incorporate, to be specific.

    The political class writes the laws that exempt themselves and the public thinks this is just fine; they keep voting to continue this fraud always thinking it will be fixed if they can just elect the right crook.

    Precious metals will continue to slide till there’s some significant event that scares the hell out of the population. Then they will attempt to move into the metals when both gold and silver will be unobtainium. The vast majority of PM holders aren’t parting with their stacks until the dollar collapses. That’s when property will transfer to metals owners the way it did when the German people experienced Weimar hyperinflation. A few ounces of gold bought a mansion.

    • Replies: @Ralph B. Seymour
  193. @Realist

    Businesses exist to make money…they do that by serving the populace…or a segment thereof.

    Yes, heroin dealers and human traffickers are in it “to make money.”

    They certainly do “serve a segment of the populace.” But it’s not one that any sane society would want to encourage.

    Try to read more closely. I know reading was not valued in your STEM education, but it is a useful skill.

    • Replies: @Realist
  194. @Mefobills

    I am not an economics expert by any means, but I am printing out Mefobills’ full comments on this thread. This is good stuff.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Truth Vigilante
  195. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Try to read more closely. I know reading was not valued in your STEM education, but it is a useful skill.

    Again with the ad hominem. Your comment Businesses exist to serve the populace, not the other way around…sounds like something from a communist manifesto.

    I guess I expect too much from a bellhop’s son.

  196. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    I am not an economics expert by any means,…

    …or any other kind of expert either…just a bellhop’s spawn.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  197. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch Drunk Brother writes:

    I am not an economics expert …. Mofo-Bill’s comments [are] good stuff.

    It was self evident from the latter part of that comment that you were economically illiterate.

    Hence, the first part of the comment was redundant.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  198. @Realist

    just a bellhop’s spawn.

    It’s quite obvious you’ve never stayed in a hotel, apart from perhaps a cockroach-infested rooms-by-the-hour flophouse, as that would require leaving your fortress of squalitude and engaging with the real world and actual human beings rather than cartoon strawmen, but I assure you hotels can be estimable places, and a good concierge can be highly valued and make good money.

    I apologize for engaging in ad hominems. Clearly, that’s something that’s beneath a STEM-master such as yourself.

    • Replies: @Realist
  199. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    I apologize for engaging in ad hominems. Clearly, that’s something that’s beneath a STEM-master such as yourself.

    But it is not an honest apology…you keep doing it.

    In an honest effort to converse with you, I send reply #189 to your comment, but because of your childishness, you replied with ad hominem.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  200. @Anonymous

    Excellent and interesting points, thank you.

    As for waiting until college or later to learn a language, this works fine with Spanish, but certainly NOT as well with a vastly more difficult, tonal language with a different alphabet and mode of thinking and constructing concepts, like Mandarin. We have been told this by fluent Mandarin speakers, both native mainland Chinese and native Taiwanese and Westerns who learned Mandartin. It’s highly advisable to start learning Mandarin at an earlier age if at all possible.

    Mandarin likewise is vastly more difficult for an English-speaker to learn than French or any other Romance language. In addition to tonality and the other factors mentioned above, Mandarin simply has nearly zero common vocabulary / roots with English, very much unlike any Romance or Germanic language.

    You may be right that kids graduating the Spanish/English immersion in LA may be woefully unprepared for college and our (supposedly) English-speaking society. This would presumably be especially true for the absurdly large number of “American” (“legal”, US-born-and-raised) kids here who don’t have even one parent or grandparent who speaks English well. Certainly some of the Chinese kids at our children’s immersion school do not have then English skills they should have at their respective ages.

    But our kids, who have a native-English-speaking father and a near-native-English-speaking mother, have had no problem becoming utterly proficient in English (more than most white native-born American kids) despite half of every school day being in Mandarin.

    Having said all that, LAUSD and the CA school system generally is a collection of underhanded, strange, often anti-white people, doing their best to indoctrinate the kids in odd sexual, radical and political ideas and to increase surveillance and regimentation (“pandemic” and otherwise) as much as possible. They are bad educators and often bad, untrustworthy people with an agenda that puts spreading their lifestyles and prejudices and ideologies above fairminded effective education.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  201. @RoatanBill

    Hey, give yourself some credit, at least you voted for a “third party.”. If I could go back to the elections where Perot ran, I’d vote for him instead of the Republicans and Libertarians, if I voted at all.

  202. @Truth Vigilante

    I’m inclined to agree with you about Ron Paul; we rarely see the likes of him. I still respect and like him because of his consistency, honesty, fair and courteous treatment of opposing candidates and viewpoints, and apparent incorruptibility — even as I’ve moved away from strident libertarianism.

    I’d just quibble about the source of the trillions squandered on non-defensive wars and occupations, a bloated network of “trip-wire” military bases far from our borders, and overpriced overrated aircraft carriers, aircraft, and weapons systems. Poor Americans are not the source of the tax revenue wasted on those evil endeavors, because more than half of Americans (meaning “US persons”) pay zero federal income tax each year.

    Low-income people do nominally pay FICA and Medicare taxes, as well as federal excise taxes on tobacco and on gasoline, alcohol, and marijuana if they choose those habits. Those amounts, however, would not appear to cover the typical costs that they impose on the public fisc through Medicaid and later Medicare and Social Security benefits — let alone start to defray some of their share of the federal government’s many other expenditures.

    Moreover, I say that low-income people only “nominally” pay FICA and Medicare and excise taxes, because many millions of their households get “back” more from the federal government than they ever paid in during the year. That’s the misleadingly named “refundable” “Earned” Income Tax Credit.

    So the poor are not paying for the military-industrial complex’s looting or the rest of the federal government agencies’ spending in any direct sense.

    We could say, however, that low-income and middle-income Americans of all backgrounds could be a lot better off if the federal government had taken 25% of the amount they spent on military/war and spent it employing US citizens for years on end building or rebuilding roads, bridges, schools, building new hospitals and adding beds (stagnant for decades despite a big increase in population), and helping Americans to refinance their mortgages and other debt at zero interest through a public bank. So much could be done for struggling Americans with a quarter of those many trillions.

    Let me finally add: cut another 25% out of the war/occupation budget and just don’t spend it on anything, since that’s still all covered by borrowed/phony-printed “money” anyway.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  203. @Realist

    You’re very dense. I was making fun of you for accusing me of “using ad hominems” while using one yourself (“bellhop’s spawn”) in the very same comment!

    And your comment #189 misses the point of my comment. Indeed, all you did was repeat what the earlier commenter wrote.

    Since all civilized societies ban certain types of businesses, it can be deduced that there is a general acknowledgement that not all business models have “a right to exist.”

    My position is, in the 21st century, why not take this further? Why not ban businesses that underpay their employees? Why not ban businesses that sell cheap, unhealthy junk? Why not ban pornography? Cheap liquor?

    But I can already hear the stirrings of ululations from the liberty-fetishists: “But muh freedumbs!”

    Read Ambrose Bierce. Liberty/freedom are not absolute goods.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Realist
  204. @Truth Vigilante

    Sigh, I guess you’re right. I can never hope to achieve your exalted level of economic literacy.

    I suppose I should leave this domain to my betters and go hang out in one of Michael Hudson’s comments sections.

    You know, where you’re banned due to your being relentlessly insufferable and creepy?

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  205. @RadicalCenter

    You wrote:

    I’d just quibble about the source of the trillions squandered on non-defensive wars and occupations, a bloated network of “trip-wire” military bases far from our borders, and overpriced overrated aircraft carriers, aircraft, and weapons systems.
    Poor Americans are not the source of the tax revenue wasted on those evil endeavours, because more than half of Americans (meaning “US persons”) pay zero federal income tax each year.

    I get it that more than half of Americans are not NETT contributors to the tax pool. ie: receive more from the Federal government in benefits/subsidies etc, than they pay in tax, and that the top 10% pay the majority of taxes.

    BUT, in the case of that obscenely rich Talmudic subset of the 10%, that are direct beneficiaries of the Zio owned Fed’s money printing, the same miscreant subset that got and stay rich because the Federal government introduced a regulatory burden to keep out competitors, to help maintain their monopoly (which entails that Mr Joe Average is paying more than he should for products and services and his savings and purchasing power is eroded year after year by the inflation that the Zio owned Fed creates), my contention is that this obscenely rich Talmudic subset of society that is in a position to pay taxes to the Federal government, got rich and makes a ton of money by having IMPOVERISHED the masses in the first place.

    Hence, it’s not wrong to say that a good chunk of the money the top 10% pay in taxes was exploited from the lower and middle class to begin with.

    Let’s not forget that many poor people buy cigarettes and alcohol, buy petrol for their cars, buy Chinese made products from Walmart that are subject to Trump’s 25% tariffs on Chinese made goods etc.
    And whilst said poor people may not be paying any income tax, taxes on those items makes sure that scores of billions are EXTRACTED from the destitute poor which swell the coffers of the Federal gubmint.

  206. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch Drunk Brother writes:

    Sigh, I guess you’re right. I can never hope to achieve your exalted level of economic literacy.

    Actually you can. Start with reading ‘ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON By Henry Hazlitt’:

    [MORE]

    http://www.hacer.org/pdf/Hazlitt00.pdf

    When you’re done with that, you can move on to ‘Man, Economy and State’ by Murray Rothbard:

    https://mises-media.s3.amazonaws.com/Man%2C%20Economy%2C%20and%20State%2C%20with%20Power%20and%20Market_2.pdf?file=1&type=document

    Once you’ve completed those you’re well on the way to competing with the big boys.

    You also write:

    I suppose I should leave this domain to my betters and go hang out in one of Michael Hudson’s comments sections.

    You know, where you’re banned due to your being [the one who consistently exposes the fallacies of Hudson’s voodoo economics].

    As you can see, I adjusted your statement for the Orwellian double-speak that you posted.

    I don’t for one minute suggest that, just because you’re clueless about economics (or any other topic), that you be banned from here.

    Banning is the last resort of the authoritarians and TYRANTS.

    Unable to debate the naysayers in a public forum, the:

    1) Perpetrators of the Holocaust fable,
    2) The instigators of Covid Psyop,
    3) The criminals behind the myth that on 9/11, 19 Arabs hijacked four aircraft at the behest of mastermind OBL living in a cave in Afghanistan,
    4) The peddlers of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hoax,

    …. and much more, ALL of these TYRANTS are afraid of debate in a public forum – lest they be exposed as the charlatans that they so obviously are.
    Instead they resort to using pejoratives like ‘denier’ and ‘conspiracy theorist kooks’ towards anyone that doesn’t follow the establishment line.

    And Michael Hudson is one such TYRANT.

    After I repeatedly exposed the falsity of things he wrote with REAL WORLD examples that made him look foolish, Michael Hudson started sulking like a two year old and pleaded with Ron Unz that I be banned.

    Now picture this.

    What if I said that Hudson’a economic theories are wrong because ‘his mother practises poor hygiene and has this putrid odour’ or some such juvenile remark like that when asked what my justification was for disagreeing with Hudson’s claims ?

    The world would see that statement for what it is. They’d IGNORE it, and dismiss my commentary for ever after.

    But, because what I say is TRUE, because I back it up with verifiable facts and figures and REAL WORLD outcomes that fly in the face of Hudson’s assertions, for Marxists and Trotskyists like Hudson and his sidekick Mofo-Bill, this absolutely CUTS TO THE BONE.

    They instantly start FROTHING AT THE MOUTH like rabid dogs.

    Many UR readers are aware that You Tube is banning videos that are telling the Russian side in relation to the Ukraine conflict, taking down videos from truthtellers on the Covid Psyop like Peter McCullough and Dr Robert Malone.
    They’re seeing people banned from Twitter because they’re not following the ‘Official Narrative’ on all manner of issues.

    People are upset by this level of censorship YET, have no qualms about me (and at least TWO OTHERS that I’m aware of), that are also banned from commentary in Michael Hudson articles.

    You see Punch Drunk Brother, people like you are HYPOCRITES.

    You’re all for free speech – as long as it agrees with your beliefs.
    When it doesn’t, you advocate for banning people.

    BANNING IS THE LAST RESORT option used by those who know their position on an issue is INTELLECTUALLY and MORALLY bankrupt.

    So, I ask once again.
    Is Michael Hudson (who advocates for MMT, Statism and Big Government authoritarianism), prepared to take on Peter Schiff (former Ron Paul 2008 Presidential campaign economic adviser and committed Libertarian) in a debate ?

    It could be featured right here in the Unz Review and would draw worldwide attention to this webzine – obviously not because anyone would want to hear the unknown Michael Hudson but because of the hordes of Peter Schiff fans that relish the sight of yet another wiping-the-floor evisceration of a clueless Marxist.

    I’ve suggested this to Michael Hudson on several occasions and he backed down like a gutless CHICKEN-SHIT every time.

    What are you AFRAID of Hudson ?

    If your beliefs have any validity, surely they will withstand some scrutiny.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  207. @RoatanBill

    I really don’t get your problem with Ron Paul, Bill, especially after this comment. Are you saying that Ron Paul would have been a better man if he’d just given up?

    First of all, I imagine Congressman Paul could not foresee that Americans would increasingly forget their Libertarian and Constitutionalist roots and that he’d never get anywhere. He’s nothing if not an optimist.* Even if he did see that over the years, why do you fault him for trying? That’s a bogus argument about his wanting the the Congressional pay so badly – an OB doc can make damned good money too, and he could have spent more time with his family in Texas.

    Look, you saw the mess coming here, and you bailed out. I don’t blame you one bit. It’s easier and much better an idea for a single guy to go to a new and foreign land as you did. For me, it was Uruguay I had my eye on for a while (I’d still like to visit), but I’m pretty sure we’re stickin’. Your Roatan and (my) Uruguay are good because they are just well off the political world world stage, and we don’t think the big powers care about messing with them.

    However, we can’t ALL move to those places. Secondly, there is no “beacon of freedom” out there in the world, or I’d have moved the family there years ago.

    Finally, like RadicalCenter, I don’t get why you regretted that one vote. It’s not like Ross Perot won the election and was then one of the usual douchebags. Who knows how things would have transpired had Mr. Perot not been threatened by the Deep State in the summer of ’92? If you recall, he dropped out** with some excuse about his daughter’s wedding being threatened(?), but I think it was bigger threats than that.

    In fact, there’s a potential Pravda article for Mr. Unz here I’d really like to read. What really happened to Ross Perot 30 years ago?

    I appreciate men like Ron Paul who NEVER GIVE UP. It’s not over until the Commies have got you in the goolag or dead in a ditch. Guys like Ron Paul keep reminding us of who our enemies are. Thank you, Ron Paul!

    .

    * That’s about the one thing I disagree with in his columns, the optimistic last paragraph he writes in most of his columns. Yeah, we’re all gonna watch the Liberty Report and see the light. Well, I have long ago, but these 50-75 million newly imported Americans? They are almost all, to a man, not the type that will be voting for guys like Ron Paul and perusing the US Constitution!

    ** He re-entered the campaign a couple of months later.

    • Thanks: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  208. @RadicalCenter

    Mandarin likewise is vastly more difficult for an English-speaker to learn than French or any other Romance language.

    You said it, RC! Maybe it’s an understatement. I am not a language buff, though Spanish came easily when I was younger. (I never could do anything but an American accent though – really bad with that.)

    Do you know of any language harder or more difficult for Western people than written Chinese? Maybe other Oriental character-based languages? How about Arabic? (I don’t know – just asking.)

    As for spoken Mandarin, I can’t even get the 4 tones right, dammit!

  209. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    You’re very dense. I was making fun of you for accusing me of “using ad hominems” while using one yourself (“bellhop’s spawn”) in the very same comment!

    I was replying in kind. It’s okay for you but not me???

  210. @Achmed E. Newman

    I thought I explained my position well, apparently not.

    I give Ron Paul credit for entering Congress as a bright eyed champion of freedom. I detract from that credit the next 20 year of accomplishing nothing of substance and still occupying the seat that pays well and offers up insider information not available to the general public. Being an actual working doctor requires much more effort than sitting on your ass in DC and having a staff of people to keep you insulated.

    After the fact, I viewed his presidential run as a way to keep the remaining campaign funds as a retirement enhancement. Did Ron really think he was going to “End The Fed”, stop the wars, and all the rest of the sound bites he’s famous for? He must have heard of JFK. He must have known that there’s no way he was going to get the nod from the political machine that controls who gets in.

    When he left Congress, I was signed up for his Internet service but quit when I started getting emails to send him money. He was continuing on his Don Quixote quest but now going direct. When Rand Paul got into Congress, that was it for me. Just another political dynasty in the making. Knowing what Congress is all about, shouldn’t an honest man have told his son not to dirty his hands?

    The system in DC corrupts everyone that stays there too long. If you’re ineffective, the deep state ignores you. If you’re effective but incorruptible, the deep state gets rid of you one way or another. Ron Paul was there for 20 years.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  211. @RoatanBill

    I got your point, Bill, but I don’t agree, period. You are perhaps even more cynical than me. There are some people that don’t give up. Ron Paul’s “Nay” vote in the House was always better than an “Aye” and sometimes may have even made a difference (if not by the one vote, then from his influence).

    Let’s see, you think this 80-something y/o man is all in it for the money? Get real!

    Knowing what Congress is all about, shouldn’t an honest man have told his son not to dirty his hands?

    2 things: 1) A Senator is 1 out of 100, while a Rep is 1 out of 454. 2) Who says Rand Paul wanted that advice from his Dad?

    If you’re effective but incorruptible, the deep state gets rid of you one way or another.

    As much as I appreciate the guy’s work, I don’t think Ron Paul was any kind of threat to the Deep State. Ross Perot was another story.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  212. @Achmed E. Newman

    Today, I think Ron Paul is bored and is keeping active by having his Internet presence. Today, I don’t think it’s about the money for him. The money is to pay for the internet presence. When he first got started, it wasn’t about the money. The longer he stayed, the more comfortable he got within the environment and over time inertia took over and he stayed, not for the money necessarily, but it became a way of life.

    Who says Rand Paul wanted that advice from his Dad?

    Would that thinking extent to Joe Biden not knowing about and not talking to Hunter about Hunter’s business dealings? Be consistent.

    If there was such a thing as good government (there isn’t), I’d give Ron Paul a shot at leading it even though I, as an anarchist, detest the very idea of having an entity not only capable of threatening me for my views, but actively stealing from me for things I don’t want to fund. In the final analysis, Ron Paul was part of the political machine that violates my natural rights for my entire life as a matter of policy.

    I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercion’s that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.
    Murray Rothbard

    Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.
    In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.
    Robert Higgs

  213. @RoatanBill

    Anarchists did not…

    That’s because anarchists literally don’t do anything.

    It’s a fake, fantasy ideology.

    • Troll: RoatanBill
  214. @Truth Vigilante

    And Michael Hudson is one such TYRANT.

    LOL, Michael Hudson is an 83-year-old academic with a small audience.

    Does it make you feel good to relentlessly harass an elderly man who’s just trying to write about economics?

    You’re all for free speech – as long as it agrees with your beliefs.
    When it doesn’t, you advocate for banning people.

    I never advocated for banning anybody. I just think it’s funny that you would get banned on a site like Unz.com, which has a very low level of moderation.

    It could be featured right here in the Unz Review and would draw worldwide attention to this webzine

    I think you’re drastically overestimating the popularity of Peter Schiff.

  215. @RoatanBill

    The longer he stayed, the more comfortable he got within the environment and over time inertia took over and he stayed, not for the money necessarily, but it became a way of life.

    Sure. I’ve got no problem with that – better than being a La Raza or BLM activist, right?

    Would that thinking extent to Joe Biden not knowing about and not talking to Hunter about Hunter’s business dealings? Be consistent.

    That’s just silly. There’s no comparison between 2 crooked corrupt bastards and Ron Paul and his son Rand. Even if the elder Paul told his son that “it’s a waste of time, they’re a bunch of corrupt bastards, and you don’t want to dirty your hands”, his son, however many years younger, may still be more idealistic. Plus, it’s the Senate.

    Sorry, there’s no point in dissing about the best (ex) politician that’s still in the public view. He was NOT part of the political machine – he was trying to STOP the political machine. As for your anarchists, I like Mr. Rothbard, don’t know Mr. Higgs, but I’ll ask you to learn about the immigrant anarchists from eastern Europe that set off bomb in NY about a century ago. What about those guys? (Maybe they were actually Communists, I don’t know…)

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  216. Anon[256] • Disclaimer says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    A book report on the Friedmanite literature. How quaint. You’re 40 years out of date.

  217. @Achmed E. Newman

    I see. Comparing two sets of father and son politicians isn’t permissible, but comparing bomb throwing faux anarchists to the most peace loving kind is OK.

    That gov’t has corrupted the language to call bomb throwers and those totally against the initiation of violence by the same term doesn’t seem to raise a flag in your mind.

    Gov’ts murdered 200,000,000 people in the 20th century. Even the bomb throwing faux anarchists never got anywhere near that figure and yet, you support at least some of the politicians that are part of the gov’t, the US gov’t, the most murderous and destructive in recent times. I don’t support any of them since gov’t in and of itself is the most destructive institution on the planet.

  218. Anon[406] • Disclaimer says:

    The ideal of the business class is “something for nothing” – i.e., pay zero wages and taxes while tasking the government with preventing workers from falling into absolute insolvency.

    Soak these parasites. Soak the living hell out of them.

    Harsh? Libertarians have made it clear many times that only the threat of physical force (e.g., the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) keeps them from presiding over entrenching the ideal I described.

    So give them what they ask for. Start with spankings and proceed through cow-hiding to confiscation. Florida’s governor DeSantis is taking the first steps toward stopping these Marie Antoinettes from utterly devouring the people.

  219. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    If you knew anything about Chicago you would have mentioned the Ford Motor Company’s Chicago assembly plant at E. 130th Street and Torrence Avenue where they build the sixth-generation Ford Explorer and the second-generation Lincoln Aviator. They employ a little over four thousand people.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  220. @Realist

    I never said I was an expert on Chicago. Like I said, I haven’t been there in many years.

    I pulled up the first manufacturing-related businesses in Chicago that I could find on Google-maps for a reason: to demonstrate to you that many sorts of people work in big cities, working many sorts of jobs, and you can discern this with a quick Google search.

    You seem to think that large cities are nothing but barren wastelands roamed by irradiated zombie negroes.

    You are sheltered from reality. Try getting out more.

    • Replies: @Realist
  221. I genuinely respect that “Realist” and ” Truth Vigilante” have no value for you.

    On the other hand, here is another perspective:

    • LOL: Realist
    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  222. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    You seem to think that large cities are nothing but barren wastelands roamed by irradiated zombie negroes.

    They are shitholes…if you don’t know that…you are sheltered from reality. Try getting out more.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  223. @Punch Brother Punch

    Watch the 15 seconds or so beginning at the 59 sec mark of the video in comment # 222 where Ron Unz says:

    ‘Since employers have a lot of lobbyists and they fund a lot of think tanks and employ a lot of academic scholars who are willing to focus on certain things and not other things … ‘

    No doubt the high roller business owners that Ron Unz rubs shoulders with can afford to hire lobbyists, think tanks and such.

    These people are NOT representative of employers in general.
    There are the 1% of the 1%.
    ie: they’re the 0.01% of employers that probably own NYSE and NASDAQ listed businesses with multi-billion capitalisations.

    I don’t know (nor have I ever known) an employer that has hired a lobbyist, utilised a think tank or hired an academic.
    Small businesses that own restaurants, cafes, bakeries, auto repair shops etc, have a handful of employees and these are the businesses that employ the minimum wage people more often than not.

    These small business employers have risked much to start their business. Often they put up the equity in their homes as collateral for money loaned to begin their enterprise or buy into a Dunkin Donuts franchise etc.

    When the business goes bust (and statistically around 80% of businesses do within the first two or three years), the bank forecloses on their home and they’ve lost it all.
    Being self employed is a high risk undertaking and is becoming even more high risk as ‘world-improvers’ and ‘meddlers’ who’ve never run a business themselves (more often than not they’re career academics or socialists with degrees in Political Science), but these ‘know-alls’ like to dictate to others how their businesses should be run.

    And these small businesses (as a collective), employ a hell of a lot of people as a % of the workforce.

    The minimum wage laws DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT THESE BUSINESSES and not the mega corporations that are owned by individuals that Ron Unz lunches with.

    I read a statistic that around 98% of employees in the U.S earn above the minimum wage.
    Those employers that can afford to hire lobbyists, think tanks and such almost always have high skilled workers employed that earn well above the minimum wage .
    It’s easy for many of them to appear altruistic and say we’ll have a \$20/hour or even a \$25/hour minimum wage structure in place seeing as their workers already likely get paid more than that anyway.

    Oh, some of you will be thinking, even Goldman Sachs still needs cleaners in their building to do menial work and tidy the bathrooms and these workers are likely to get low wages.

    Big businesses can EASILY get around that by CONTRACTING out the cleaning to another entity.
    That way they can say that ‘Acme Cleaning Company’ is contracted out and paid, for example, \$150K per year to clean out their offices, even though said company may be paying under \$10/hour for immigrant or illegal alien workers.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  224. Anon[352] • Disclaimer says:
    @RoatanBill

    “society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual”

    Let’s say somebody steals your wallet in your ideal society. What do you do, buy it back?

    Order relies on coercion. You simply want to replace an elected order with an unelected. Gangism.

    Don’t bother to reply with emotional rhetoric about “governments are the biggest gangs of all!” or how your getting a parking ticket for being an asshole is equivalent to Mao’s reign. We’ve heard it all before.

    • Troll: RoatanBill
    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  225. Rubicon says:
    @Ghali

    Ghali – you have stated perfectly well some of the truths behind US low wages.
    In essence, the wealthy became Super Wealthy/Multi-billionaires when they off-shored labor union jobs to Asian/Other nations.

    This saved them Billions of \$\$s in taxes.
    At the same time, these thieves started a massive attack against Any/All Unions. Result: there are few unions left, and those who survived, did so with the rise of union “administrators” who started making large profits by integrating themselves into the US Financial Markets/Real Estate, etc.

    End result: as a for instance, today we have Black Rock/Vanguard/Many Others who manage the entire State Teacher’s System. For that matter they have taken over all other teacher unions in the US.

    To put it very simply, we have almost 90% of all Americans losing ground with 35-40 million citizens in poverty.

    It shouldn’t take an author who understands this appalling economic/financial system 20,000 words to convey these simple truths.
    We recommend reading Dr. Michael Hudson’s articles and listen to his interviews.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  226. @Realist

    Depends on where you are. I’m sure Chicago doesn’t seem like a “shithole” (what a worn-out 2017 term) if you live in the Magnificent Mile.

    My high school girlfriend currently lives in Chicago. She’s a lawyer. I don’t know exactly where she lives, but its probably one of the quaint villages with lots of coffee shops and hipster bars and dog parks, etc.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  227. @Truth Vigilante

    Yes, libertarians like to posture as champions of the ordinary citizen, small business owner, etc., while then advocating for precisely the policies that would hurt them.

    It’s tiresome.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Truth Vigilante
  228. @Anon

    Order relies on coercion.

    Sadly true. Life is tragic and messy. Libertarians can’t understand this.

  229. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    It’s tiresome.

    Then take a break…you need it.

  230. Anonymous[349] • Disclaimer says:

    Some of this is largely age and generation based. The GAE largely abandoned any notion of improving the lives of the working and (now defunct) middle class after the baby boomers took control of the country. Those interested should look into the boomer-millennial wealth gap, and maybe also check out Bruce Gibney’s work “A Generation of Sociopaths, ” his scathing indictment of America’s most powerful generation.

    Right-wing boomers embraced Reaganesque policies regarding tax cuts and deregulation, while the New Left boomer Democrats similarly allied with Wall Street and stopped paying lip service to anything resembling even token populism or economic leftism. Boomers offshored America’s industrial base, defunded its public institutions, and largely pulled up the ladder they themselves used to achieve middle class prosperity.

    https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/03/08/bruce-gibney-sociopaths-baby-boomers

    It’s been reported in the MSM that millennials are abandoning Biden and the Democratic Party. It’s no surprise, since millennials know Biden and the mainstream Democratic party long ago threw them under the bus. More and more millenials and economic progressives will “wake up” to both the fake two-party system as well as the need to urgently unite against baby boomer power and privilege.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  231. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    “the working and (now defunct) middle class after the baby boomers took control of the country. Those interested should look into the boomer-millennial wealth gap”

    This might be counter-intuitive to most, but the American middle class is actually shrinking, because more households have been moving into the upper middle class:

    Yes, the US middle class is shrinking, but it’s because Americans are moving up. And no, Americans are not struggling to afford a home.
    January 31, 2018
    https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/yes-the-us-middle-class-is-shrinking-but-its-because-americans-are-moving-up-and-no-americans-are-not-struggling-to-afford-a-home/ or https://archive.ph/tPzDS

    But it’s not entirely good news because the current American upper middle class is not exactly comparable to the American upper middle class of the past:

    middle-class families are more fragile and more dependent on two incomes […] “Essentially all of the income gains that middle-class American families have experienced since 1970 are due to the rise in women’s earnings.”[…] Over the 60 years following WWII, women’s labor-force participation jumped from 35% to 75%. In the 70s alone it jumped from 50% to 65%

    https://www.unz.com/article/trade-war-iii/?showcomments#comment-2534321

    Plus, this is good news, I guess, for a white Millennial like myself, but again not entirely good news for the country as a whole, since racial wealth inequality will likely be increasing (more wealthy Whites relative to wealthy Blacks and Hispanics)…

    Millennials Will Become Richest Generation In American History As Baby Boomers Transfer Over Their Wealth

    Oct 26, 2019
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/10/26/millennials-will-become-richest-generation-in-american-history-as-baby-boomers-transfer-over-their-wealth/

    A study shows that Millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they have today and the group is anticipated to inherit over \$68 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents by the year 2030. This will represent one of the greatest wealth transfers in the modern times.
    […]
    Due to inheritances, trusts and estate planning, there will be a steady flow of Millennials getting very rich soon. Since the Millennial generation is smaller than the Boomers they’re inheriting from, the wealth handed down will be highly concentrated. Ironically, this could contribute to increasing wealth inequality.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  232. @Punch Brother Punch

    She’s a lawyer. I don’t know exactly where she lives, but its probably one of the quaint villages with lots of coffee shops and hipster bars and dog parks, etc.

    A “quaint village” means she’s in some suburb and not in Chicago. Do you know what “inner city” means?

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  233. @Realist

    Yes, black crime occurs quite frequently in Chicago and, like many places, it has experienced an uptick post-George Floyd.  I’m sure the millionaires in their penthouses aren’t too bothered.

    It may surprise you to learn that crime occurs outside of big cities as well.  These are the most dangerous places in Illinois:

    1.  Rockford
    2.  Danville
    3.  Mount Vernon
    4.  Centralia
    5.  Granite City
    6.  Cahokia
    7.  Peoria
    8.  Springfield
    9.  Decatur
    10.  Marion

    Souce:  https://www.roadsnacks.net/most-dangerous-cities-in-illinois/

    Crime is not a Left vs. Right issue or an Urban vs. Rural issue but a problem of demography and economics.

    Your STEM education influences you to adopt a rigid, overly simplistic take on every issue.

    • Replies: @Realist
  234. @Rubicon

    You lament that:

    To put it very simply, we have almost 90% of all Americans losing ground with 35-40 million citizens in poverty.

    And offer as a ‘solution’:

    We recommend reading Dr. Michael Hudson’s articles and listen to his interviews.

    Well then which is it ?

    EITHER you’re genuinely concerned about the impoverishment of your fellow man OR you advocate for Michael Hudson’s economic quackery that will only exacerbate America’s decline.

    Hudson knows nothing about wealth creation. He’s the nearest thing the Unz Review has to a career academic that’s never run a business of his own creation, never contributed to the productive gain of society.

    As the saying goes:

    Those that can, DO. Those that can’t, TEACH.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  235. @Punch Brother Punch

    So, quaint villages are neighborhoods in the inner city – news to me.

    As for your “coolest”, “hippest”, and “most interesting” places, they are all going to have one thing in common – few black people or black people moving out due to gentrification. As for your 10 cities in Illinois with violence, every one will have a large amount of black people. You can look it up and take that to the bank.

    • Agree: Realist, Adam Smith
    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  236. @Truth Vigilante

    Small businesses that own restaurants, cafes, bakeries, auto repair shops etc, have a handful of employees and these are the businesses that employ the minimum wage people more often than not.

    In restaurants, most cooks (even short-order ones) make more than minimum wage.  Servers tend to take home more than minimum due to tipping.  Only absolute entry level positions – kitchen helper/prep, dishwasher, etc. – pay minimum.

    Auto mechanics make more than minimum, as do bakers.  Maybe the person working the cash register at the bakery or auto repair shop is getting minimum wage (although, in the case of auto shops, I would think they’d want to hire someone with strong customer service skills and a knowledge of cars.  That job candidate will want to be paid more than a cleaning lady.)

    All of these jobs require some level of skill.  You’d never be able to retain skilled labor paying the bare minimum, as your employees would leave the second somebody could pay them more.

    or buy into a Dunkin Donuts franchise etc.

    Valuable, wealth-producing entrepreneurialism. 

    The minimum wage laws DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT THESE BUSINESSES and not the mega corporations that are owned by individuals that Ron Unz lunches with.

    The majority of minimum wage jobs are in things like fast food, hotels, retail and groceries – these tend to be owned by large corporations.

    Other large minimum wage fields include bars, some construction and factory jobs, some lawn maintenance and agricultural labor, janitorial services – these may or may not be corporate.

    Big businesses can EASILY get around that by CONTRACTING out the cleaning to another entity.

    Yes, minimum wage labor often comes down to shitty but absolutely necessary jobs.  These attract people who are desperate for any type of employment and are willing to endure exploitation, mistreatment and low pay.  This fuels mass immigration (both legal and illegal) as immigrants are often the ones who are willing to put up with this.

    This is what I would call an “immoral business model.”

    Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel And Dimed for a scathing depiction of working conditions at a cleaning agency.

  237. @Achmed E. Newman

    So, quaint villages are neighborhoods in the inner city – news to me.

    In the Chicago city limits alone there is Bridgeport Village, Chrysler Village, East Village, Little Village, Polish Village, Roscoe Village, Schorsch Village, Ukrainian Village and University Village.

    As for your “coolest”, “hippest”, and “most interesting” places, they are all going to have one thing in common – few black people or black people moving out due to gentrification.

    As I’ve repeated in my earlier comments, demography is directly related to crime rate.  Indeed, Ron Unz has said the correlation between black population and crime rate is something like 0.9 – one of the highest in all of social metrics!

    As for your 10 cities in Illinois with violence, every one will have a large amount of black people.

    I don’ t deny that at all.

    The black population of Rockford is around 22%
    Danville (2000 census) – around 24%.
    Mount Vernon = 15% black.
    Centralia = 25% black.
    Peoria = 27% black.
    Springfield = 19% black.
    Decatur = 26% black.
    Marion = 5% white.

    Couldn’t find good stats for Granite City or Cahokia.

    You seem to share the same difficulty with reading comprehension as your friends, Realist and Truth Vigilante.

    I recommend intensive immersion in Shakespeare, Keats and John Donne.  They’ll set you straight.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  238. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch Drunk Brother writes:

    Yes, libertarians like to posture as champions of the ordinary citizen, small business owner, etc., while then advocating for precisely the policies that would hurt them.

    It seems your ‘Punch-Drunk’ moniker is appropriate, because those blows to your head have certainly done some damage to what remaining grey matter you have left.

    Libertarians don’t ‘posture’. What they advocate for is a RETURN to what existed in the U.S (and Australia and Canada* etc) in the 130 or so years prior to the formation of the U.S Federal Reserve.

    (*I’m led to believe that Canada did not have a central bank until 1934 and in the case of Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia came into being in 1959 – and both countries functioned just fine when the Free Market determined prevailing interest rates and not some career academic bureaucrat that was on the Zionist payroll).

    Now, my Punch Drunk friend, I think we’re both in agreement (and you can add Ron Unz in the mix in light of what he wrote in the article), on this point:

    ie: that the common man has gone BACKWARDS in the U.S over the last 50 years as wages, adjusted for inflation, are LOWER than they were in the early 70’s.

    Well then, in what ENVIRONMENT did that happen ?

    It CERTAINLY did not happen in a Libertarian utopia.

    The U.S, since LBJ’s Guns and Butter massive expansion of the warfare/welfare state, has seen Big Government grow like a cancer.
    The regulatory burden that disproportionately crushes smaller businesses and aides big box stores and oligopolies, has enriched the latter beyond belief.
    China is winning because it is what the U.S once was. ie: a bastion of Free Market Capitalism while the U.S has descended into the Socialist abyss.

    Bottom Line: Whatever America has becomes, is courtesy of the Socialist, Big Government policies that dupes like you Mr Punch-Drunk espouse.

    You cannot blame ANY of the ills on Libertarianism because, as you and I know, Libertarianism has had NO SWAY in the economic narrative of the last 50 years.
    Dr Ron Paul, for five decades, was the ONLY U.S politician that advocated for a return to Libertarian ideals of America’s golden age.
    In return the Zio owned MSM ridiculed and smeared him at every opportunity.

    Stop acting like a coward and admit that the misguided economic theories of Keynesians like your hero Michael Hudson are responsible for the mess the U.S is in, and none of it can be blamed on Libertarianism.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  239. @Punch Brother Punch

    Sorry, that should be “Marion = 5% black.”

  240. @Truth Vigilante

    What they advocate for is a RETURN to what existed in the U.S (and Australia and Canada* etc) in the 130 or so years prior to the formation of the U.S Federal Reserve.

    So the west was a paradise in the 19th century?  Have you read Mark Twain?  Lord Byron?  Herman Melville?

    The U.S, since LBJ’s Guns and Butter massive expansion of the warfare/welfare state, has seen Big Government grow like a cancer.

    You’re obsessed with LBJ.  No big deal, I consider him one of the most sinister characters in the history of American politics.

    You’re usually correct when you’re not talking about economics!

    China is winning because it is what the U.S once was. ie: a bastion of Free Market Capitalism while the U.S has descended into the Socialist abyss.

    I’m not qualified to talk about China. Michael Hudson and Larry Romanoff are. I think I’ll take their word, for now. But, who knows? You might be right in the long run!

  241. Realist says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    Funny how you gloss over how wrong you were about

    I’m sure Chicago doesn’t seem like a “shithole” (what a worn-out 2017 term) if you live in the Magnificent Mile.

    Crime is not a Left vs. Right issue or an Urban vs. Rural issue but a problem of demography and economics.

    Bullshit, cities run by Democrats are the most crime-ridden and the demography is black.

    Your STEM education influences you to adopt a rigid, overly simplistic take on every issue.

    You have absolutely no understanding of STEM education. Stick to what you know best…bell hopping…ding, ding.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  242. @Realist

    Funny how you gloss over how wrong you were about

    I’m sure Chicago doesn’t seem like a “shithole” (what a worn-out 2017 term) if you live in the Magnificent Mile.

    As usual, you miss the point.  A wealthy person in Chicago is unlikely to be affected by the fact that Burberry occasionally gets hit by a negro flash robbery mob.

    Bullshit, cities run by Democrats are the most crime-ridden and the demography is black.

    You’re putting the cart before the horse.  Cities attract large numbers of blacks who vote for gibs as well as high-IQ, open-to-experience whites who signal their enlightened status by voting for the opposite of the Stupid Party (Republicans are known as the ‘Stupid Party’ for good reason).

    Regardless, Jacksonville, FLA; Fort Worth, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Fresno, CA; Mesa, AZ; Omaha, NE; Miami, FL; Tulsa, OK; Bakersfield, CA; Lexington, KY; Stockton, CA; Anchorage, AK; Lubbock, TX; Irving, TX; – all have Republican mayors and crime rates higher than the national average.

    You have absolutely no understanding of STEM education. Stick to what you know best…bell hopping…ding, ding.

    “Ding! Ding!” Yay! It’s fun to make sounds! Hooray! You’re a special boy who rides the special bus! Yay!

    • LOL: Realist
  243. Readers would do well to watch the video on YouTube – “Walmart The High Cost Of Low Price” – the video came out quite some time ago but everything that it says is as true now as when the video was made. If not more so!

  244. Anonymous[349] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    Thank you for sharing that. It’s true the actual economic aspects of the middle class are complex and multifaceted. Frankly I’m not sure I buy that claim, often repeated throughout the mainstream media, that “Millennials are set to become richest generation in history” because of inheriting wealth from boomers.

    For one thing, it’s all speculative, not some kind of established fact, as these journalists claim. It depends on boomer behavior. Many boomers pride themselves on not leaving an inheritance, and its possible what most boomers don’t spend will go to expensive end-of-life care. Even if some millennials benefit lavishly, and of course some will, many boomers will live at least twenty more years. The oldest millennials are now in their forties, so the many that still have college debt and can’t afford a house won’t benefit from this when it would most count.

    That’s an interesting article, but as even the comments note, the AEI is hardly objective. America is still great, economically, for the wealthy, those in the one percent, as well as for many hard-working millennials who had great parents and for whom the system worked. But the skyrocketing price of tuition over the last two decades, the increased cost of housing, and competition with immigrants and H1B visas have had a profoundly negative effect on upward mobility. This can be seen in the staggering wealth gap between boomers and millennials.

    https://www.unz.com/article/white-millennials-americas-sacrificial-lamb/
    https://www.unz.com/article/the-real-wealth-gap/

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  245. Anonymous[349] • Disclaimer says:

    Universal Basic Income is another good alternative that might help the working class.

    Whatever one things of Andrew Yang and his new Forward Party, it’s a shame he’s not featured on the Unz Review, as he’s made some very good arguments in favor of UBI, especially considering the rise of automation.

    Canada offered its citizens \$2k/month during the pandemic, its a shame Biden didn’t have the courage to consider this as well. Many are leaving the Democratic Party, as the party is a scam that shamelessly serves the interests of the oligarchy, the interests of Wall Street, just as much as the GOP ever did. Perhaps they should check out the Forward Party if it has UBI as part of its platform, and as a way to eventually end the two-party system.

    America clearly needs some kind of FDR-style New Deal. Its doubtful it’ll last another decade. But if a populist made it extremely easy for those under 40 to own a house, get out of debt, and start a family, he would likely win in a landslide.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  246. Anonymous[667] • Disclaimer says:

    American baby boomers are indeed all sociopaths, as authors of both the left and right have successfully argued. They utterly lack empathy, they’re narcissistic, entitled, and spiteful towards anyone that isn’t a boomer.

    They’ve turned the US into a woke gerontocracy with the worst policies of both political parties, that steals from the young to line the pockets of the old. In a just society, ideally they’d be forced to pay reparations to millennials. They want SS and Medicare paid for, but will vote against any government spending that doesn’t benefit them. And they needlessly created the entire student debt crisis, after taking advantage of free college.

    https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/03/08/bruce-gibney-sociopaths-baby-boomers

    YouTube Interview on A Generation of Sociopaths:

  247. Ummm says:
    @Punch Brother Punch

    On the contrary, they were delighted to find someone who would show up every day and do the shit-work.

    You came in and did work. So, you reliably produced the value you were paid for.

    If you came in and did no work, their attitude would have been markedly different.

    Since Truth Vigilante has likely never had a minimum wage job, and engages with the world through libertarian cliches, he doesn’t understand that these are often the hardest, most thankless jobs of all.

    Have you ever worked with people who won’t work? You seem to be accusing Truth vigilante of being privileged, but watching people get paid the same as you who are about 20% as productive as you is uniquely soul destroying.

    Also, economics. In Australia we’ve recently mandated a minimum wage for fruit pickers, since some people on the (now previous) piece rate system were only earning \$2.50 per hour.

    The piece rates are generally set up so the *average* piece worker earns about \$30/h

    So that means that, given a farm that averages \$30 per hour for the average productive employee, someone earning \$2.50 an hour is doing 1/12th the work.

    Should we pay them \$30 an hour?

    Do you think the current \$30 /h employees will work as hard given that people who are 1/12th as productive get paid the same?

    • Thanks: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  248. Ummm says:
    @Apu

    We surely do not have 4% unemployment.

    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8948-roy-morgan-real-australian-unemployment-in-covid-australia-april-2022-202204131130

    Even this is incorrect since the figures reference “the workforce”.

    As an example – if you’re on a disability pension = you’re no longer counted. We have about 700k people on a disability pension.

  249. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Thank you for your feedback!

    There is an interesting, viral lecture on YouTube, that I have watched twice already over the last year, dealing with these new wealth distribution/inheritance dynamics and issues, which are unique to the more recent, higher-life-expectancy generations that cannot expect to inherit until average age 56, when it used to be around average age 37 for the past, pre-mid 20th century & pre-WW II generations, titled:

    [MORE]

    Life begins at 40: the biological and cultural roots of the midlife crisis | The Royal Society
    May 15, 2019

    During the 20th century, the midlife crisis became a fashionable means of describing feelings of disillusionment with work, disenchantment with relationships, detachment from family responsibilities, and the growing fear of personal death that began to haunt those beyond the age of forty.

    Coined in 1965, the term ‘midlife crisis’ is often used as satire in popular culture, with numerous examples of stereotypical depictions of rebellion and infidelity. It has been a popular focus of research seeking to explain why and how middle age presents particular social, physiological and emotional challenges.

    In this lecture, Professor Mark Jackson, winner of the 2018 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal, explores a rich range of historical sources to argue that the midlife crisis emerged as a result of demographic changes, new biological accounts of ageing, and deepening anxieties about economic decline, political instability, rising level of divorce, and the impact of family breakdown on social cohesion.

  250. anarchyst says:
    @Anonymous

    FDR’s “New Deal” actually prolonged the “depression” It took WW2 to energize the US economy…

    That being said…

    The united States of America was largely successful due to the (lack of) ethics of most builders of industry, raking in millions in profits for themselves while ignoring the basic needs of those who made their success possible by their hard work.

    It was common to see these “captains of industry” do their damnedest to pay their employees as little as possible while raking in massive profits benefiting only themselves.

    These “captains of industry” attempted to redeem themselves by establishing “foundations” (which guarded their wealth, making it tax exempt) and indirectly countering their own beliefs that it was not necessary to pay their employees a “decent wage”.

    They always pleaded poverty to their employees while living grand lives themselves.

    One must not forget the “company town” with the “company store” which was a more advanced form of “slavery”, putting people in bondage by charging artificially inflated prices for goods while their employees wages were “not quite enough” to escape the cycle. Those who attempted to escape the “company town” were threatened with lawsuits and more for “moneys owed” to the company…

    These injustices contributed to the rise of labor unions, which at first, were brutally suppressed.

    There were exceptions, such as Henry Ford, who almost single-handedly created the middle class by paying his employees well above “market wages” of the day. Ford’s \$5.00 per day wage was not entirely altruistic as it was also instituted to stem “turnover” as assembly line work was monotonous, but his writings have stated that one of his objectives along with the institution of the 8-hour workday was to make it possible for workers to “enjoy the fruits of their labor”.

    The “robber baron” label, being criticized by today’s proponents of “capitalism” and “free markets” have it wrong.

    We have never had truly “free markets”… and still have a “robber baron” system where even CEOs of failing corporations are rewarded with massive “golden parachutes”–being rewarded for their incompetence. It’s an exclusive club and we (ordinary people) “ain’t in it”.

    • Agree: Brad Anbro
  251. Jon Chance says: • Website

    Political censorship is the highest form of flattery.

    Why else would Ron Unz pretend to be a champion of “free speech” while imposing systematic political censorship that conceals why zero minimum wage — and zero taxation — is necessary or desirable for a prosperous economy and free nation?

    Poverty can be abolished almost overnight with the stroke of a pen — by terminating all “bank” corporations and establishing a legitimate public treasury.

    “What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?”

    – Bertold Brecht

    Examine Article Eight of the First US Constitution (Articles of Confederation).

  252. @anarchyst

    You wrote:

    There were exceptions, such as Henry Ford, who almost single-handedly created the middle class by paying his employees well above “market wages” of the day. Ford’s \$5.00 per day wage was not entirely altruistic as it was also instituted to stem “turnover” as assembly line work was monotonous, but his writings have stated that one of his objectives along with the institution of the 8-hour workday was to make it possible for workers to “enjoy the fruits of their labour”.

    Now, I don’t disagree that Henry Ford’s doubling of wages to \$5/day was done to stem the rate of attrition as worker’s who took Ford a long time to train would regularly depart for greener pastures elsewhere.
    But contrary to the claims of the socialists that Ford increased wages so that his employees could buy his cars, Ford implemented this masterstroke for another important reason that is seldom mentioned.

    There’s something called the 80/20 rule. ie: that 80% of the productivity of a business comes courtesy of 20% of the workforce.
    Of course, this is not necessarily exactly applicable to every business and may be closer to a 70/30 or even a 60/40 outcome in other businesses.
    Anyone who’s employed people (and seen a procession of employees hired and fired because they took too many sick days when they weren’t actually sick, weren’t punctual, were lazy, came to work stoned etc – like I have), will swear by this rule.

    By offering a \$5/day wage, Henry Ford attracted the best and most conscientious workers, which may well have entailed that he could OFFSET the higher wage per worker by having LESS workers overall, seeing as each individual worker was a productive dynamo.

    Let me use this example by way of analogy:

    As the new millennium dawned, the most valuable company in the world by market capitalisation was General Electric (GE).
    It’s CEO (Jack Welch), when asked why GE had grown so much and been so profitable under his tenure said:

    I pay the HIGHEST WAGES yet had the LOWEST WAGE COSTS.

    Think about that for a moment and you’ll see that’s no contradiction in terms.

    If you pay the highest wages, you will attract the best, most productive people.

    But ‘Low Wage Costs’ refer to the AGGREGATE of wages being paid out.

    In other words, picture this simple scenario.

    I have ten (10) employees and each earn \$50K per annum. Total wage cost = \$ 500K.

    However, I notice that four of my workers are producing most of the output of widgets that I make, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, I also notice that said workers are capable of higher output when they apply themselves.
    I ask them why it is that they’re not producing at the optimum level at all times.
    They reply:
    ‘Why should I work harder/faster ? In the end, I’ll be compensated the same as the other socialist slackers who believe in the Marxist maxim that outcomes should be identical’.

    So, I approach these four workers and say, could you raise your output by 50% if I give you a \$20K wage rise.
    Workers respond: ‘You betcha boss’.

    Bottom Line: Said innovative employers fires six of his workers, retains the original four star employees and hires two more new dynamic staff members which he’s been able to lure with this industry leading wage of \$70K per annum.

    End Result: Six (6) workers earning \$70K each, for a total wage bill of \$420K are producing MUCH MORE than the ten workers that earned \$50K each.

    In other words, everyone is a winner. The workers make much more, the business is far more profitable and, seeing as output is greatly increased for a certain level of input, the UNIT COST per widget produced is certain to be reduced, thus enabling the business owner to REDUCE the price charged to consumers which increased his market share – which further increase profits since the margin per unit sold can be maintained.
    Summary: Greater efficiency entails:

    1) Higher wages to workers
    2) Higher profits to employers
    3) LOWER prices to consumers.

    Of course the socialist naysayers will complain that six workers (those that were sacked) were thrown on the scrap heap.
    Actually, there is only a NETT loss of four jobs (six fired minus the two new employees hired).

    Naturally, those fired will get a job elsewhere in another industry. The employer who sacked them may well have done them a favour by firing them as they may now pursue employment in an industry that is BETTER SUITED TO THEIR SKILL SET.

    In fact, said new job may well lead them to bigger and brighter futures in that new field.
    Some will look into getting retrained in another area, some will go back to college or a trade school to learn a new skill – perhaps in IT or some growth area.

    Just because one particular worker may not be suitable working on a production line in the Ford Motor car factory, it’s not to say that said worker won’t be a megastar when retrained as a chef, a computer programmer or whatever.

    In the end, life is a learning process. Most of us have been fired (or left of our own volition) from a variety of jobs before we worked out the optimum employment package in terms of the remuneration/job satisfaction ratio.

  253. @anarchyst

    Further, in relation to my last remark, what I’m about to post now is an important determinant in setting wages and I notice that most commenters have not even partially addressed it (that includes you too Ron Unz).

    I’m in Australia, and up until a few years ago we had a car industry (GM shut down operations abut 5 years ago and a few years prior to that Toyota and Ford pulled out).

    Wind back the clock 40 or 50 years and Australia had GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and British Leyland auto plants here.

    The minimum wage in Australia in 2022 is over AUD \$20/hour (almost USD \$15/hour) here in Oz and high wages is a HUGE factor in said companies departing our shores.
    Yes, the auto plant workers were, for the most part, being paid well above minimum wage but you have to factor in the following factors:

    If you had a situation where minimum wage employees were employed at \$15/hour and they were bumped up to \$20/hour, this will have a cascading effect on other workers wages.
    Workers that were previously earning \$20/hour (because they were more experienced/more conscientious/more productive) than the old \$15/hour crowd, will also expect a wage rise.

    It won’t be sufficient to bump them up \$1 or \$2 per hour. After all, the \$15/hour people got a 33% increase in wages to \$20/hour.
    They too might expect a 33% increase from their previous \$20/hour wage to say \$26.66.

    Similarly, those previously on say \$25/hour might expect a rise to \$33.33/hour.

    [MORE]

    In other words, raising the minimum wage will CERTAINLY increase the employers overall wage costs right across the spectrum.

    Secondly, we have to look at PRODUCTIVITY in more depth.

    I recall reading a newspaper article in the late 80’s comparing the productivity of Australian Auto workers to those in the U.S and Japan.

    Basically, it looked at the total OUTPUT of vehicles being manufactured in each respective country, then divided that by the number of auto workers in that nation, to yield the number of cars produced per worker employed.

    In Australia, the number of cars produced per Auto worker was nine (9).
    In the U.S, the figure was nineteen (19).
    In Japan the figure was thirty two (32).

    So, you’re thinking, U.S (and especially) Australian workers, must’ve been lazier than their Japanese counterparts.
    Well, that explains part of the discrepancy no doubt.

    Also, for a given price, the Japanese cars were MUCH better quality than those made in the U.S and Australia.

    Ah ha ! The rabid left wingers will be saying that was due to the slave wages being paid to the slanty-eyed yellow devils which we westerners would never stoop to doing.

    NOT SO !!

    U.S and Australian workers were getting comparable wages at the time but the Japanese workers were getting around (I’m going from memory so could be a few % either way) THIRTY (30) % HIGHER WAGES than the U.S workers.

    How can that be, you’re thinking ?

    How can you pay MORE yet produce a FAR BETTER QUALITY PRODUCT for LESS money ?

    The answer is exceedingly simple.

    The Japanese worker was more PRODUCTIVE.
    Not solely because they were more conscientious and worked a little harder, although that certainly was a contributing factor.

    The MAIN REASON is because Japanese auto plants were more EFFICIENT.
    They employed LESS workers and used far more state of the art CAPITAL EQUIPMENT.
    The Japanese production lines were almost entirely employed with ROBOTICS.

    Said robotic input NEVER MISSED A SPOT WELD.
    Said robotic torque wrenching device NEVER FAILED TO TIGHTEN BOLTS to the correct settings. (Never too loose or too tight).
    Said robotic device never forgot to screw in a component.

    To the extent that workers were employed in Japanese auto plants, many of them were highly skilled technicians that supervised the plant and equipment and made sure all ran smoothly.

    The U.S auto plants also had a fairly significant number of robotic and high tech equivalent items employed in their assembly lines, although obviously not to the same extent as the Japanese.
    And, perhaps because of strong union clout in U.S auto plants, management was forced to keep on more labour intensive jobs (where workers manually provided their input, just like they’d done in a bygone era), than they would’ve liked – or else risk retaliation from the unions if they threatened to fire too many workers.

    In Australia, where GM and Ford production lines were utilising the labour intensive methods akin to the 1960’s, less cars were produced at higher cost.
    Of course Australian consumers still bought these lesser quality cars because our government* imposed tariffs and import duties (totalling close to 100% in some cases), to make the locally produced product appear price competitive in relative terms.

    (*The justification for tariffs was also sold to the Australian public as a means to PROTECT LOCAL JOBS). The Federal government also subsidised the auto makers with countless billions of taxpayer money over the years.
    Yes, that old chestnut (high tariffs/subsidies/regulatory burden) was trotted out by the usual economically illiterate clowns (many of whom inhabit the UR commentary).

    Bottom Line: Tariffs/Import Duties/Import restrictions and quotas may well protect a handful of jobs for a little while, but for the vast majority of the population, they GREATLY IMPOVERISH and reduce the standard of living.
    Moreover, they end up COSTING FAR MORE JOBS (THAN THE JOBS THAT THEY SAVED IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY), in other sectors of the economy as Australians have less disposable income after having to overpay for their vehicles.

    People who advocate for tariffs and protection from imports are still living in the 19th century.
    They should seriously look at another vocation because economics is clearly not for them.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  254. @Ummm

    In a restaurant, the dishwasher often works a lot harder than the servers but gets paid less because they don’t get tips (or only get a small share).

    In the real world there is no perfect correlation between “value” or “productivity” and wages. Real-world economics is messy and complicated. You can’t reduce it to some sort of abstract mathematical formula. Sorry, Libertarians.

    • Agree: JackOH
  255. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Truth Vigilante

    I’m in Australia, and up until a few years ago we had a car industry (GM shut down operations abut 5 years ago and a few years prior to that Toyota and Ford pulled out).

    The commodities boom of the early 2000s strengthened the AUD and that was the main reason for car manufacturers to leave Oz:

    Strong currency adds to Australia carmakers’ troubles
    August 7, 2007
    https://www.reuters.com/article/businesspro-australia-autos-dc/strong-currency-adds-to-australia-carmakers-troubles-idUSSYD16087120070808

    The strong currency is a double whammy for manufacturers because it makes exports less competitive and makes the imported vehicles that dominate the Australian market cheaper.

    Land Gone Under: How Australia’s Auto Industry Fell Apart
    https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/travel/a33490605/0052-0056-how-australias-auto-industry-fell-apart-september-2020/

    As foreign money enters an economy, the value of that country’s currency balloons, increasing the relative price of the nation’s exports. That impacts automakers worldwide, but Australian industry is particularly susceptible due to the volatility of its national dollar. As billions poured in from resource extraction between 2001 and 2011, Australian currency doubled in value. Suddenly, the shift towards a profitable, large-scale vehicle exporting scheme was out of the question.

    Australian dollar follows commodity prices
    https://www.firstlinks.com.au/australian-dollar-follows-commodity-prices or https://archive.ph/rLgd6

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  256. @Truth Vigilante

    Of course the socialist naysayers will complain that six workers (those that were sacked) were thrown on the scrap heap.

    Naturally, those fired will get a job elsewhere in another industry. The employer who sacked them may well have done them a favour by firing them as they may now pursue employment in an industry that is BETTER SUITED TO THEIR SKILL SET.

    In the end, life is a learning process. Most of us have been fired (or left of our own volition) from a variety of jobs before we worked out the optimum employment package

    LOL.

    Libertarianism: let’s figure out how to rationalize destroying people’s lives.

    Yeah, it all works out due to the magical, rainbow-colored unicorn known as the “Free Market!”

    Interacting with libertarians online has convinced me that Marx was correct about a lot of things.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  257. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch Drunk Brother writes:

    Libertarianism: let’s figure out how to rationalise destroying people’s lives.

    How is redirecting someone into employment that is long-term sustainable ‘destroying someone’s life’ ? Said employer who dished out the tough love should be getting a medal for it.

    Let’s face it, in the case of the auto industry, the Japanese set the industry standard by mass automation that ensured quality at a low price. Those car manufacturing nations that didn’t keep pace with the technological advancement (like Australia and soon to be the U.S), will see ALL jobs lost as the industry collapses in its entirety.
    Better to save half the jobs in a sustainable way rather than keeping all the jobs on temporary life support, which would inevitably lead to the loss of the WHOLE industry and thus ALL the jobs.

    As usual, the Punch Drunk man gets it wrong. You admitted yourself that your knowledge of economics is scant, yet somehow you’re able to make a critique of others.

    It’s like someone with no medical background whatsoever, approaching a cardiologist and telling him that his patient won’t be needing that heart transplant after all.

    Anyway, the following bit that you wrote encapsulates who you are:

    Interacting with libertarians online has convinced me that Marx was correct about a lot of things.

    You’re an extreme left wing Marxist and nothing short of complete ownership of the means of production by the state and authoritarian rule by an elite cadre of party members will satisfy you – an elite which you’ll never be part of because you’re born to a life of grinding poverty with that mindset of yours.

  258. @FKA Max

    You write:

    The commodities boom of the early 2000s strengthened the AUD and that was the main reason for car manufacturers to leave Oz …. As billions poured in from resource extraction between 2001 and 2011, Australian currency doubled in value.

    Admittedly, the AUD is a commodity currency and as the market value of the commodities we dig out of the ground rises and falls, our dollar rises and falls with it.

    But you CONVENIENTLY chose the starting point of 2001 (the absolute trough in the AUD when world commodity prices were at a 30 year low as the AUD bottomed out around the time of 9/11 at around US 47 cents) and compared it to 2011 when the AUD was at an absolute high of USD \$1.10 (refer to the graph below and click on to the ‘All Years’ tab):

    https://www.macrotrends.net/2551/australian-us-dollar-exchange-rate-historical-chart

    As you can see, the AUD fluctuated quite a bit and it was never at a sustained high for any length of time.
    The corrupt MSM and those with an axe to grind peddled the fable that the temporarily high AUD was the reason for the demise of the auto industry and you lapped up that explanation without critical analysis.

    FACT # 1: The AUD was ALWAYS worth more than the USD (with no exceptions) prior to 1982, and usually MUCH MORE (30% – 40% more) valuable than the USD in that period.
    And yet the auto industry didn’t collapse or look like folding in that entire time.

    FACT # 2: A particular country in east Asia saw their currency appreciate rapidly year after year Vs the USD for around five decades after WWII with NO negative consequences for its auto industry. In fact, quite the opposite, it’s auto industry powered ahead.

    I refer of course to the nation of Japan.

    I haven’t managed to track down the exchange rate data prior to 1970, but I know the Japanese yen was MUCH lower Vs the USD in the period preceding 1970.
    Even so, the data for the last 50 years will still suffice to make my point.

    In the early 70’s , USD \$1 = 380 JPY.
    In around 2011 we had USD \$1 = 76 JPY (click on to the ‘All Years’ tab to view the graph in the link below covering the last 50 years):

    https://www.macrotrends.net/2550/dollar-yen-exchange-rate-historical-chart

    As you can see, there was a METEORIC appreciation of the Japanese yen (JPY) Vs the USD.

    One has to remember that the INPUT COSTS of the raw materials in building a car (iron ore for steel, copper etc), are all denominated in USD.

    When the JPY rises, it REDUCES the cost of said raw material inputs, thus lowering the cost of manufacture.
    Concurrent with that, the Japanese automated their auto plants and thus produced MORE CARS using FEWER WORKERS, which made the cars cheaper still whilst simultaneously improving quality control.

    In the case of the Australian auto industry, it’s raw materials are also priced in USD and as the AUD appreciated, it too procured these items that went into the manufacture of the car for less.
    More importantly, I recall reading that a typical GM or Ford vehicle that rolled off the Australian assembly line, imported around 30% of the components used in the manufacture of that vehicle from abroad.
    For example, the Holden Commodore 5.7 litre (and later the 6.0 and 6.2 V8 engines), were wholly sourced from the U.S – as were a variety of other componentry.

    So, when the AUD rose, said items imported from abroad became CHEAPER – thus offsetting some of the rise in local labour costs.

    Bottom Line: The strong AUD around 2011 was an EXCUSE used by the union movement and those central planners and socialists as to why the Australian auto industry collapsed.

    The REAL reason is that the heavily unionised auto plants were inflexible with wage demands and working conditions/regulatory requirements that made Aussie auto plants inefficient.
    And, to compound matters, foreign multinationals like GM and Ford did not invest in automation, instead they kept the business alive on life support by getting billions of subsidies from the Australian taxpayer, knowing all the while that they were always going to leave Australia eventually as the wage and regulatory requirements stifled competitiveness.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  259. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Truth Vigilante

    FACT # 2: A particular country in east Asia saw their currency appreciate rapidly year after year Vs the USD for around five decades after WWII with NO negative consequences for its auto industry. In fact, quite the opposite, it’s auto industry powered ahead.

    I refer of course to the nation of Japan.

    That’s because Japanese car manufacturers have been building lots of their cars outside of Japan for decades (Click MORE tag, to read below, for example, how they are taking advantage of Mexican Peso weakness, despite having to pay higher wages (US\$16/hour minimum for over 40% of auto parts) now, due to USMCA), chronological order:

    [MORE]

    Japan Makes More Cars Elsewhere
    Aug. 1, 2006
    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/01/business/worldbusiness/01cars.html or https://archive.ph/txg2I

    Japan’s big 3 automakers built more cars [subtract trucks, sport-utility vehicles and crossovers] in U.S. than Detroit 3 last year
    Jun 1, 2016
    https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/06/01/japans-big-3-automakers-built-more-cars-in-u-s.html or

    That’s a topic we Central Ohioans know well thanks to Honda Motor Co., the first Japanese brand to open a U.S. assembly plant, which it did in Marysville back in 1982. Honda employs more than 14,000 across multiple facilities here, not to mention its supplier network.
    […]
    \$45.4 billion: cumulative investment in the past 40 years

    Mexican Peso weakness

    “Weak Mexican peso aids factories in crisis” March 10, 2009 because the factories are owned and operated by foreign firms with dollars who bring in much of their equipment from the United States and all their assembly, running and labor costs are in pesos, they win out because their dollars go much further in Mexico, given the devalued currency https://archive.ph/ezKSs

    is one of the main reasons car manufacturers prefer to stay in Mexico, despite having to pay higher wages now:

    Japanese automakers prefer staying in Mexico
    1 July, 2020
    https://mexico-now.com/japanese-automakers-prefer-to-stay-in-mexico-than-move-to-the-united-states/ or https://archive.ph/6RGoI

    According to the Japanese news portal Asian Nikkei Review, “Japan’s automakers are choosing to maintain operations in Mexico and pay Mexican workers more or even just pay fees,” contrary to what Donald Trump hoped to achieve with the USMCA, attracting such manufacturing sites back to a preference for the United States. […] now that 40% or more of auto parts are required to be manufactured by workers who are paid at least US\$16 an hour to avoid paying tariffs in the region.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  260. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    local production helps Japanese carmakers shield their revenue and profits from currency swings and helps them tailor designs to local tastes

    https://archive.ph/txg2I#selection-451.17-451.160

    Three out of every four Japanese cars and trucks sold in the U.S. are built in North America.

    https://archive.ph/GOUAt

    I just wanted to add that one of the main reasons for the weak Mexican Peso have been the drug wars. The Mexican government has no real incentive to stop them completely, because it would make Mexico a less desirable manufacturing destination for globalized car companies, etc.:

    Chapter 13. The North American Drug War
    […]
    4. The Drug War has Improved Mexico’s Economic Prospects
    Unfortunately at the cost to Americans. But, he notes, the internal drug war reduces the cost of labor IN Mexico.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20220401145831/http://www.xenophon-mil.org/politicaleconomy/zeihansuperpower.htm

    How Mexico is Winning the Car Manufacturing War
    Jun 15, 2015

  261. @Truth Vigilante

    Said employer who dished out the tough love should be getting a medal for it.

    Libertarians always use the phrase “tough love” when they want to rationalize being dicks.

    Let’s face it, in the case of the auto industry, the Japanese set the industry standard by mass automation that ensured quality at a low price.

    I was a Honda owner for several years. Japanese cars are shit, and aesthetically bland.

    It’s like someone with no medical background whatsoever, approaching a cardiologist and telling him that his patient won’t be needing that heart transplant after all.

    Even with zero medical knowledge a guy with chest pains can tell something’s wrong.

    Likewise, workers know when they’re being screwed.

    You’re an extreme left wing Marxist and nothing short of complete ownership of the means of production by the state and authoritarian rule by an elite cadre of party members will satisfy you

    Close but no cigar.

    you’re born to a life of grinding poverty with that mindset of yours.

    While I’m not wealthy by any means, I live relatively comfortably.

  262. @Truth Vigilante

    You admitted yourself that your knowledge of economics is scant,

    Let me add that my knowledge of economics is “scant” in the sense that I’ve never been convinced that economics is a coherent intellectual discipline in the first place.

    I took a couple of economics courses in college. I read a couple of econ-101 textbooks as well as Robert Heilbroner’s well-known survey The Worldly Philosophers.

    Over the years I’ve read some left-wing economists (including a bit of Marx , Paul Krugman) as well as some libertarian ones (Michael Shermer, Thomas Sowell, I used to listen to Stefan Molyneux a lot back in 2015/2016).

    My conclusion: these guys, at best, only have a piece of the puzzle. Economics is quite nearly infinitely complex.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  263. @Punch Brother Punch

    Stefan Molyneux has his moments. But I have to give you credit for mentioning Thomas Sowell – someone who I’ve got a lot of time for.

  264. @Truth Vigilante

    “Naturally, those fired will get a job elsewhere in another industry. The employer who sacked them may well have done them a favour by firing them as they may now pursue employment in an industry that is BETTER SUITED TO THEIR SKILL SET.”

    That may have been true THIRTY YEARS AGO, but 90% of the manufacturing has been moved to cheap labor countries.

    “Now, I don’t disagree that Henry Ford’s doubling of wages to \$5/day was done to stem the rate of attrition as worker’s who took Ford a long time to train would regularly depart for greener pastures elsewhere.”

    The last part of this statement is INCORRECT. There were NO other “greener pastures” for workers to go to, when Henry Ford was assembling the Model T and had implemented his \$5 day. ALL of the other manufacturers / assemblers were paying considerably less in wages at that time.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  265. @Truth Vigilante

    “Truth Vigilante” – first of all, I do not hide behind any alias.

    You sound like a dyed-in-the-wool “Libertarian” who expects everyone (meaning the non-rich) to fend for themselves. What? PEOPLE need to be protected from the ABUSES of CORPORATIONS? Absolute NONSENSE! So say the “Libertarians”.

    If you would like to get a REAL education in economics, you would do well to investigate the writings of Ha-Joon Chang, Ph.D. You might be very surprised at what you would learn!

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  266. @Brad Anbro

    You write:

    “Truth Vigilante” – first of all, I do not hide behind any alias.

    I’m in Australia, and we do not have First Amendment free speech protection here.

    Now, on issues like the Holohoax, whilst we don’t have laws prohibiting people from expressing their opinions on that issue and I’m not aware of anyone currently being gaoled for doing so, we have a certain pesky something called ‘Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act’ whereby, if you’re deemed to be inciting violence against any minority (and their interpretation of what constitutes incitement is very broad), you can be prosecuted.

    I have read many of your comments in UR Brad in recent times and, from what I’ve seen, they’re pretty tame in comparison to those that many others post here in UR in relation to naming names and exposing malfeasant entities like the Zionist Usury Banking Cartel which is the root of all the substantive evils/wars/False Flags/scam pandemics etc, being foisted on the world.

    If my commentary was as tame as yours, I too could get away with using my real name as a pseudonym here.

    You also wrote:

    If you would like to get a REAL education in economics, you would do well to investigate the writings of Ha-Joon Chang, Ph.D.

    The only REAL economists I’ve seen in the entirety of the 20th century and beyond have been those that were well versed in the Austrian Economic school of thought.

    All Ron Paul Libertarians subscribe to that school of thought, hence their unparalleled record on predicting housing busts, economic crises etc.

    Watch this 3 min video to see first hand someone who understands REAL economics (as opposed to the ‘pretend’ economics that others have been fooled into believing is real by the corrupt Zio owned MSM):

    If that isn’t enough, try this video featuring 2008 Ron Paul Presidential campaign economic adviser and noted Libertarian Peter Schiff:

    Now, you claim that this Ty-foon Chang guy is a REAL economist. Excellent !!

    You should therefore be able supply several video clips of him predicting VOCIFEROUSLY (like Ron Paul and Peter Schiff did), the following events:

    1) The 2008 subprime meltdown that led to the GFC
    2) The rise in gold over recent decades as fiat money is created without restraint in reckless quantitites.
    3) The upcoming economic collapse. Because, in the years since the 2008 GFC, the U.S has kept interest rates at artificially infinitesimally low rates for the entirety of the last 14 years, which has encouraged reckless borrowing on non productive ventures and will result in what future history books will refer to as the GREATER Depression (seeing as it will be much, MUCH worse than what the world experienced in the 1930’s).

    I look forward to seeing these videos from Mr Chang.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  267. @Brad Anbro

    You wrote:

    The last part of this statement is INCORRECT. There were NO other “greener pastures” for workers to go to, when Henry Ford was assembling the Model T and had implemented his \$5 day. ALL of the other manufacturers / assemblers were paying considerably less in wages at that time.

    Obviously Brad, your SOLE criterion for assessing what constitutes ‘greener pastures’ in employment is the wage rate.

    What you deem to be ‘Incorrect’ is in fact quite correct.

    BEFORE Henry Ford doubled the wages to \$5/day, Ford Motor Co employees WERE leaving at a precipitous rate, so it was in Ford’s self interest to offer this wage increase to STEM the loss of skilled workers.

    The fact is, EVEN AFTER THE INCREASE TO \$5/day, skilled workers were STILL LEAVING SAID JOB after a while, although at a much reduced rate and thus the haemorrhaging was reduced to a manageable level.

    Working on the Ford production line was a tedious and monotonous routine. It was not for everyone and, for some, would not be compensated by a doubling or even a tripling of the hourly wage rate.

    At the end of the day, WHAT GOOD IS A LAVISH SALARY IF SAID EMPLOYMENT DOES YOUR HEAD IN and destroys your sanity ?

    You know, I had an exchange with someone who uses the handle ‘Punch-Drunk Brother’ here in UR.
    He said that I don’t know anything about working for the minimum wage and boasted how he washed dishes in his youth.
    I responded that I’d worked as a taxi cab driver and this was my sole means of income when I was at university for a time.
    He came back with the remark that cab driving was not minimum wage. Maybe so, but it wasn’t far away.

    As is ALWAYS the case with leftists and rabid Marxists like Mr Punch Drunk, he NEVER factors in other circumstances in his calculations.
    I live in Sydney and it’s a big city and has big city crime. It’s not the mean streets of Chicago or south-central L.A admittedly, but cab drivers did get mugged and beaten up in my city from time to time. On occasion some were even killed.

    There is such a thing as ‘danger money’ involved in your employment.
    (I don’t imagine there have been too many dishwashers that were mugged, beaten up or killed whilt engaged in that activity).

    Here in Australia, last time I looked, coal miners were earning over six figures.
    People like yourself that just look at the numbers will say:
    ‘Those employers are fairly remunerating their workers and no exploitation by greedy employers going on here’.

    However, coal mining is notorious for methane gas explosions and cave ins (not to mention respiratory issues from years of inhaling coal dust), that lead to many miners not living to a ripe old age.

    One could easily argue that, even with a six figure salary, that still does not include a sufficient ‘Danger Money’ premium to compensate for the risks.

    Similarly, in another post, I made the example of someone being offered either:

    1) a job that was a few dollars above the minimum hourly wage rate (but the downside was that it was back breaking manual labour conducted in the summer sun) OR …

    2) A cushy office job in an air-conditioned environment at say \$2 below the minimum hourly wage rate (with the added bonus this employee would just be answering the phone and taking messages and there would be long periods where they would be free to do their own thing like surf the net on the office computer or perhaps focus on their studies if they were a college kid).

    Take the case of a ginger- haired freckled skin college kid that would be susceptible to skin cancer if they did the outdoors job.
    SURELY you can see that they’d most likely opt for the sub minimum wage job – because they could do their college homework and studies while simultaneously getting a few bucks of income.

    BUT according to the ‘world improvers’ and ‘do-gooders’ (heavy sarcasm) of the world like you, said college kid is not entitled to choose the lower paying job.

    WHO the EFF do you think you are to be meddling in an agreement between two mutually consenting parties ?

    It’s none of YOUR business and certainly none of the government’s business.

    People should be free to decide what terms of employment and associated conditions best suit their needs.

  268. @Truth Vigilante

    It’s none of YOUR business and certainly none of the government’s business.

    People should be free to decide what terms of employment and associated conditions best suit their needs.

    Mr. Truth Vigilante, I am offering my services to you at the rate of \$0.01 an hour.

    I will monitor your social media feeds to make sure nobody calls you out on your Libertarian bullshit.

    In case things get super hairy, I will report your attackers to Libertarian Supreme Commander, Elon Musk. He will, in between numerous failed businesses, sigh and smoke a joint. You will then be vindicated.

    I expect health insurance and 2-weeks paid vacation per year.

    Get back to me soon, you Libertarian ubermensch. Ayn Rand’s panties, decrepit and rotting as they are, are getting desperately wet.

  269. @Truth Vigilante

    Take the case of a ginger- haired freckled skin college kid that would be susceptible to skin cancer if they did the outdoors job.

    SURELY you can see that they’d most likely opt for the sub minimum wage job – because they could do their college homework and studies while simultaneously getting a few bucks of income.

    LOL. I’m ginger-haired and freckled and I assure you I’m not working a “sub-minimum wage” job in order to possibly avoid skin cancer.

    I’ve worked numerous outdoor jobs.

    Minimum wage jobs do not generally allow you to “study” or “do homework” on the job. Even if you work as a graveyard-shift hotel-desk or convenience-store clerk you’ll be too frequently interrupted to get any studying done.

    You simply have no idea how the real business world works. You live in an abstract, online libertarian fantasyland.

  270. @Punch Brother Punch

    Minimum wage jobs do not generally allow you to “study” or “do homework” on the job. Even if you work as a graveyard-shift hotel-desk or convenience-store clerk you’ll be too frequently interrupted to get any studying done.

    Bullshit. You don’t get off the computer and out of the house much, do you? Half the people in ANY kinds of jobs these days spend a majority of their “work time” on their phones texting and surfing the web.

    As for you, I guess \$0.01/hour is not enough incentive for you to quit writing BS about subjects you don’t understand and take T.V.’s advise and get some economic education from Ron Paul and Peter Schiff.

  271. @Truth Vigilante

    Thank you for the reply, but I stand by my comments completely. I have done extensive reading about Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Company, Alfred P. Sloan and General Motors, the employment conditions of those times, as well as the history of Walter Reuther and the organizing of the automotive industry by the United Auto Workers union.

    You are correct in the statement that workers were still leaving Ford, even after the implementation of the \$5 day but the fact remains that there were NO other employers at the time where a worker could go to make that kind of a wage. The other auto makers and automobile assemblers reviled Henry Ford for implementing his \$5 per day wage.

    And while I am on the subject of the auto companies and unions, after World War II, when unions were at their height of power and effectiveness, that was the time period in the United States when ALL American workers were seeing their most significant gains in the standard of living. It was NOT because of the “largesse” of the corporations.

    American corporations have not “given” anything to their workers that they have not been forced to give. If the corporations had done the “right thing” by their workers and had treated them properly right from the start, there would have been NO NEED for any unions. American workers have the UNIONS to thank for their paid vacations, sick leave and all of the other “fringe benefits” that they now receive.

    When Walter Reuther was president of the United Auto Workers union, there was ZERO corruption in that union. Now, half of the UAW officers are either in prison, are under indictment or are awaiting sentencing on corruption charges. Next to John F. Kennedy, Walter Reuther was the most highly respected American in Europe. Europeans turned out by the thousands to see him, because they knew what an honorable person he was and that he looked out for ALL workers, not just union members.

    This brings to mind a story, about an incident that really happened…a Ford Motor Company official was showing a United Auto Workers official an area of production, the area being full of robots that had replaced workers. The Ford official told the UAW official that the robots did not take vacations, call strikes, pay union dues, etc. (or something to that effect). The UAW official told the Ford official that he was quite correct and also that the robots WOULDN’T BE PURCHASING ANY FORD VEHICLES. That actually happened.

    Walter Reuther had many wonderful ideas and had they been allowed to have been implemented, the United States would be a much better country than it is now today. Instead, the United States, like England, has turned into a washed-up Banana Republic. We now have record numbers of millionaires and billionaires. We also have record numbers of homeless people, record numbers of home foreclosures and record numbers of bankruptcies, both personal and business.

    I am NOT “anti-capitalist” – I am for common-sense regulation of business and ZERO corruption in business, governments and unions. I have said this many times before and I will say this again – there is NO shortage of money with which to pay American workers. There is also definitely no shortage of greed with which the rich continue to make themselves richer, at the expense of everyone else.

    I believe that the United States is too far “gone” and things are just too out of control for things to get better, Our country had many good leaders, among them, JFK, RFK, MLK, Jr. Walter Reuther and James Hoffa. But “they” killed them all, so as to further the corporate fascist state that our country has become, with BOTH political parties being complicit in this.

    Thank you.

    Brad Anbro
    retired United Auto Workers Journeyman Electrician

    • Thanks: Truth Vigilante
  272. @Truth Vigilante

    Thanks for both these videos and your great comments, Vigilante. I give you lots of credit for not giving up on this Punchy fool. I know you just want him to understand, but I’d find that a hopeless and thankless task.

    Re your 2nd video, Laffer was hilarious in his stupidity and listen to that other guy fake laughing at 3:40 in – we have the benefit of 15 years on these guys, but then I would have agreed with Mr. Schiff 15 years back on the other side (had things been that far gone already).

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  273. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch-Drunk brother wrote:

    Minimum wage jobs do not generally allow you to “study” or “do homework” on the job. Even if you work as a graveyard-shift hotel-desk or convenience-store clerk you’ll be too frequently interrupted to get any studying done.

    You simply have no idea how the real business world works.

    I knew an auto mechanic who used to do a lot of his work at night. I asked him why he didn’t do it during the day and he said he’d often be in the middle of job, grease up to his armpits, and the phone would ring and he’d have to stop what he was doing, wipe up and answer the phone to give some time waster a quote or some such.
    And the interruptions would continue throughout the day.

    I asked why he didn’t employ some kid to answer the phones to take messages.
    This kid could just relax in the office where they’d surf the net to fill in time.
    He said he would if it weren’t for the high minimum wage here in Australia.

    Bottom Line: I and countless other employers have employed ‘kids’ under the table and paid them cash and they were more than happy to get some pocket money.
    This is what happens when the minimum wage is too high.
    Employers are either forced into the black economy or kids are just left sitting at home twiddling their thumbs when they could be engaged in something that represents the first rung on the ladder in their employment history.
    Even if the only thing they got out of it was a reference from their first employer that said they were punctual and had a good phone manner, that would put them in good stead for their next job vacancy interview.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  274. @Achmed E. Newman

    Thanks for that support Achmed.

    Look, I get it that we’re all subjective and have varying appraisals of various economists and their beliefs based on our individual agendas and biases.

    But surely, if those economists (like that Chang fellow with the Phd that Punch-Drunk Brother endorses), if said economist was the REAL DEAL, then surely he’d have the best understanding of the business cycle, right ?

    Surely then, if Michael Hudson was such an economics guru, he would’ve been able to make those forecasts about the subprime meltdown, the appreciation in the gold price, the coming collapse of the U.S economy, stock and bond market, right ?

    All I ask is that they show me the VIDEOS from years in advance where these allegedly prescient sages FORECAST said calamities.

    I make some pretty big claims about Dr Ron Paul and Peter Schiff but I can BACK IT UP.
    I put my money where my mouth is and the videos I’ve posted in UR of Peter Schiff and Ron Paul are just the tip of the iceberg.
    There are literally scores of these videos featuring these two making BOLD forecasts years in advance of the event and things coming to fruition EXACTLY as they foretold.

    WHO among the other economic forecasters is within three orders of magnitude as prescient as Peter Schiff and Dr Ron Paul ?

    Bottom Line: If someone is consistently right time after time, it doesn’t happen by chance.

    These people KNOW what they’re talking about. Contrast that with the Michael Hudson’s of the world and the rest of the Keynesians and central planners.
    Yes, AFTER the event they’ll do their usual Monday morning Quarter-back routine and convince their cultist followers that were aware that said cataclysm was about to impact.
    In actual fact though, they were as CLUELESS as the hordes of Phd’s that infest the Federal Reserve and advise Jerome Powell and all the failed Fed Chairmen before him in recent decades.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  275. @Achmed E. Newman

    Half the people in ANY kinds of jobs these days spend a majority of their “work time” on their phones texting and surfing the web.

    LOL. OK, Mr. Libertarian. When you go to the store and get service from Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Betty Boop and other cartoon characters be sure to interrupt them in their party-hearty web-surfing so you can scream at them about how they don’t love their glorious S & M domme – the “Free Market” – enough.

    Raise the scarlet standard high.
    Beneath its shade we’ll live and die,
    Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
    We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  276. @Truth Vigilante

    I knew an auto mechanic who used to do a lot of his work at night. I asked him why he didn’t do it during the day and he said he’d often be in the middle of job, grease up to his armpits, and the phone would ring and he’d have to stop what he was doing, wipe up and answer the phone to give some time waster a quote or some such.
    And the interruptions would continue throughout the day.

    I asked why he didn’t employ some kid to answer the phones to take messages.
    This kid could just relax in the office where they’d surf the net to fill in time.
    He said he would if it weren’t for the high minimum wage here in Australia.

    Of all the personal anecdotes I’ve ever heard, this is the most believable.

    Bottom Line: I and countless other employers have employed ‘kids’ under the table and paid them cash and they were more than happy to get some pocket money.

    Oh, so you’re admitting to being a criminal and an exploiter of child labor, eh? I’m calling the AFP.

  277. @Truth Vigilante

    Yes, the Austrian style economists have been right about ALL the big-picture stuff for years, and the proof, such as your videos, is right out there. You have to be willfully blind to discount the basic advice from these guys.

    Not only that, but there is something to be said for the basic immutable S&D/Elasticity/etc. BASIC laws of Econ. I don’t care who you are, Bill Clinton with his stroke-of-the-pen/law-of-the-land or a bought off Chief Justice of the SCROTUS, you cannot nullify these laws, not in the long run, you can’t. Speaking of the long run, Peak Stupidity recently noted that “It’s the long run, but we ain’t all dead”* That one discusses the IRS 1040 tax instruction book pie charts and how we ain’t getting out of this one without financial pain.

    After that basic Econ 101, the rest is Big-Gov related BS, from my experience, and that’s the school of the Michael Hudsons and Ellen Browns.

    One more thing that irks me about economists, and, as a guy who doesn’t participate in the ponzi sham they call the stock market, it’s still funny to me watching the short term predictions. Do you ever notice that those TV money channel talking heads always have very good explanations for why certain sectors of stock did this and others did that today. Think is, they say all that in the evening. Hey guys, you knew all those happenings for which you explained today’s stock movements THIS MORNING! Why not tell your viewers these explanations in the morning, so they could, like, make some freakin’ money?!

    See “More on after-the-fact Explainers, in the finance sector”.

    .

    * Yes of course it has the EAGLES’ song at the end.

  278. @Punch Brother Punch

    I wrote half. Yes, grocery store cashiers don’t have so much time. Hotel lobbies, OTOH, even in the middle of the day, usually have nobody up front, because she is usually in the back surfing the web. They’ve got cameras, so they come out after a minute or so, when they’ve glanced up and seen you just standing out there with no help.

    This is EVERYWHERE. Even airport ramp guys are on their phones doing something or other any time they are not specifically needed.

    Again, you just need to get off the computer occasionally and open your eyes. Note that this discussion is not an economics argument, but I am just pointing out what the Millennials are all about. Work is not the same as it was when I was younger.

    • Replies: @Punch Brother Punch
  279. @Achmed E. Newman

    Hotel lobbies, OTOH, even in the middle of the day, usually have nobody up front, because she is usually in the back surfing the web.

    Rubbish. Due to my job, I spend about half my time in hotels. The front desk people are constantly dealing with stuff. The graveyard-shift people have less “stuff” to deal with, but it’s often of a more extreme nature, I.E. domestic violence, etc.

    Anyway, who cares? The world has a lot more serious problems to deal with than a hotel desk clerk surfing the web or reading a book when there’s nothing else for them to do.

    Libertarianism is just rage, resentment, envy and autism directed into illogical and non-productive channels.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  280. sb says:
    @Truth Vigilante

    I thought coal mining in Australia was ( mainly ) open cut .
    Is that particularly dangerous ?

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  281. @Punch Brother Punch

    Anyway, who cares? The world has a lot more serious problems to deal with than a hotel desk clerk surfing the web or reading a book when there’s nothing else for them to do.

    Haha, yeah, so yes, in other words. I am at hotels a lot too.

    No, it’s not a serious problem, but when you say things that are flat-out wrong while arguing with people, they feel the need to correct them, especially if these erroneous statements are premises for your arguments.

    And no, if Libertarianism had stayed with the American people for longer, say from the election of Barry Goldwater in 1964, then this country would be in unfathomably better shape. It’s unfathomable to you, because most people, such as yourself, can’t even imagine freedom anymore. It could come up and kick you in the ass, and you’d have no idea what that was.

  282. @sb

    Thanks for the heads up on that.

    To be honest, I don’t know what proportion of coal mining in Oz is open cut Vs underground – but I suspect that it is mainly the former as you’ve pointed out.

    At the end of the day, mining in general, be it for coal, gold or whatever, is a hazardous operation and you’re more likely to die in that occupation than in most other jobs.

  283. Haha, yeah, so yes, in other words. I am at hotels a lot too.

    No, it’s not a serious problem, but when you say things that are flat-out wrong while arguing with people, they feel the need to correct them, especially if these erroneous statements are premises for your arguments.

    I have no idea what this means. This is gibberish.

    And no, if Libertarianism had stayed with the American people for longer, say from the election of Barry Goldwater in 1964, then this country would be in unfathomably better shape.

    Yeah, a Jew, who most likely was chosen to run in order to hand the election to LBJ and the Democrats.

    UNZ.com has no future unless it can rid itself of Libertarians and Conspiratards. Or it could just eliminate the comments sections altogether.

  284. @Punch Brother Punch

    Punch-Drunk Brother at his ‘Big-Brother’ tyrannical best when he suggests:

    UNZ.com has no future unless it can rid itself of Libertarians and Conspiratards. Or it could just eliminate the comments sections altogether

    Take heed Ron Unz of what Punch-Drunk says.
    Unz.com can ONLY survive if it features articles from authors that repeat neocon platitudes like CNN and Rachel Maddow – that’s its only hope.

    That’s right readers. Let’s have no more of discussing conspiracy theories.
    Let’s have no more discussion of reintroducing the Libertarian ideals of minimal government, low taxation, negligible government micromanagement of our lives as existed during America’s Golden Age.

    Punch-Drunk Brother and his spiritual kin within the Dept of Homeland Security will decide what you should know and when you should know it.

    So, all of you just go back and focus on your social media while the Wise Government Overlords make all the big decisions for you.

  285. @Truth Vigilante

    Take heed Ron Unz of what Punch-Drunk says.

    Unz.com can ONLY survive if it features articles from authors that repeat neocon platitudes like CNN and Rachel Maddow – that’s its only hope.

    LOL. Yes, it’s clear from my frequent racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic posting that I’m a Rachel Maddow fan.

    Let’s have no more discussion of reintroducing the Libertarian ideals of minimal government

    There should be more government involvement in the legal system. For example, the trial-by-jury system is absurd and antiquated. There should either be “professional juries” or multiple judges coming to independent conclusions on each case.

  286. @Truth Vigilante

    These Totalitarian personalities don’t often see the light, T.V. As I wrote, freedom could come up and bite him on the ass, and he wouldn’t recognize it. If you want to see a great example of this, check out one unz comment from someone purportedly* in Peking under LOCKDOWN, under a John Derbyshire thread – Here is the comment, and I have 3 replies below it. The guy truly loves Big Brother. The whole mentality seen is fascinating …

    About this site, Ron Unz is truly a stand-up guy when it comes to free speech. It is impressive to me that he will put up articles that he strongly disagrees with. Sometimes he’ll even write in comments under said articles to that effect. “Hey, why do you publish the guy, then?” some commenter will write. “You’re not getting it.”, is what I think. I disagree with Ron Unz more times than I don’t in those comments, but it’s all eminently fair on his part.

    As for his writers, I think Mr. Unz has been a terrible judge of character and wisdom. He’s got quite a few very good writers now though, and I think that’s getting better. When it comes to the syndicated columnists, he does very well – Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan (kinda outdated in his civility and in thinking this is still the 1985 political scene, but you gotta love him), Paul Craig Roberts (I won’t read him because he got bitchy about the commenters** and won’t allow comments) and he picked up Michelle Malkin right at the time she was trying to tell people about the Kung Flu PanicFest (which Ron Unz fell for big time).

    I am also thankful that Mr. Unz has given many of the VDare writers a voice on his site, and a place to comment, since VDare doesn’t have that.

    Anyway, the Punch Drunk guy (the same way I’d been reading it, haha!) is nothing but a nicer and likely prettier version of a Janet Reno or that lady that will run the new Ministry of Truth under the umbrella of the Motherland Security Department.

    .

    * My Chinese source says that the wording and content sounds pretty legit.

    ** That started when Mr. Roberts (unusually, for him) wrote some BS about Global Warming errr, Global Climate Disruption , I mean The Climate Crisis™, and commenters like me got on his case about it.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  287. @Punch Brother Punch

    Gibberish? Here: You admitted you were wrong. Yes, it’s a minor point. This minor point was the premise of one of your time-wasting arguments, so it should be refuted. Got it?

    As for my man Barry AuH2O, his winning in 1964 would have stymied the unConstitutional Civil Rites laws along with great increase of the Welfare State. Without these 2 major pieces of destruction, real America could have lasted 1/4, maybe 1/2 a century longer!

    Yeah, a Jew,…

    The next morning, we read the sarcasm:

    Yes, it’s clear from my frequent racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic posting that I’m a Rachel Maddow fan.

    First of all, your thinking is still that all of us give a rat’s ass about being called these names anymore. I happen to remember the “sticks and stones …” proverb that I learned back in Kindergarten.

    Then, it is kind of a contradiction here, is it not? (Half) Jewish or not, like Steven Miller, Murray , and others are, he was a force for good in this country.

    No, Barry Goldwater most certainly was not “chosen to lose” you historically-illiterate fool. Like Ronald Reagan in the next decade, he had to win, over the worthless cucked-out Rockefeller Republicans, to get the nomination. It was Americans like you who lost it all due to their stupidity and obsequiousness to authority.

  288. @Achmed E. Newman

    ooops, that was weird. Should have been “Murray Rothbard”, not just some guy named Murray.

    ;-}

  289. @Achmed E. Newman

    Thanks for that link to that comment in the John Derbyshire thread.

    I just can’t fathom how some have that mindset, one that craves for instructions from a ruling elite to micromanage their lives to the nth degree.
    Such a person has no comprehension of what real liberty is all about and how empowering it can be.

    The fact that this post got an ‘Agree’ response from King of the Trollers and committed disinfo peddler ‘utu’, speaks volumes.

    Meanwhile, I had an interesting exchange here in UR in another thread with a commenter called Sparkon, who boasted how he wears his face mask 24/7 and how he’s been vaxxed and boosted to the max with those experimental mRNA gene therapies pretending to be Covid vaccines that have had NO long [or short] term Randomised Control Trials.

    In fact, the first 90 secs of this video below features Sparkon as he’s caught taking pics of a little girl in a supermarket:

    The remaining 2 mins features another mask muzzler apologist for Big Pharma that’s likely also trolling the UR commentary as well.

  290. @Achmed E. Newman

    Gibberish? Here: You admitted you were wrong. Yes, it’s a minor point. This minor point was the premise of one of your time-wasting arguments, so it should be refuted. Got it?

    Huh? What the fuck could this possibly mean?

    As for my man Barry AuH2O, his winning in 1964 would have stymied the unConstitutional Civil Rites laws along with great increase of the Welfare State.

    Exactly. If you wanted to formulate a conspiracy theory on the 1964 election: Goldwater was chosen as the Republican opponent in order to hand the presidency to LBJ.

    “Yes, it’s clear from my frequent racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic posting that I’m a Rachel Maddow fan.”

    First of all, your thinking is still that all of us give a rat’s ass about being called these names anymore.

    You completely missed my point here. I wasn’t calling you or anyone else names. I was making fun of Truth Vigilante’s allegation that I’m a Rachel Maddow fan, despite my extensive “racist” and “anti-semitic” posting.

    You’re a pretty dim-watt bulb, aren’t you?

  291. @Achmed E. Newman

    In 1964 they told me if I voted for Goldwater we would be fighting a war in Vietnam. Well I voted for him and by golly they were right!

  292. Anonymous[947] • Disclaimer says:
    @RoatanBill

    Or would we go back into the 20s where what the worker received was 40 ton and another day older, I know here business has got together and will only pay so much, as the manger of the one store said this area is only slated for x number of dollars, and they will not pay anymore.

    As they say business hate regulations, so they have done their best to destroy them which means business can charge what ever they want which has got us into this mess to begin with and then claim its rightful honor of being the daddy of the coming depression but will deny they had any part in it. The old fallacy that’s what’s good for business is good for America which fools still run with has been the cause of every recession, depression panic the country has ever had.

    Reminds me of the owner of the Buffalo Bills who wants a new almost billion dollar stadium, he’s worth some \$5 billion but yet wants the taxpayer to cough up the rest, so he can make a few million more every year, yes indeed what’s good for business is good for America but not so good for the working class and never has been nor will it until this system is destroyed.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  293. Anonymous[947] • Disclaimer says:
    @Uncle Walter

    Well uncle, let’s just get rid of everything we don’t agree with, and we can become the next Ukraine or South America, you know, one of those Third World countries which we almost are anyway. This without a doubt would fix all the trouble we have with those lousy amendments as we would be nothing but peons or perhaps the working class slaves to take over hoeing the cotton on some billionaire plantation.

    Barter, the trading of goods between labor and business, except business can hold out longer than you can, been there done it owned a framing company, the builders got together and set the price of framing a house at \$8.00 a foot and when covid hit and prices went through the roof they still stuck to \$8.00 a foot. Now there are no framers left they sold off their tools laid off the help and said to hell with paying all the insurances, wages and bullshit from government agencies.

    So no when business can park their profits in offshore accounts to get out of paying their taxes use most of their free money for stock buybacks like Boeing was doing and then run to the government for a \$63 billion dollar hand out I would say business like an ugly dog should be tied back to their collective doghouse with very stout chain . To put it very bluntly, business sucks and always has from the creation of the country and until that’s changed the working class will always be the underdog as business will buy the politician to do their bidding.

  294. @Anonymous

    When your basic premise is wrong, your conclusions are faulty.

    I’ve been a business owner for most of my adult life, sometimes several businesses at once. I never colluded with other business owners in any way, never. The market dictated my policies, always. The manager you cited is only describing the market he sees. He can’t afford to pay more than the profitability of the enterprise allows. Competition is the determinant for what happens in a given area with gov’t limiting or enforcing options.

    The Amazon, Walmart, McDonalds, etc scale businesses become major market forces all across the country and they do influence labor rates, commodity prices, store hours and every aspect of business, but they too are only reacting to the market they see. Their policies create market distortions that others react to and they in turn have to change their policies in a never ending battle for market share and profitability. This IS the free market in action, as free as is allowed by the greatest market distortion creator, gov’t.

    The distortions in the free market occur when gov’t gets involved to demand a minimum wage, sets up rules for handicapped parking, invents out of nothing liquor licensing, business licensing, doctor licensing, etc, allows the credit card companies to charge outrageous fees and interest rates, and a thousand other small rules and regulations that when combined, strangle the free market.

    The cause of every recession, depression, labor problem, etc is gov’t. For every law, rule or regulation that gets implemented, they need another dozen laws, rules and regulations to attempt to handle the unintended side effects that always occur. The Federal Reserve, in particular, is directly responsible for the price inflation occurring and the hyperinflation that will occur in the not too distant future, leading to a depression that’s going to set the country on fire.

    It’s when gov’t tries to intervene in the free market that things go awry. Always.

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Brad Anbro
  295. @RoatanBill

    ‘…It’s when gov’t tries to intervene in the free market that things go awry. Always.’

    Meh. It’s tempting to agree — and it would certainly simplify matters if it were so — but…

    Consider the Irish Potato Famine. When it broke out, Liberals were in charge of Britain’s government — real liberals — and so they insisted the market should be allowed to take care of the problem.

    And so the market responded. The grain went where the demand was. The problem being, the starving Irish had no money, so the demand wasn’t there. It was overseas. And so, as the Irish starved, grain continued to flow out of Ireland.

    …as the free market would have it.

    It wasn’t until the Conservatives — real Conservatives — got in, and said ‘screw all this free market bullshit, set up soup kitchens, works projects, and feed the poor,’ that the famine ended.

    The perfect free market is like anarchy. It’s attractive in principle, but problems tend to appear when you try it.

  296. @Colin Wright

    Can you honestly provide this one incident as counterweight to all the harm gov’t does as a matter of policy?

    Gov’ts murdered over 200,000,000 people in the 20th century. The US has murdered a few million in the current century.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  297. @RoatanBill

    ‘Can you honestly provide this one incident as counterweight to all the harm gov’t does as a matter of policy?’

    No — but I can say the free market is not invariably the right answer.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  298. @Colin Wright

    Colin Wrong (real name Shlomo – but like Patrick McNally uses an Anglo-Celtic handle for cover), writes:

    Consider the Irish Potato Famine …… The grain went where the demand was. The problem being, the starving Irish had no money, so the demand wasn’t there. It was overseas. And so, as the Irish starved, grain continued to flow out of Ireland.

    That’s B.S. Just more disinfo to advocate for more government intervention and the growth of Big Government.

    That fact of the matter was the Irish were just as poor both before and after the so-called Potato Famine, yet they managed to afford to feed themselves in all other eras.

    The Potato Famine was engineered by the British ruling elite to cull the Irish – much like the Covid Psyop was engineered in pursuit of impoverishment and culling of present day humanity in pursuance of the depopulation agenda.

    Bottom Line: The British Ruling elite (ie: the Government that ruled Ireland), killed countless Irish as it consciously diverted Irish agricultural output, much like Winston Spendthrift Churchill did to the grain supply in India during WWII, earning him the sobriquet of ‘Butcher of Bengal’ as millions were starved to death.

    The Free Market played NO PART in these deaths.

    Absent this government intervention, there would have been NO widespread fatalities.
    The Free Market ALWAYS produces the optimum outcome, all other things being equal.

  299. @Colin Wright

    If not the free market, where millions / billions of individuals make decision, then what? You have to answer that question because there’s no such thing as a vacuum in society. Some system evolves and left to the people, it’s the free market.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  300. @RoatanBill

    ‘If not the free market, where millions / billions of individuals make decision, then what? ‘

    In the case of the Irish Potato Famine, ‘what’ was government run soup kitchens and public works projects.

    Then people stopped dying of starvation.

    Bingo. There really are very few simple answers that can simply be adhered to regardless of how the situation develops. That makes life more complicated, but that’s the way it is.

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  301. @Colin Wright

    Colin Wrong writes:

    In the case of the Irish Potato Famine, ‘what’ was government run soup kitchens and public works projects.

    Like the great Libertarian Harry Browne used to say:

    ‘The government would come to your aid with a crutch because you were hobbling.
    However, it was the government that broke your leg in the first place’.

    Similarly, the British ruling elite (ie: the government of Ireland), engineered the Irish Potato Famine, killing over a million.
    But according to you Colin Wrong (real name Shlomo), we’re all supposed to be grateful because the gubmint ran some soup kitchens to compensate for the mass murder. (Which, according to you, squares the ledger).

    The magnanimity of the British ruling elite knows no bounds (in your Orwellian world).

    Shlomo (aka Colin Wrong), you’ve been peddling disinfo here in UR since forever. As if that’s not enough, you have the audacity to provide a defence for the genocidal actions of the British ‘gubmint’ and praise their generosity.

    You are an eff’n despicable piece of it Shlomo.

    These are the words of Professor Liam Kennedy on the culpability for the Irish Potato Famine:

    ‘The genocide of the Great Famine is distinct in the fact that the British created the conditions of dire hopelessness, and desperate dependence on the potato crop through a series of sadistic, debasing, premeditated and barbarous Penal Laws, which deliberately and systematically stripped the Irish of even the least semblance of basic human freedom.’

    When blight struck the Irish were ‘totally vulnerable’. This was a ‘nuanced genocide’, he continues, one that manipulated fate ‘by pushing a people to the brink of annihilation and turning away so not to hear the wailing.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  302. @Truth Vigilante

    I point out that there’s an exception to every rule; in this case, that the free market is always the answer.

    ‘Truth’ Vigilante’s response:

    ‘Colin Wrong…Colin Wrong (real name Shlomo)…Shlomo (aka Colin Wrong)…you are an effin’ despicable piece of it, Shlomo…’

    In abstract terms, explain the distinction between yourself and a barking dog.

    …but hell. Here I am trying to talk to the barking dog. You can’t win…

    • Replies: @Truth Vigilante
  303. @Colin Wright

    Colin Wrong states:

    I point out that there’s an exception to every rule; in this case, that the free market is always the answer.

    Fair enough. You may well be able to dig up an example of some fringe or inconsequential issue. But the Irish Potato Famine was not one of them.

    Any objective assessment of that catastrophe reaffirms that it was a GOVERNMENT ENGINEERED genocide.

    Yet, you’re not man enough to admit that you actually chose an example that proved the opposite of the point you were trying to make.

    The fact is, ALL THE WARS, ALL THE GENOCIDAL CATASTROPHES, ALL the Wars on Drugs/Alcohol Prohibition (that actually exacerbated the illicit drugs/alcohol problem), All the Wars on Poverty (that actually increased the rate of poverty and homelessness), of the last hundred years (and indeed well before that), are Government orchestrated.

    Left to the Free Market, none of these things would have happened and society would have been far better off than at its starting point.

  304. @RoatanBill

    “The cause of every recession, depression, labor problem, etc is gov’t.”

    then

    “The Federal Reserve, in particular, is directly responsible for the price inflation occurring and the hyperinflation that will occur in the not too distant future, leading to a depression that’s going to set the country on fire.”

    You contradicted yourself! The Federal Reserve is NOT “the government” – it is a privately owned and run for-profit corporation.

    Ninety-nine percent of the contents of your posts are nothing but disinformation and B.S. Just as with the “Libertarians,” you blame the “government” and the people. What I suggest that you do is to embark on a serious study of REAL American history. You will find that after World War II, when the unions were their strongest, that was the time period when Americans’ wages, benefits and standards of living were RISING. Now they at best have stagnated and with this government / corporate fraud called “inflation,” people’s assets and net worth are being robbed from them.

    Just for your information, and that of anyone else reading this, if it were not for unions, there would be no paid vacations, no sick leave, no profit sharing plans or any of the other so-called “fringe benefits” that we now have. If the CORPORATIONS had operated their businesses in a fair and and in a legitimate manner right from the start, there would have been NO NEED OF UNIONS.

    The commenter who posted about the Buffalo Bills and the government tax subsidy scams of all professional sports was correct. There is a web site that deals in this “Field of Schemes” and it details the government-funded scams that keep “professional” sports profitable.

    While you are attempting to study the REAL history of the United States, also do some REAL research on the kinds of individuals that James Hoffa and Walter Reuther were. I have done extensive reading on both Mr. Hoffa and on Mr. Reuther. In my opinion, they were infinitely more honorable and forthright than ALL of our politicians, none of whom I would walk across the street to spit on.

    The United States, thanks to the corporations and the laws and regulations enacted by the corporate-controlled political parties (BOTH parties), has become a washed-up, bankrupt,
    Third World Banana Republic.

    (signed)
    Brad Anbro
    retired United Auto Workers Journeyman Electrician

  305. @Brad Anbro

    Plausible deniability is an essential component of any criminal enterprise. The Fed Gov and The Fed are two pockets on the same pair of pants. If you don’t know that then you’re not too smart. It’s the same scam that they use to con the bulk of the population into believing that there’s three sections to the Fed Gov and they each are the checks and balances on the rest. Only a dullard would believe such nonsense.

    As for unionism, I agree that unions are great for the union members. They get above average pay and benefits through the use of legalized extortion. What union members fail to recognize, or don’t want to recognize, is that every penny of their above average income is paid by non union workers that purchase their product or service. It’s the single mom waitress that has to pay for the union plumber, for the union electrician, for the union made car. Where is her union? Where is her above average pay and benefits?

    Unions only work when there’s a portion of the population that can be taken advantage of, like the waitress. If everyone were in a union, there would be no benefit to any of the unions since they are all on a level playing field. Unions are a political vehicle that can capture votes for the political class that provides them with their benefits at the expense of every non union worker. You should be so proud of yourself helping impoverish every non union worker that supports you.

    • Agree: Truth Vigilante
    • Replies: @Brad Anbro
  306. @Brad Anbro

    You claim that Roatan Bill contradicted himself when he said this:

    The Federal Reserve is NOT “the government” – it is a privately owned and run for-profit corporation.

    He didn’t contradict himself. We’re all well aware the the Federal Reserve is owned by a private cartel of bankers – specifically the Zionist Usury Cartel of Bankers (ZUBCAR).

    But the issuance of money and the setting of monetary policy (to the extent that Government is involved at all seeing as the market is best capable of taking on that role), was the responsibility of government to begin with.

    That Woodrow Wilson relinquished this governmental responsibility in 1913 and thus sub-contracted this important function to a private entity, DOES NOT exonerate government of its responsibility for this grievous mistake.

    Let me use the following example by way of an analogy:

    [MORE]

    The U.S government (no doubt by way of back room chicanery) decides to relinquish control of the U.S military to a private cartel by publicly listing it on the NYSE through an IPO.

    Needless to say, seeing as the U.S military is expected to have a market capitalisation of trillions, the only entity on Earth with that kind of money is the Zionist Usury Banking Cartel (which itself has a net worth of multiples of U.S GDP).
    The Zio cabal thus buys up most of the stock in the IPO and becomes the controlling entity.

    It then wages wars on behalf of Israel like all the POTUS’s post Reagan, inflicting death and despair on tens of millions (mostly civilian non-combatants) in the process.
    It pays out a generous dividend to shareholders from proceeds obtained from raping, looting and pillaging of the resources of said country that it has decimated.

    Of course, apologists for government will say it’s not the government’s doing. It was that PRIVATE SECTOR capitalist entity that is behind all of this and that this is an indictment of capitalism in general.

    As for this statement of yours:

    Ninety-nine percent of the contents of your posts are nothing but disinformation and B.S. Just as with the “Libertarians,” you blame the “government” and the people.

    What I suggest that you do is to embark on a serious study of REAL American history. You will find that after World War II, when the unions were their strongest, that was the time period when Americans’ wages, benefits and standards of living were RISING.

    I can’t comment on the remarks of others in UR and elsewhere who may claim to be Libertarians but are really infiltrators that are spreading disinfo and B.S. (For the record, I recall Roatan Bill having stated that he is not, like myself, a Libertarian).

    But speaking on behalf of Roatan Bill and myself, I can assure you that everything from us is the furthest thing from disinfo that you’re ever likely to find seeing as its based on REAL WORLD outcomes – not just in the U.S but throughout the planet.

    I have been following Roatan Bill’s comments for some time and it is evident that his grasp of economics and business is outstanding.
    You would do well to take heed of what he has to say.

    As to rising benefits, wages and standards of living post WWII when unions were strongest, my understanding is that, even at its peak, private sector union membership in the U.S NEVER EXCEEDED ONE-THIRD OF WORKERS.
    In western Europe and elsewhere where union membership was a far higher percentage, WAGES, BENEFITS and LIVING STANDARDS LAGGED THAT IN THE U.S BY A CONSIDERABLE MARGIN.

    With those statistics in mind, one could easily make a case that rising wages, benefits and standards of living were a by product of the fact that MOST PRIVATE SECTOR U.S WORKERS were NOT unonised.

    But let’s put things in further context.

    At the end of WWII, the U.S was the LAST MAN STANDING as far as the major industrial powers were concerned.
    It’s chief rivals (Germany and Japan) had industrial bases that were decimated.
    Britain’s industry was not as decimated due to bombing and war time attrition as the former two nations, but it had been BANKRUPTED by the war and nearly the entirety of its gold holdings had found their way into the U.S Treasury.

    At war’s end, around THREE-QUARTERS of the entire world’s central bank gold was in U.S hands and this entailed that, after Bretton Woods, the USD became the reserve currency of the world.

    Bottom Line: In the decades after WWII, as the ‘last man standing’ and having the world’s reserve currency, enabled the U.S and its citizens to enjoy an unparalleled standard of living, whereby wages, benefits and conditions could be improved year after year with no adverse consequence.

    This is because THEIR CHIEF RIVALS (Japan and Germany) were still in their ‘rebuilding phase’ and a long way from running on all eight cylinders to compete with U.S industry.

    Because the U.S had the lion share of world manufacturing output, it thus had a NEAR MONOPOLY in a range of industrial sectors and, by definition, they could thus charge whatever they wanted for their products and services which ENTAILED that they could pay their workers exorbitant (by world standards) wages and and benefits and STILL BE PROFITABLE.

    Take the car industry for instance. U.S auto makers could continue making poor handling two ton ‘land yachts’ that guzzled fuel like there was no tomorrow and it didn’t matter because oil prices were so low that fuel bills were of no consequence.
    If Porsche could come up with the quick quarter-miler 550 Spyder (the one James Dean killed himself in), you Yanks could just up the cubic inches in your vehicles to say a 426 Hemi.
    And when that wasn’t enough you’d go to a 454 cub inch and beyond to match and outdo the foreign competitors.
    Hardly a leap in technology. Whenever the U.S auto industry was threatened it resorted to the old maxim:
    ‘When in doubt, bore it out’.

    Meanwhile, German (and especially Japanese) car makers were busy working away at compact, fuel efficient, nice handling practical cars that were much better quality.

    By the mid-70’s in the aftermath of the Oil Shock, the tables had turned and Germany and Japan has overtaken American industrial hegemony.

    And of course today we have the likes of China, Sth Korea and others that have stepped up to the plate to outperform the flaccid U.S.

    CONCLUSION: In the three decades or so post WWII American workers enjoyed improved wages, conditions and standards of living DESPITE the retrograde input of unions that made American made goods MORE EXPENSIVE and LESS COMPETITIVE on the world market.

    By the late 70’s, this FAILED MODEL OF OVER-REGULATION and OVERLY GENEROUS and UNSUSTAINABLE UNION INDUCED DISTORTION OF THE FREE MARKET had reached it’s Use-By date and manifested itself (to give you just one example among many from this period – I could have used U.S colour TV manufacturers etc), in the demise of the Chrysler Motor Corporation – which would have gone bankrupt if it had not been bailed out by the Carter Administration.

  307. @RoatanBill

    “Bill,” “Truth” and others who will read this:

    My perspective is from a person who spent over 40 years working in various factories as an industrial electrician. Some were union; others were not union. As I said in my post, I have done extensive studying and reading about unions, union leaders and the REAL American history. I draw my opinions from facts that I have learned in my 70+ years existence on this earth.

    My first 19 years as an industrial electrician was with this very conservative-type, non-union company (meaning: vote straight Republican). They had over 1,000 people who worked there. I knew practically everyone and they knew me. The first 15 years that I was there, I actually enjoyed going to work every day. They ran the place like a big family.

    They had their own self-funded insurance plans; they had a company doctor & first aid department at the factory; they had three barbers, who would cut the employees hair on company time; they had their own dental clinic, with a very competent dentist and they had a cafeteria for all employees, which cooked and baked practically all of the food and desserts, the quality of the food rivaling the best restaurants in town and the prices subsidized by the company.

    The last 4 years that I was there, they forced out the company president, because he was too honest with the employees. They brought in a bunch of “bean counters” to run the place and to try to get all of the employees to run scared. I had what I would consider an EXEMPLARY work record. I probably had less than 5 days of sick leave in my 19 years and was almost never late for work. I never had to do a job over again because it was not done right the first time. Many years I would receive computer print-out sheets saying that I had not been responsible for ANY medical costs incurred by the company.

    I would receive annual employee ratings by my supervisor, in which every category was checked off as highest or next highest in performance. NONE OF THAT MATTERED – I was laid off after 19 years of SERVICE to that company, along with most of the rest of the Maintenance Department. I KNEW that I would be laid off soon, because I could “read the writing on the wall.” The CEO had his local construction company buddies in the factory doing plumbing & electrical work that the Maintenance Department was perfectly capable of doing.

    Right after I had reached my 19th year of service, I went in to the office of my supervisor’s supervisor, whom I had known for many years. I said, “Ken, I just got my 19th year in here.” He said, “That’s great, Brad.” I then said that I would not be here for my 20th year. He asked me what I was talking about and I told him that I was going to be laid off. He told me that my job was “safe” and I replied, “Bullshit! I can see what is going on here.” Shortly after that, I, along with almost all of the other Maintenance personnel, was laid off.

    I KNEW even before I was laid off that I would have a very difficult time finding another job as an industrial electrician. Many of the factories in the Rockford, Illinois area, where I worked, were either closed up or had down-sized to a small shadow of their former selves. My efforts at finding another job proved my assessment of the area employment situation.

    That company prided itself on not being a company that laid off workers when things got slow. They had a profit-sharing system in which they shared the profits with all of the employees. They would hold monthly plant meetings and the company accountants would show slides of the ACTUAL costs & profits to the employees. One year was an exceptionally good year for profits and they paid a bonus that amounted to an additional 58% increase in the employees’ annual wages.

    It is my firm belief that unions have, over the course of their existence, done a very poor job of educating the American public as to the benefits of union membership. Regarding the United Auto Workers union (UAW), of which I was a member, when Walter Reuther was president of that union, there was ZERO corruption in that union. He would not stand for it. Next to John F. Kennedy, Reuther was the most respected American in all of Europe, because they knew what he stood for – an honest wage and good working conditions for ALL workers, not just union workers. Now, most of the officers of the UAW are either in jail, awaiting sentencing or are under indictment for union corruption.

    Walter Reuther had many wonderful ideas and goals for ALL American workers – not just for the union workers. Had his ideas been implemented, our country would be a much better place for ALL American workers. But “they” killed him – he was involved in two plane crashes in less than a year’s time; the second crash being the fatal one. “They” wanted him out of the way, just as they wanted James Hoffa out of the way. Just as with JFK, RFK, MLK, Jr., Malcolm X, Dorothy Kilgallen, and Olof Palme and Dag Hammarskjöld, of Sweden.

    You mention the person not being able to “afford” a union plumber. My first job, after graduating from high school in 1969, was at a food processing factory that was owned by one of the largest American food companies. I had an ordinary factory job, which anyone could do with minimal training and I made \$2.24 per hour. I could purchase MORE with that \$2.24 than I could with the \$25+ per hour that I was receiving when I retired!

    As I said before, the United States has gone from being the most technologically advanced CREDITOR NATION into being a corporate-fascist, bankrupt Banana Republic DEBTOR NATION. We have record numbers of millionaires and billionaires. We also have record numbers of homeless people and people in jail. We have record numbers of foreclosures and record numbers of bankruptcies, both private and corporate.

    As I have said many times to countless people, there is more than enough money to go around in our country. But the rich do not want that; they want it all for themselves. That is why, in my opinion, the United States has become the most corrupt country in the world, with the complicity of BOTH national political “parties.”

    I believe that the United States is too far “gone” to be able to salvage. If there was a revolution, the resultant “government” would be as bad or worse than the present one, owing to human nature. I stand behind my comments, because they are based on FACTS. The average American does not care about any of this. He or she is so wrapped up in their computer-generated TV programs, their “professional” sports teams and holding onto their precarious employment positions, saddled by record amounts of personal debt.

    Thank you.

  308. @Brad Anbro

    I could agree with you on some of your points, but unionism isn’t one of them.

    Unions are organized extortion written into law. They also accrue to their members wages and benefits extracted from the rest of the non union society so that the political class can get the support of the unions they enable. Every dollar extra you get is taken from the non union workforce; it’s a zero sum game.

    The employer owns the jobs on offer. The employer has a right to his property. If an employee wants to accept what’s on offer, then that’s a win win proposition because there’s no force applied. Once a union gets involved, the business is now encumbered with an extortion racket that the owner would rather not have to deal with.

    If you don’t like what’s on offer, leave and find another position that suits you. To force an employer to deal with a union violates freedom of association, just like forcing a baker to bake a cake for people he would prefer not to associate with. It’s as simple as that.

    Unions are at least partially responsible for the offshoring of jobs to foreign destinations where labor rates are lower. This leads to the current situation in the US where there’s little manufacturing left. It’s also why new auto plants are started in the southern states where unions aren’t as prevalent.

    If one were to step back and view labor issues from a wider perspective, one must conclude that the high cost of labor in the US is largely due to how much the gov’t steals to support its programs. When somewhere between 30% – 50% is the gov’t cut of your labor to support the war machine and the graft and corruption in all layers of gov’t, then the reason for the high cost of labor becomes clear. If the gov’t didn’t steal as much of your funds, you could work at a lower rate and that rate would be more world wide competitive.

    Instead of using a union to get you a larger slice of the pie that hurts your neighbor, help cut down the gov’ts access to your wallet. Support the complete end to the Fed Gov and allow the states, as new countries, to compete with each other for jobs and residents. It’s the monopoly power of the Fed Gov that causes the non competitive nature of the whole country now.

    It’s the monopoly power of the Fed and the Fed Gov to force the citizenry to use the phony Dollar via legal tender laws that allow them to eventually cause the hyperinflation that will plunge the country into poverty any day now when the Dollar and all the paper investments based on it fail. Your union has caused you to lose sight of the real enemy you have. It’s not your neighbor that you’re helping impoverish, but the union as an agent of the gov’t, through law, that you should recognize for what it is.

  309. @Brad Anbro

    Thanks for taking the time to write your sincere response. I genuinely sympathise with what happened to you and others who were model employees and still got laid off.

    Firstly though, I’d like to address this statement of yours:

    I have done extensive studying and reading about unions, union leaders and the REAL American history. I draw my opinions from facts that I have learned in my 70+ years existence on this earth.

    Firstly, I’m not an American. I’m Australian. That said, I know quite a bit about U.S history. Undoubtedly much less than you but, from what I’ve observed of others, far more than most other non-Americans.
    I have a pretty good grasp of world (esp. 20th century to the present) history as a result of countless hours of research.

    That said, I can’t definitively say it’s more or less than what you’ve done seeing as I know nothing of your research history.

    But, I’d like to draw your attention to the ‘qualitative’ aspect of the study of any topic.

    [MORE]

    As a Ron Paul Libertarian, most people would define me as being right of centre. (There are left-of-centre Libertarians incidentally).

    Now, if I only read books, attended seminars and viewed videos from like minded yes men and never looked at the writings of those that disagreed with me, I would be bombarded with viewpoints that ALREADY COINCIDE WITH MY WORLD VIEW.

    I might feel superficially self satisfied that I’m on the right track but this could well be a false sense of reassurance.
    And if what I thought to be true turned out to be wrong, then I’D BE LIVING A LIE.

    Similarly, and I’m not saying you’re one such undividual, but there are many union people that are die-hard socialists and even communists.
    They’re individuals that have read everything from Marx and Engels, read the Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital, followed the output of Emeritus Professor Richard Wolff, Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz and their ilk.
    And by doing so, said individuals would reinforce their previous worldview and ideological preconceptions.

    Such people may well have read the 1000’s of hours more economic/business/political literature than I have.
    But at the end of the day, they’ve researched next to nothing about opposing economic schools of thought – like the Austrian School etc.

    They just never bothered and would dismiss the other philosophies as capitalist misdirection or some such.
    Now, maybe the opposing philosophies are indeed claptrap.

    But, IF YOU NEVER READ THEM AND ANALYSE HOW ACCURATE THEY WERE IN PREDICTING REAL WORLD OUTCOMES, how would you know if there’s any substance to them ?

    I purposely go out of my way to seek the opinions of those I disagree with.
    Those that have seen my commentary here in UR, will know that I go out of my way to provoke others in the commentary section – usually others that have posted an alternative viewpoint.

    I do this because I want to CHALLENGE their assertions. I ask them HOW they came up with that viewpoint and what is the EVIDENCE to back it up.

    Meanwhile, most of them give as good as they get and CHALLENGE me in return.
    And I am only too happy to respond with my proofs.

    Many a time, when having a robust exchange with another, I’ve learnt of info that I wasn’t aware of.
    This necessarily FORCED me to amend my previous beliefs in light of that new data.
    Other times I have had to ABANDON said previous preconception because it was flat out wrong.
    I recall an incident with a commenter here in UR called DevilAdvocate who exposed the fallacy of one of my beliefs and I thanked him for it.

    Nothing wrong with admitting I was wrong on that point. I felt better in the end because I was closer to the truth.

    I don’t have an unshakeable commitment and a defend-to-the death resolve in any belief system.
    I am completely fluid and will adjust/modify/or discard previously held beliefs as the evidence warrants.

    At the end of the day, if my beliefs cannot stand up to scrutiny, and that intense scrutiny almost always happens when I’m confronted with someone who disagrees with me, then that previous belief system should be discarded forthwith.

    In a nutshell, I don’t know what research you’ve done and what authors you’ve looked into, but isn’t it possible, just perhaps, that you’re reading the same ideological viewpoint over and over and thus you’ve been indoctrinated with Confirmation Bias ?

    When you write:

    I stand behind my comments, because they are based on FACTS.

    … I don’t doubt for a second that what you’ve experienced are actually occurrences you’ve witnessed and that many of the things you’ve read were later fact checked and proven to be true.
    But many authors, the MSM (and politicians in particular), are experts at LYING THROUGH OMISSION.

    In other words, what they write may technically be true, but by only reporting selective facts and statistics that suit their argument, whilst PURPOSELY leaving out important info that would refute them, they are not telling you the whole story.

    Of course, you may say the same about those authors and their books that I’ve read.
    And that’s fair enough.
    This is something I am acutely aware of and I do my best to critically analyse info even if it’s from sources that I’ve found to be reliable and honest in the past.
    One such source is Dr Ron Paul and, try as I might, I cannot fault anything he’s ever said on the major issues.
    There are written transcripts, video interviews and all manner of information on Dr Ron Paul going back as far as the 1970’s when he first became a Congressman and he has NEVER been found wanting.
    He’s NEVER told a lie, he’s ALWAYS been consistent with his non-interventionist, small government, peaceful U.S foreign policy message, coupled to his economic theories.
    And he’s ALWAYS been proven right.
    I’ve seen nothing comparable to this man in my lifetime – he’s a one of a kind.

    Anyway, getting back to what I was saying before, that’s why I seek out those with opposing viewpoints who WILL tell me the faults in the logic or arguments of those experts and economic commentators that I’ve been relying on.

    Summary: Things that you and I sincerely believe to be facts, may not be so in the FULL CONTEXT of a collective belief system (even though said ‘facts’ may appear to be rock solid when viewed on a stand alone basis).

    With that in mind, we should be open to new ideas and try to analyse them as objectively as possible, and not be quick to discard said beliefs because ‘so-and-so’ said them and we’re told never to listen to that person because he’s an agent of the forces of evil or something juvenile like that.

    We should look at those that have the guts to make bold predictions in ADVANCE of an event and see how well those predictions played out.

    Those that I follow make those bold calls regularly and far more often than not, their forecasts are spot on precise.
    Importantly, whilst no one gets it right all the time, those so-called economist Phd’s and professors touted as experts by the Zio owned MSM, tend to be almost always wrong.
    This is a sure sign that they’re either clueless OR purposely misleading us at the behest of their controllers.

    • Replies: @Brad Anbro
  310. @Brad Anbro

    BTW Brad, judging from comments like these of yours:

    Just as with [the Zio orchestrated demise of] JFK, RFK, MLK, Jr., Malcolm X, Dorothy Kilgallen, and Olof Palme and Dag Hammarskjöld, of Sweden

    and ….

    [the U.S has become] a corporate-fascist, bankrupt Banana Republic DEBTOR NATION. We have record numbers of millionaires and billionaires. We also have record numbers of homeless people and people in jail. We have record numbers of foreclosures and record numbers of bankruptcies, both private and corporate.

    ….. I believe we are much closer to being on the SAME page than you could possibly imagine.
    All these social problems are critical and need to be addressed immediately.
    All those deaths of prominent individuals that genuinely sought to improve the lives of their fellow man are tragic (esp JFK) and, if you’d viewed my commentary history in other threads in UR you’d know my position on them (and on the greatest crime of the 21st century – the Mossad/Zio cabal orchestrated 9/11 False Flag).

    When I say what I do about capitalism, I am NOT making excuses for that portion of the well-to-do that have corruptly accrued their ill gotten millions and billions through financial chicanery and through crony corporatism.
    They’ve bought off politicians and been awarded government contracts and been protected from competition with government legislated tariffs, subsidised with taxpayers money etc.

    I want said corrupt businessmen to be prosecuted and locked up every bit as much as you do – perhaps more so.

    These corporate entities that have ripped off the taxpayer are NO PART OF FREE MARKET CAPITALISM, even though those with an axe to grind have falsely represented them as such.

    An