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My Top Issues in California's U.S. Senate Race
Keeping English, Raising the Minimum Wage, Fixing Immigration
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I’m willing to take clear stands on issues, including some controversial ones, regardless of ideology or political orientation. Maybe you’ll agree with me and maybe you’ll disagree with me, but at least you’ll know what I believe.

As a U.S. Senator, I’ll carefully listen to both sides of every issue, do my own research, and support the policies that I believe are best for our country and the American people. But here are some of the major issues currently driving my campaign.

And here’s some additional information on who I am and where I stand:

If you find my forthright stand on these controversial issues refreshing in a candidate, you can DONATE HERE—but nothing over \$99!

Keeping English in the Schools

All immigrant children must be taught English as soon as they enter school if they are to become successful, productive members of our society. As a U.S. Senator, I would propose federal legislation requiring English in our public schools.

For decades, millions of students from a Hispanic family background were automatically placed in Spanish-almost-only “bilingual education” programs, and as a result they had a very difficult time learning how to properly read, write, or even speak English.

Then in 1996 a group of immigrant Latino parents in downtown Los Angeles, led by a leftwing ex-Catholic nun, began a public boycott of their local elementary school for refusing to teach their children English. Their protest received widespread media attention, and I eventually contacted them, surprised at the outrageous nature of the system.

The following year I launched the “English for the Children” Prop. 227 campaign, aimed at dismantling California’s heavily entrenched “bilingual education” system and requiring that all children be taught to read, write, and speak English in our public schools.

We were opposed by nearly all the powerful political interests in California. The Chairman of the State Republican Party and the Chairman of the State Democratic Party both opposed Prop. 227, as did all four candidates for Governor, Democrat and Republican alike, while President Bill Clinton came out to California to campaign against us. Nearly every major newspaper in the state urged a No vote, as did every major union, and we were outspent on advertising 25-to-1. Nonetheless, we won in a landslide, by the widest margin of any contested initiative since Prop. 13 in the 1970s.

Within months, most California schools began teaching their million-plus young Latino students in English rather than in Spanish, and the results were remarkable. All the major newspapers that had strongly opposed Prop. 227 began running numerous stories about how well the new system was working, how easily Latino children were learning English, and how happy their parents and their teachers were with the changes.

The founding president of the California Association of Bilingual Educators declared himself a born-again convert to English immersion, and promoted the change in the Washington Post and CBS News. The liberal Democrat who served as President of the State Board of Education followed a similar path. Within four years the academic test scores of over a million immigrant students increased by 30%, 50%, even 100%.

I launched similarly successful “English for the Children” initiative campaigns in other states, including Arizona and Massachusetts, usually winning in huge landslides. Due to my efforts, bilingual education largely disappeared from schools all across the country, with more and more states following California’s example and recognizing that intensive English instruction was the best educational approach to take with young immigrant children.

In California itself the issue had been entirely dead and forgotten for a decade or more, with almost everyone perfectly content with the new system and nearly a full generation of young Latinos having grown up learning English perfectly well as soon as they started school.

Therefore, I was totally outraged in 2014 when the Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature united to attempt to completely repeal my Prop. 227 on the November 2016 ballot and reestablish the disastrous system of bilingual education in California.

This proves just how absurdly out of touch the political establishment of both political parties has become and was the main reason I decided to run for office.

Raising the Minimum Wage

A much higher minimum wage would solve many of our serious social and economic problems, while supporting conservative principles. As a Republican U.S. Senator I would propose raising the American minimum wage to \$12.

Not only do I strongly support a large increase in the federal minimum wage, but I believe that I have already played a major role in moving that issue back to the center of American politics.

Just a few years ago, raising the minimum wage was an issue almost entirely ignored by political leaders, even Democratic ones.

A large fraction of all Republicans believed that the minimum wage was an old-fashioned idea that made no economic sense, and were glad that inflation had drastically reduced its value since 1968. Even many Democrats agreed with this.

Then in Fall 2011 I published a 12,000 word article advocating a very large rise in the national minimum wage as the simple solution to many of our most complex and intractable social and economic problems. My suggestion of \$12 per hour was enormously higher than anything previously supported by almost any prominent liberal or Democratic policy advocate, let alone any significant number of elected officials.

James Galbraith, a prominent liberal economist picked up on my idea and began promoting it in his writings, as did leftwing journalist Alexander Cockburn in the pages of The Nation and elsewhere. The centrist New America Foundation solicited an additional 4,000 word minimum wage paper from me, and Ralph Nader enlisted my support for launching a major minimum wage lobbying campaign in Congress, while various union-backed groups began similar efforts in cities and states.

By January 2013 President Obama had unexpectedly made a hike in the minimum wage an important element of his State of the Union Address, although he was merely proposing a \$9 figure, while Economics Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz had dropped their long opposition to minimum wage laws, and become influential advocates.

Then at the end of 2013, I suddenly launched a \$12 per hour minimum wage initiative campaign in California, generating a great deal of state and national media coverage, winning over influential centrist journalists, and allowing me an opportunity to present my advocacy in a wide variety of major publications.

Although my measure failed to quality for the ballot, my arguments won over Phyllis Schlafly and several other prominent conservative figures, greatly broadening the ideological backing for the idea. Raising the minimum wage is a natural issue for conservatives since it cuts social welfare spending and raises the value of work, while forcing businesses to pay for their own employees rather than shifting the costs to the taxpayer. And very low-wage jobs are the magnet that draws most illegal immigrants.

In direct response to my campaign, efforts were launched in Los Angeles to raise the city’s minimum wage to \$15, which became law the following year. Similarly, a few weeks after my effort was launched, Sen. Mark Leno introduced a bill into the California Legislature to establish a statewide \$13 minimum wage, and after lengthy political battles, this figure was eventually raised to a \$15 level and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2016.

I helped achieve all these results without holding any political office or having any major public platform. As a Republican U.S. Senator from California I would be an extremely effective advocate for enacting a much higher nationwide minimum wage.

Solving Our Immigration Problems

Immigrants are generally fine people, but immigration is too high, causing our society all sorts of problems. As a U.S. Senator, I would propose cutting legal immigration and drastically reducing illegal immigration.

I doubt there are many political figures in California with stronger pro-immigrant credentials than my own.

When Gov. Pete Wilson began attacking immigrants in his 1994 reelection campaign, I challenged him for renomination, shocking political observers by capturing 34% of the vote as a pro-immigrant conservative Republican. Afterwards, I was a top featured speaker at the enormous 70,000 person march against Prop. 187 in Los Angeles, the largest pro-immigrant protest in America history but boycotted by virtually every other politically prominent non-Latino.

But over the last dozen years or so I’ve concluded that our national immigration levels are too high and should be sharply reduced.

Mostly due to immigration, America’s population growth rate has been the highest in the developed world, even twice as high as that of China. An exponentially growing population puts enormous pressure on our environment and natural resources while reducing our quality of life. I was born in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, when California was truly the Golden State. Since then, our population has increased by 150%, mostly due to immigration, and many things are much worse, while we now suffer from a severe water shortage.

Even more serious is the negative economic impact on most of our working population, which is forced to compete for jobs and wages with new immigrants, who are often desperate to take any job at all. I believe it’s more than pure coincidence that over the last forty years our immigration levels have been very high and during that same period the incomes of most ordinary Americans have stagnated. Probably the group suffering the most economic harm by being forced to compete for jobs with new immigrants are already established immigrants.

Substantially reducing our legal immigration rates would make sense, but such a change would have little impact unless something is also done to drastically reduce the possibility of continuing illegal immigration.

Most illegal immigrants are perfectly fine people, and many of them have established strong roots here and become part of our society. They’re hard-working and productive, and don’t commit much crime. But something must be done to prevent additional illegal immigration in the future.

The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants come to America for jobs, and our media pundits correctly say “they take the jobs that Americans won’t.”

But the reason that Americans won’t take those jobs is that the wages are too low, and only recently-arrived illegals are desperate enough to take such terrible jobs. A much higher minimum wage would make such jobs much more attractive to native-born Americans and existing immigrants, and the job-magnet that produces illegal immigration would begin to disappear, making other border-enforcement mechanisms much more easier to implement. The government could even heavily subsidize the return of unemployed illegal immigrants to their home country.

Minimum wage laws are far easier to enforce than immigration laws, and very stiff penalties for repeated violations, even including prison sentences, would ensure almost total compliance.

Once the magnetic lure of American jobs disappears, traditional immigration enforcement measures will become much more effective and future illegal immigration will be reduced to very low levels.

By sharply reducing legal immigration and enormously reducing future illegal immigration, the economic prospects and quality of life for most existing Americans will be greatly improved, including for both legal and illegal immigrants currently living here.

So the first and most important step in solving our immigration problems is a large hike in the national minimum wage.

Cutting College Tuition

The gigantic increase in college tuition over the past few decades has condemned an entire generation of young Americans to decades of debt-servitude. As a U.S. Senator, I would propose forcing universities to cut their costs and cut their tuition.

Over the last couple of decades tuition at most public and private colleges has increased to enormous and unreasonable levels, and as a consequence student loan debt now exceeds \$1.2 trillion dollars, inflicting huge financial burdens on young Americans.

Most absurd is the situation at Harvard and other very wealthy schools. Although the annual investment income on their enormous endowments may be twenty-five times the size of their net tuition revenue, they continue to extract enormous tuition payments from American families. Harvard and its peers have become gigantic, tax-exempt hedge-funds that run high-tuition colleges off to one side, an absurd situation.

I recently organized a slate of candidates, headlined by Ralph Nader, to run for the Harvard Board of Overseers on a platform demanding that Harvard immediately abolish college tuition. If we are successful in achieving this goal, then other very wealthy elite universities such as Yale, Princeton, and Stanford would probably soon follow.

Once our most elite national colleges have eliminated tuition, there will be enormous political pressure on the much larger number of public colleges and universities to focus as strongly as possible on reducing their tuition. During the mid-1970s, tuition at UCLA, Berkeley, and the other UC campuses was just \$630 per year, but today the figure is closer to \$15,000 per year, having increased many times as fast as inflation.

Many analysts have pointed to the huge growth in the number and salaries of college administrators, who now sometimes outnumber faculty members, as responsible for the huge rise in college costs. I believe our public colleges and universities, including the prestigious University of California system, should take all possible steps to reduce unnecessary costs, thereby allowing a sharp reduction in tuition.

Admitting the Iraq War Disaster

Despite being total failures, the same people responsible for the Iraq War still dominate the foreign policy of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. As a Republican U.S. Senator I would work to remove them from all national influence.

A decade ago my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who ran the National Security Agency for Ronald Reagan, publicly declared that the Iraq War was the “greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history”.

He was exactly correct then, and his judgment seems even more prescient today, as the rise of the Islamic State and other powerful extremist groups has led to an endless cycle of war and terrorism in the Middle East, now directly threatening European and American cities. Furthermore, prominent economists have estimated that the long-term cost of the war to our country may run as high as five trillion dollars.

Most of our recent foreign wars in the Middle East area, under both the Bush and the Obama Administrations, have been expensive and immoral foreign policy disasters. Republicans Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan were right about these issues, as were all the other experts, both liberal and conservative, who have been saying the same thing.

I don’t necessarily claim to have the solutions to the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, but nothing useful can be accomplished until we admit that the Iraq War was a total disaster and absolutely not in our national interest. Today, the exact same individuals who promoted the war still absolutely dominate the foreign policy of the Republican Party and are also very influential within the Democratic Party. Until we completely repudiate them and their dreadful mistakes, we will not be able to move forward.

A few weeks ago in a Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump strongly denounced the Iraq War and the lies of the Bush Administration that promoted it, sending shock waves throughout the Republican Party establishment. Just days later, Trump won an overwhelming landslide victory among the Republicans of ultra-conservative and pro-military South Carolina, demonstrating that “a silent majority” of ordinary Republican voters may understand what most of their leaders do not.

I am very encouraged by these developments and hope that other Republican leaders may find the courage to take the same position.

Opposing Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is unfair to white people, Asian people, and everyone else. As a U.S. Senator I would propose completely dismantling it.

I’ve been totally opposed to Affirmative Action for forty years because I’ve always consider it unfair. I came from a liberal Democratic family background, and the single biggest reason I became a Republican under President Ronald Reagan was his strong public opposition to Affirmative Action.

Over the years I’ve probably published over 100,000 words regarding Affirmative Action, possibly more than almost any other Republican policy writer. During the 1980s and 1990s, the vast majority of prominent Republicans and conservatives took positions very similar to mine.

Unfortunately, since the beginning of the 2000s, the Republican Party and most of the Conservative Movement have begun retreating on this important issue, rarely talking about it and often even supporting it under another name. President George W. Bush gave speeches advocating “Affirmative Access.”

In late 2012 I published a 30,000 word cover story, The Myth of American Meritocracy, focusing on the extremely corrupt and unfair admissions practices at our elite colleges. The article was widely praised as one of the best published that year, and inspired much subsequent political and legal effort.

One of my central findings was the very strong statistical evidence for Asian Quotas in Ivy League admissions, although these are endlessly denied by the university administrators, just like their predecessors had denied the existence of Jewish Quotas during the 1920s. The 1978 Supreme Court decision in the landmark Bakke case was based on Harvard’s claim that it did not use quotas, so perhaps 35 years of legal support for Affirmative Action has been based on fraud.

Racial quotas and Affirmative Action in general are totally corrosive and dangerous policies in a multi-ethnic society such as the United States and should be eliminated.

I believe the issue is crucial to America’s future and my position today is exactly the same as it was when I followed Ronald Reagan into the Republican Party.

Controlling the Wall Street Casinos

Because of unfair government policies, Wall Street has grown rich while Main Street has grown poor. As a Republican U.S. Senator, I would favor ordinary Americans against the interests of the Wall Street Oligarchs.

Some prominent international economists such as Michael Hudson have characterized most of our entire bloated financial services sector as parasitic on our real economy, and such an analysis sounds plausible to me.

Over the last forty years, Wall Street has gotten richer and richer while the incomes of ordinary Americans have completely stagnated, and I think there may be a connection between these two development.

And when these lucrative gambling casinos overextended themselves and faced collapse and bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis, the politicians they controlled, Democrat and Republican alike, rushed to bail them out with taxpayer dollars. Now they’re back to doing better than ever before, while most Americans have still not yet recovered from the Great Recession.

Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has describes America as having a government “Of the One Percent, By the One Percent, and For the One Percent,” and I agree with him.

We need to return to having a government run for the interests of the American people rather than owned and controlled by financial manipulators.

As a U.S. Senator I would oppose future bailouts and support Bernie Sander’s call for a Tobin Tax on financial transactions to reduce Wall Street speculation.

Ending Our One-Party Political System

America has become a One-Party state, with both the Democrats and the Republicans controlled by the same people. As a independent-minded U.S. Senator, I would work to give Americans a real choice in Washington.

The endless foreign and domestic policy disasters of the Bush Administration directly led to the election of Sen. Barack Obama, who was almost universally perceived as Bush’s polar opposite on all issues. His vote represented a national mandate to repudiate all of Bush’s policies.

Instead, President Obama immediately reappointed Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates to continue his management of our foreign wars, reappointed Benjamin Bernanke to run the Federal Reserve, and promoted Bush appointee Timothy Geither to be Treasury Secretary. He continued Bush’s unpopular foreign wars and financial bailouts, leading many critics to eventually speak of the Bush/Obama Administration.

In many respects, America’s political system has evolved into a one-party pseudo-democracy, in which most of our top political leaders distract the voters by noisily attacking each other on all sorts of hot-button but insignificant issues, while remaining in almost lock-step agreement on most major foreign policy and economic matters because they are in thrall to the same major donors who control them.

I’m trying to offer voters a real choice on the issues in my U.S. Senate campaign, and I will accept no donation over \$99.

Knowing Where I Stand

I’ve published a half million words on public policy issues, and everything is online and searchable. Read my writing and you’ll know where I stand.

MeritocracyCover-Front Most candidates running for office and other politicians have talking points or position papers prepared for them by their staff, which are often based on polling results, focus groups, or the views of their political consultants. Sometimes they understand what they’re saying, but many times they don’t. And as the polls and the consultants change, their positions often change as well.

I’m not a politician but over the last twenty-five years I’ve published many hundreds of thousands of words of articles and columns on all sorts of issues, including controversial ones, and in nearly all cases, what I’m saying today is very similar to what I was saying in the early 1990s. Therefore, it’s unlikely that I would suddenly change my positions if I were elected to the U.S. Senate.

All my writing is online and searchable, so that anyone who wants to find my position on an issue can easily do so.

My most important articles have also been collected together in a 700 page book, which includes a very comprehensive index. Just look in the index, read the text, and you’ll discover my opinions.

Exploring My Background

Over the years there have been several major profiles of my activities and background in the major media.

TNR-UnzThis Man Controls California
Ron Unz’s Improbable Assault on the Powers That Be in California
The New Republic, Monday, July 19, 1999, Cover Story

The California Entrepreneur who Beat Bilingual Teaching
The New York Times, Sunday, June 14, 1998, Front Page

Hooked on Politics
The Los Angeles Times, Thursday, July 16, 1998

Ron Unz, Swim Instructor
The Economist, Saturday, May 2, 1998

Considering the Opinions of Others

I’ve been well known for decades to prominent journalists and academics, and they’ve formed a clear opinion of me.

I’ve never held elective office, but I have organized and led numerous major political campaigns over the years and also written a great deal on public policy issues, and my qualifications for serving in the U.S. Senate must largely rest on that background.

When I published my collected writings last year, several prominent academics and journalists contributed some very kind and generous remarks about my work and my activities, which I provide below.

With high intelligence, common sense, and advanced statistical skills, presented transparently and accessibly, Ron Unz has for decades been addressing key issues in a rapidly changing America, enlightening us on the implications and effects of bilingual programs in American schools, clarifying the issues around crime and immigration so often distorted in political and popular discussion, placing the question of an increased minimum wage effectively on the national agenda, and addressing most provocatively the issue of affirmative action and admission to selective colleges and universities, revealing some aspects of this ever disputed question that have never been noted or discussed publicly before. He is one of our most valuable discussants and analysts of public issues.
—Nathan Glazer, Professor Emeritus of Education and Sociology, Harvard University, and author of Beyond the Melting Pot.

Few people on the planet are smarter than Ron Unz or have more intellectual curiosity. This fascinating and provocative collection of essays explores a remarkable range of topics, many of them high profile, some of them arcane. Unz’s analysis is always serious and invariably challenges prevailing wisdoms, which is to say there are a lot of controversial arguments in this book. No one is likely to agree with every one of his conclusions, but we would be better off if there were more people like Ron Unz among us.
—John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and author of The Israel Lobby.

Ron Unz is a brilliant essayist. His interests run from ancient history and black holes to contemporary issues like racial quotas and the minimum wage. He moves swiftly to the heart of a subject with cogent analysis and limpid argument. This collection of essays sparkles with unexpected gems ranging from critiques of the mainstream press to appreciation of dissenters from common wisdom such as General Bill Odom and Alexander Cockburn. In every paragraph of these essays the reader enjoys a penetrating intelligence at work.
—Nicholas Wade, former writer and editor for The New York Times, and author of Before the Dawn, The Faith Instinct, and A Troublesome Inheritance.

Over the past two decades as an original thinker and writer Ron Unz has tackled complex and significant subjects such as immigration, education, economics, race, and the press, pushing aside common assumptions. This book brings together in one volume these pieces from a variety of publications. Unlike other essayists on culture and politics, Unz shreds ideology and relies on statistical data to support his often groundbreaking ideas, such as his 2010 essay on “The Myth of Hispanic Crime.” And his 2014 efforts to put a \$12 an hour minimum wage bill before California voters is an example of how the action of an individual can draw public attention to an issue he believes is necessary for the economic health of the Republic. Anyone reading this book will learn a great deal about America from an incisive writer and scholar who has peeled back layers of conventional wisdom to expose the truth on issues of prime importance today.
—Sydney Schanberg, Pulitzer-Prize winning former reporter and editor for The New York Times, whose story inspired the 1984 film The Killing Fields.

Provocative and fearless, sometimes infuriating, and quite often, persuasive. And when American’s low-wage workers get their coming big raise, the apostate conservative Ron Unz will deserve a decent share of the credit.
—Prof. James K. Galbraith, author of The End of Normal and Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe .

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  1. MEH 0910 says:

    But over the last dozen years or so I’ve concluded that our national immigration levels are too high and should be sharply reduced.

    Ron Unz for President of the United States!

    • Replies: @Blobby5
  2. I agree with all of your positions. Although I would tweak: “Opposing Affirmative Action” to a more accurate “Opposing Racial Quotas.” As you know, our media and its victims are confused by your views. Is he conservative or liberal? Is he left wing or right wing?

    Neither, Mr. Unz uses common sense.

  3. Dave Pinsen says: • Website


    You may want to slightly edit the section below. The way it’s written now suggests that illegal immigrants can be American citizens.

    By sharply reducing legal immigration and enormously reducing future illegal immigration, the economic prospects and quality of life for most existing Americans will be greatly improved, including for both legal and illegal immigrants currently living here.

    • Replies: @switzerok
  4. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:

    Just sent \$ 99.00
    Done that, I still perceive as rather weak this statement by Mr. Unz:

    Minimum wage laws are far easier to enforce than immigration laws, and very stiff penalties for repeated violations, even including prison sentences, would ensure almost total compliance.

    Once the magnetic lure of American jobs disappears, traditional immigration enforcement measures will become much more effective and future illegal immigration will be reduced to very low levels.

    If there is no political will in the US Administration, enforcing minimum wage is equally difficult task, easily overcome by “under the table” payments. Also free education for illegal immigrants is politically very difficult to stop. Meanwhile, free US education for kids is one of the major “magnets”.

    Anyhow, good luck, Mr. Unz.

  5. As a non-American, I can only wish you all the best.

  6. Agent76 says:

    03/18/2015 Why a Higher Minimum Wage Will Hurt the Poor

    To understand why, do a thought experiment. If raising the minimum wage were cost-free, why stop at \$11.50 an hour? Why not go straight to \$25 an hour, the average hourly wage? That might be considered fair, because no one would have to earn less than the current average.

    • Replies: @DES
  7. Agent76 says:

    MEXICO IMMIGRATION LAWS read by Mark Levin

    Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón came to the U.S. and criticized the Arizona law. Since many in the Obama administration have not read the Arizona law but have attacked it, Mark Levin decided to read to Obama and Calderón the Mexican immigration laws (article by article) to show how strict they are.

  8. Nico says:

    Mr. Unz, I appreciate your generous initiatives in providing a forum for dissent, even those who dissent from you, and I wish you all the best. Before supporting your Senate campaign, however, I would like to see a promise that you will not reward illegal aliens with citizenship for their crime of unlawful entry or overstay, and that you will work to end birthright citizenship. The aftermath of the 1986 fiasco shows that amnesty, whatever it is called, will only worsen the problem.

  9. I wounder if you might be more effective on the outside. If you are not for sale you will have to caucus by yourself in the U.S. Senate. But since the die is cast I am on your side. My tiny donation will follow. When you get to Washington if all you do is tell us the truth, naming names, about what you see there you will perform a great service to the people of this country.

  10. in the debate, that chinese guy drew some numbers on the board. I didn’t know that what he was describing had a name till today. it’s called Simpson’s paradox. How did you respond to his argument? You never did on video, and the video abruptly cuts off.

  11. Leftist conservative [AKA "Make Great Again"] says: • Website

    unz wrote:

    “Immigrants are generally fine people”

    I disagree. Why would a person leave their home and family and go to some faraway foreign land?

    1. They are unsuccessful in their homeland and wish to escape the shame of their failure. These are people who are not good people.

    2. They have some incipient mental illness (bipolar, schizo etc). Thus they are misfits. These are people who are not good people.

    3. They are criminals one step ahead of the law. These are people who are not good people.

    4. They are greedy. These are people who are not good people.

    5. They have brought shame upon their family. These are people who are not good people.

    6. They want to get money and buy flashy consumer goods to show off to their family on facebook. These are people who are not good people.

    Some immigrants may be fine people. For example, genuine refugees (of which there are few). But in general, these immigrants are people who are not good people.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  12. Not much about our welfare and entitlement system in the USA. I am referring, of course, to the war profiteers that give the glitter to cities like San Diego or the DODs midas touch in Silicon Valley. Surely Ron could draw a connection to the Iraq disaster and California’s leading systems of Government handouts. .. Then again, such talk might be off limits to candidates.

  13. Muse says:

    I am so pleased to see you have come to understand the negative impact of massive immigration on working people, but I believe your push to raise the minimum wage might be better served by changing the particulars of wage and hour laws. That being said, severely limiting or ending the employment of non-citizens will do much to improve the wages of workers.

    You must face the fact that the marginal product of some workers is low due to their poor productivity, and that raising the minimum wage in the private sector above the marginal value of an employees work product render’s these people as unemployable. While there will always be those who are not productive enough to cover their cost to live, need to have policies that help to provide people with meaningful work, and thus a valued place in our society. Social Security disability exists for those that fall significantly below the line.

    With respect to hours of work, most low wage workers are underemployed. They would like to work more hours, but employers avoid full time employees to reduce benefit costs. The cliff on the marginal cost curve for employing part time needs to be softened so there is no advantage to having workers work less than 40 hour a week in shifts of eight hours per shift. Perhaps a 20% hourly rate social security tax on part-time work, credited to the employees FICA earning account might do the trick. This would also lower the cost of living and improve the quality of life for those that currently cobble a living together from multiple part-time jobs.

    Additionally, working employees over eight hours a day, and in particular more than 40 hours a week needs to become much more expensive, perhaps by instituting a wage premium of time and a half for hours worked over eight and double time for hours over 40. This would force employers to hire additional workers working normal work schedules.

    I also believe we should redefine who qualifies as exempt from wage and hour regulations. There has been a steady creep of what was formerly hourly work to be considered non-exempt to skirt the overtime provisions. Somehow this line needs to be driven back by redefining who is eligible for premiums due to hours worked over 8 and 40 respectively, and through aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws.

    Lastly, issues of what constitutes work time, such as travel between worksites, being “on call” and work performed away from the workplace need to be tightened up and enforced to raise employment and earnings.

  14. JackOH says:

    ” . . . [B]ecause they are in thrill to the same major donors who control them.” Third line from the bottom of the “Ending Our One-Party Political System” section wants a correction. (Sorry for going word Nazi, but “thrill” bugged me.)

    Go get ’em, Ron.

  15. @Muse

    Sounds like you want human beings to, in fact, be more machine like. Terms like productivity are used as excuses to cordon off people from the marketplace. They are also used to inaccurately define poverty. Work does not require a draconian system of restriction, punishment, corrections, cut throat measurements – those are tools and excuses used to defend power, not to increase productivity.

    Go ahead, deregulate hours and wages (which, let’s see if you can handle this contradiction) are currently in place to.. benefit employers.

    • Replies: @Muse
  16. Mark Green says: • Website

    Hi Ron. Thank you for your courage. You will need it. But there must be more teeth in your immigration manifesto.

    Where is the word ‘deportation’?

    What about fines and imprisonment?

    There must be teeth. Otherwise, your policy starts to resemble so-called ‘immigration reform’ (which is no ‘reform’ at all).

    Illegal immigrants must be deterred. This will require punishment or the threat of punishment.

    After all, tens of thousands of American citizens are routinely arrested in their own homes by government employees for the ‘crime’ of smoking marijuana. Few complain. ‘Health’. ‘Safety’. Even smoking tobacco is being criminalized. These are the laws of the land. They involve punishment.

    If public safety and order is this vital, then we must extend these values to the critical problem of illegal immigration. After all, America is being swamped. Demographics matter.

    Why can’t we safely return all illegal immigrants to their native countries? This is not inhumane. This should be official policy. But it will require widespread deportation. There’s no other way.

    Why can’t we fine and imprison repeat offenders? Is there any other way to deter them? No.

    Fines or imprisonment are practical deterrents. They are not inhumane.

    After all, US-born pot smokers are sent to prison in America. That ‘remedy’ is more extreme than deportation. But there it is.

    In most US states, if you have three drinks and are pulled over by a cop and fail a breathalyzer test, you go to jail. This is punishment. Illegal immigrants must also be punished–or they must simply leave. US laws must be respected. More teeth, please.

    Illegal immigration is a serious problem. We must act accordingly.

  17. But why treat immigration and the minimum wage as separate issues? Combine them.

    Use the minimum wage to control immigration. The minimum for prospective immigrants– including refugees after a set period– should be set at or above the median wage. In other words, working below \$30 an hour (or whatever) would be a crime for any foreigner, not just illegals. (Yes, you could exempt full-time students and touring performers. But few others.)

    Our immigrant stream would become a selective trickle, with almost all of them paying net taxes.

    • Replies: @Muse
  18. Ivy says:

    Will today’s LA Times article and publicity result in more web traffic and comments, monetizing advertising to help your campaign?

  19. Biff says:

    You are going to get no where working for the American middle class… If you want to succeed, you are going to have to cater to the owners…

  20. Qasim says:

    Mr Unz:

    I am not sure I agree with your minimum wage proposal, for reasons that have already been discussed on this thread.

    However, I wholeheartedly agree with the rest of your major issues. And I wanted to display my gratitude to you for creating this website, which has benefited me greatly.

    I have therefore sent \$20 to your campaign, and I wish you the best of luck.

  21. MW says:

    The American people don’t deserve a Senator with your level of intelligence and integrity.

    But we’d be awfully lucky to have you.

  22. Jim Glenn says:

    I agree with your positions as well. In regard to the word “thrill” mentioned in comment number 14, it was obviously a mistake and should have been the word “thrall.” Good luck in California. We need people like you to change the American “one-party” system, which in practice amounts at times to a pseudo-dictatorship. The US Congress, I think it’s fair to say, is the world’s largest and most-expensive whorehouse, with a few honorable exceptions. I hope you will also address what some call “cultural Marxism,” the current left`s attempt to become a new nomenclatura and censor anything not in agreement with its thinking. The ideology of so-called American exceptionalism is regnant in the one-party state and must be fought to the finish if our country is to survive as a decent place. People and cultures are not alike. Muslim-Arab and Western cultures do not mix.

  23. biz says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – any decrease in the cost of college needs to be matched with increased selectivity and more demanding curricula.

    Otherwise, we are just subsidizing partying while people major in Underwater Basket Weaving and Lesbian Muslim studies, and a college degree will be worth exactly what a high school diploma is now except we’ll be spending trillions more as a society.

    You seem to only care about the reducing cost side and not about the increasing standards side. This is terrible public policy.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
  24. Muse says:
    @Jeff Barnes

    I am not sure I understand all the points you are making.

    Productivity is the amount of work or services somebody can produce over a given period of time. In a market economy I believe that this can be quantified by how much people are willing to pay for the work performed. In particular, it is the retail value of the product, not the wage an employer would pay, as employers would prefer to pay nothing if they could get away with it.

    Poverty is an interesting term. The government has a definition, and I believe it is arbitrary. I would be interested to hear how you think about it. Not sure we can discuss much until we understand what we are talking about. Rest assured though, there will always be those that don’t produce enough to cover their material costs of living. Prime examples are children, the elderly and the disabled. Most societies make decisions and have policies built on traditions on to deal with providing for children, he elderly and the disabled.

    My points above are not to debate if or how we take care of the helpless, but to discuss structural changes that we might make in labor laws and wage and hour laws to help those that are willing and able to work to increase their net income without having a minimum wage. Most of my proposals are tweaks on already existing laws and regulations. It sounds as if you don’t believe these kinds of laws and regulations should exist, but perhaps I am wrong.

    As for power, what power, possed by who over whom are you referring to?

    No dispute here that many labor laws and wage and hour laws, plus the subsequent regulations, enforcement and case law benefit employers. The same laws provide benefits to individuals, labor organizations etc. Policy through politics determines who benefits.

    • Replies: @Jeff Barnes
  25. Lot says:

    Ron, you were not in the ballot guide I received in the mail on Saturday. There were candidate statements from about 15 Senate candidates, including some amusing loonie tooners.

  26. Muse says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I believe illegal immigration needs to be curbed using a multifaceted attack:

    1) strong border enforcement
    2) deportation
    3) employer enforcement – eVerify
    4) Incarceration of management caught purposely breaking the law. Management up to and including board members need to go to jail if they do not have effective compliance procedures and auditing in place after a certain date.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  27. Jeff77450 says:

    Mr. Unz, I’d vote for you if I could but I’m in Texas.

    I am opposed to any minimum wage because the price for labor, as with the price for everything else, should be determined by market-forces of supply-and-demand. My \$0.02.

  28. Marcus says:
    @Leftist conservative

    Absurd, you’re condemning the vast majority of non-black Americans’ ancestors simply for seeking better lives. Immigration was usually not pleasant for anyone and shouldn’t be romanticized, but population movement is a constant in human history.

  29. TG says:

    Kudos! Usually I leave a quibble even when I mostly agree with someone. But this is great. Good luck!

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I appreciate your candor and thoughtfulness on these issues. Given that your minimum wage stance would appear to be an obvious outlier, I’m curious if you could nuance your stance a bit.

    If you are not opposed to the concept of a minimum wage, then is there a higher minimum wage that you would find offensive or unethical? How would you calculate the tipping point at which an arbitrary number you have chosen (\$12/hour) shifts from useful, helpful or even ethical to damaging, counter-productive or ineffective?

    It seems to me, if you are not politically opposed to a minimum wage, then how could you take a stand against a fellow Senator lobbying for a Federal \$30/hour minimum wage? On what grounds would you be able to debate that \$12/hour is a good thing but \$30/hour is not? It seems you would be reduced to arguing about who has a better pivot table macro in their Excel spreadsheet- something not typically associated with principled governance.

    Suppose enough Senators got serious about a maximum wage? Imagine they came up with a bill that proposed \$70,000/year was the most anyone in America could get paid. Wouldn’t that obviously enhance the poor? How could you argue against a maximum wage when you have decided that an external force is better at determining price than a free market?

    If you are not opposed to a minimum wage, on what grounds could you argue against price controls? Imagine that instead of monkeying with the minimum wage, you set a minimum price for everything? Suppose you decide that the price of everything at the grocery store will be at least \$10? Milk- \$10. Bread- \$10. Wine- \$27. Paper Towels- \$10. Wouldn’t that also achieve the same immigration control effect you are seeking? Wouldn’t that also give the poor protection against being exploited by corporate profiteers? If an external force is better at determining price than free markets, wouldn’t we be better off if you set the minimum price at the grocery store, instead of letting the market determine it?

    I think I understand your arguments on the minimum wage, but find it difficult to understand how your philosophy differs any differently from something Bernie Sanders would propose.

  31. @Muse

    The most powerful businesses in America can’t be compared or even associated in any meaningful way to your simplistic analogy. What do we consider powerful and what do I mean?

    Consider Lockheed Martin, 100% dependent on money from the Government – without Government they don’t exist, they don’t profit, they don’t have capital gains.

    Do they make products that someone pays for? Yes of course, but I assure you it isn’t simple will. Moreover, these businesses are sophisticated enough to reside in the public conscience as “competitive enterprises” or some other free market flavored nonsense.

    Why do we choose to, in fact, to help the otherwise helpless,and completely impoverished – GM, Citibank, et al? It’s a decision of where to spend the money.

    Americans need to have a choice about what they do, for whom, and the alternative of not participating if they choose. The freedom of choice shouldn’t be an opportunity to deliver punishment, which is preferred. Indeed, industry, and their siblings in Government prefer power over how people live their lives. This includes a minimum wage – which is a legacy solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Workers are punished by minimum wages – again you fail to see how Government is acting on behalf of corporations themselves who have decided they must, to protect themselves, have the Government incrementally mandate 12 or 15 per hour. No major employer has a problem with such a wage.

    • Replies: @Muse
  32. switzerok says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Actually, there are ways they might become U.S. citizens. For example, they might marry a U.S. citizen, and petition for permanent residency. Later they will qualify for citizenship.

    Also, many illegal immigrants have family-based petitions pending. They are waiting for their date to become current. Sometimes to takes 20 or more years.

  33. Can we give ron total control of this country for 4 years and see how it turns out?

  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Where do you stand on LGBT issues?

  35. switzerok says:

    America’s population growth rate has been the highest in the developed world, even twice as high as that of China. An exponentially growing population puts enormous pressure on our environment and natural resources while reducing our quality of life.

    Actually, the U.S. population growth rate is too low. We have had seven straight years of annual growth rate less than or equal to 0.8%. It hasn’t been that low since the Great Depression 1930’s.

    If you want to grow the economy, a population annual growth rate of 1.0% or more is essential.

    Here’s the data:

  36. Yak-15 says:

    My sister has a master’s degree and teaches at an inner city catholic school. \$15 an hour minimum wages would roughly place her wages at the same level as a McDonald’s French fry cook. How is that logical?

  37. DES says:

    I agree. Raising the minimum wage may be superficially appealing but in reality it’s a terrible idea. For one thing, it would prevent young people (particularly minorities) from obtaining employment at jobs for which their skills do not justify the payment of the minimum wage, and it would thereby prevent them from getting the training necessary to improve themselves. Second, it would increase the incentive for businesses to outsource their manufacturing operations to foreign countries. Think about it. The main reason a business might want to move its manufacturing to, say, China is that the labor costs there are a fraction of what they are in the United States. So what do we do: Pass a law that INCREASES the latter. This would be insane.

  38. George says:

    The big issues are immigration, the wars, and the pension liability crisis. I don’t see any candidate except Trump addressing at least the wars and immigration. But I can’t blame any candidate from running from those issues.

    Searching on unz+senate did not show a link for, maybe further down the page. Use my \$99 to fix that.

    Think about deregulating healthcare, it worked for communications, oil and airlines.

  39. Muse says:
    @Jeff Barnes


    Are you proposing some alternative policy to the minimums wage or do you want it increased or eliminated?

    Do you believe a business can pay long term a wage bill that amounts to more than the revenue of the products and services they are selling? Where do you believe that money will come from?

    What do you mean by “choose to not participate” and what alternatives do you envision for someone who “chooses not to participate?”

    I am confused by your reply and await a more concise response.

    • Replies: @Jeff Barnes
  40. Blobby5 says:
    @MEH 0910

    He had me at that point as well, that and being the proprietor of this amazing site, Derb and Sailer rule!

  41. Winston says:


    I concur with you . However, I think main problem is that America is aging and the young are not getting the quality education they need. It is a double whammy. CA is at the forefront of this problem.

    On top of that it has an outmoded local system, which it cannot afford. English learning is critical;and I do not see why immigrants cannot learn it. A Chinese friend of mine’s fiancee was in US for a few years and in that time went from speaking no English to getting an MBA, before they returned to China.(My friend was at law school with me and then worked for a few years in US-less than 5-before returning to China). I asked him how he learned English and he said by watching tv!

    I think what you need to understand is that those who have trouble learning are from poor neglected class of their country. So they need extra help, because did not get decent education (maybe none at all), so they need to be taught in a way they can absorb the language.

    All those who think Ron’s minimum wage call is wrong forget how expensive CA is and is driving people to other states. Also minimum wage is not just for retail clerks and fry cooks.


  42. Mr. Unz:

    Good luck!! You’re saying all of the right things. Especially on immigration. I hope you can attempt to turn Commiefornia around. I wish you all the best in your campaign.

  43. I.W. says:

    Ron Unz has my vote, hands down, because he has the vision, courage, intelligence and wisdom to do what will benefit all of us in this State, what will make it possible for all of us to win, united. Think!

  44. Anoni says:

    I’ll vote for you. But I think that the minimum wage proposal is off. It will be hard to enforce and people will pay under the table cash for illegal immigrants. It will end up widening the gap between legal and illegal immigrants.

  45. Boris says:

    Even more serious is the negative economic impact on most of our working population, which is forced to compete for jobs and wages with new immigrants, who are often desperate to take any job at all.

    The overwhelming majority of economists disagree with this ( see here, for example: ). Certainly, low-skilled native workers see slightly lower wages, but everyone else benefits by lower prices and increased efficiency. (An easy fix to help lower skill workers would be an increase in the earned income credit. There are probably other ways to do it that would be just as effective.)

    I couldn’t find what economic analysis you use to conclude that most working Americans are hurt economically by immigrants.

    • Replies: @iffen
  46. In theory, an increase in the minimum wage will produce a corresponding increase in unemployment. Since wages are determined by supply and demand, any minimum wage — no matter how low — will push some wages above their “natural” market value and thus push some low-wage employees out of the job market entirely.

    That’s the theory. Many studies have been done on the impact of minimum wage increases on unemployment. Most have found no measurable impact. A few have found a slight impact, but the impact is still less than what classical economic theory would predict.

    Why is this? One reason is that many people who earn the minimum wage are being paid less than the market value of their work. The overwhelming majority of minimum wage workers are not unionized and have no access at all to collective bargaining. They have to bargain as individuals with companies that are in a much stronger negotiating position.

    Another reason is that minimum wage workers tend to have social handicaps that make it hard for them to bargain: shyness, poor social skills, poor language skills, etc. Finally, some are trapped in situations where they can be easily intimidated or blackmailed by employers.

    If we look at the past 80 years, the business community has never been in such a strong position to drive down wages … and keep them down. On the one hand, jobs can now be outsourced to countries where wages are much lower. This is notably the case with the manufacturing sector. In the case of construction and service jobs, which by their very nature cannot be outsourced, employers now have the option of insourcing low-wage labor from abroad.

    The United States, like many Western countries, is moving back to the situation that existed before 1929, when working people were not getting enough of the GNP and the top 1% was getting too much. The boom of the 1920s was driven largely by spending on home construction and automobile sales–both of which began to falter in the late 1920s because the high-income market was becoming saturated. The result was a crisis of underconsumption: there simply wasn’t enough wage money out there to pay for the goods being produced. Too much money was going into the stock market and other forms of “hot money” speculation. The result was inevitable.

    • Agree: iffen, MEH 0910
  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    My sister has a master’s degree and teaches at an inner city catholic school. \$15 an hour minimum wages would roughly place her wages at the same level as a McDonald’s French fry cook. How is that logical?

    Illinois has 7,499 teachers getting a \$100,000+ PENSION

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    To Ron unz. Not easy to get contact info or send message.
    Just watched debate. You struck me as the most sensible, best spoken, least interested in yourself, and most likely to be a sensible all around fair apolitical senator for California and america.
    Please consider running a serious campaign if you are serious, or publicly dropping out if you are not by 10 may 16.
    If you stay in I will support you to the max with funds, signs, and leg work.
    I am serious, and hope you are.
    Thank you very much, Ray jay..

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  49. iffen says:

    An easy fix

    An easier fix would be to restrict the supply of low-skilled workers.

    • Replies: @Boris
  50. Ron Unz says:

    Just watched debate. You struck me as the most sensible, best spoken, least interested in yourself, and most likely to be a sensible all around fair apolitical senator for California and america.
    Please consider running a serious campaign if you are serious, or publicly dropping out if you are not by 10 may 16.

    Thanks for the comment, and thanks to all the other commenters, including those who disagree with me about one or more issues.

    I’m absolutely serious about running this race. It’s an uphill battle for any Republican in CA, but I’ll do my best.

    I haven’t yet watched the debate online, but I thought the news coverage was pretty good, giving some of my main points some nice visibility. And Capitol Weekly Tweeted out that Google Trends showed me getting almost as much attention as Rep. Loretta Sanchez and far more than the other Republicans:

    My campaign website can now be conveniently accessed at

    And you can donate here:

    • Replies: @res
  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    So, your sister being underpaid justifies less educated people being slave-driven as well? Is that really what you think?

    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
  52. george says:

    How is that logical?

    You have to evaluate employee costs on a total compensation basis. What are her benefits including healthcare?

    Is her job actually necessary? There is talk about replacing McDonald’s workers with robots, but why not teachers. McDonald’s is actually already highly automated, so I doubt you will see abrupt changes there. Teaching on the other hand is ripe for automation. Actually the rich kids these days are paying to go to something called Kumon which is little more than a rented study room and paper work books.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  53. @Yak-15

    Hello, Yak-15 .
    Judging from your handle, you are an immigrant from the territories of former USSR.
    Then wouldn’t your sister expect lower pay ?
    Probably, your (and her) kids will earn more.
    It is not to justify lower payment, it is simply to acknowledge the fact of life of an immigrant to USA.
    I know it from my own family experience. My wife worked about 5 years as adjunct teacher of Computer Science at local University, and payment was about minimal wage (considering how much time she had to spend on preparation.) That was at the time, when we already got USA citizenship.
    Life is not fair. But consider the alternative.

    Best to you, Yak-15, and to your loved ones, including your sister.

  54. Boris says:

    An easier fix would be to restrict the supply of low-skilled workers.

    It isn’t easier at all, and it hurts everyone except low-skilled workers.

    • Replies: @Muse
  55. @Muse

    You don’t sound confused. Rather than recite a number of better ideas, you’ll be able to find them online. It’s also important to consider no serious political candidate mentions dramatic changes, instead prefers safe wedge issues that gain traction. It’s accurate to say that completely reforming Government is deemed too radical. My personal thoughts on a lowest acceptable wage in California?
    Any worker no less than 25 per hour.

    • Replies: @Muse
  56. Muse says:

    It isn’t easier at all, and it hurts everyone except low-skilled workers.

    That is the whole point. If you believe that society has some obligation to needy citizens, there are limited options we have available:

    1) You can tax the better off, and give the needy the money. This helps the needy financially and hurts everyone else that pays the tax. It also denies the needy person from having a meaningful and valued role in the society, and fails to give them a path to gain skills to improve their situation. It also puts the government in charge as a taker and a giver which is universally undesireable. Because the person is not working to gain skills, more taxes on the haves are needed along with the subsequent government intervention to provide additional training to try to improve the needy person’s skills.

    2) You can raise the minimum wage, which will help the needy that are working, by raising the prices of products and services being sold and lowering the profits of the business owner, again taking from the haves. Of course there will always be jobs that won’t be worth that cost of the higher minimum wage, thus forcing a number of the working poor and the inexperienced from work, and moving them to option one, thus hurting everybody.

    3) You can restrict the supply of labor of illegal immigrants from taking jobs in the United States. This hurts the illegal immigrants who lose their income and have to go back home, business owners that have lower profits and the haves that purchase products of low wage employment, but it does raise the income of the poor that choose to work. It also allows people to choose what economic activity is most valued by how they choose to spen their money.

    In all of these choices, money moves from the haves to the needy. There is no choice that helps the needy that is without cost. It seems to me that if you accept that our society has a greater obligation to our citizens instead of foreigners, and that less government intervention is better, restricting the employment of illegal workers is the best choice.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Boris
  57. iffen says:

    if you accept that our society has a greater obligation to our citizens instead of foreigners

    Rejection of this premise seems to explain a great deal.

  58. Muse says:
    @Jeff Barnes

    Any worker no less than 25 per hour.

    Finally an answer. Now I know what you want. I do not agree with you. See my reply to Boris as to why.

    I have asked several pointed questions about your prior statements, hoping for an explanation. Would you please support your arguments, or at least elaborate on statements you made. They don’t make sense to me, which is why I am asking questions. Really.

    • Replies: @Jeff Barnes
  59. Dahlia says:

    I tuned in because I love a good debate and Ron always provides; hopefully, he’ll advance enough to give us Unz vs Caplan II 🙂 I missed the first 20 minutes (miscalculated time zone difference then realized my mistake). Something about Bernie Sanders came up, but am not sure what it was…

    Except Sanchez, the others were forgettable, and she was memorable because she was playing defense plus I didn’t realize she was so downscale, especially compared to the other Democrat (didn’t bother me, kind of endearing actually, but I’m not a California Dem).

    Everything Ron is saying and doing looks good to me as a layperson. I wish his supporters and well-wishers were less shy, though. Maybe they’re trying to be professional, I don’t know, or just simply reticent, but politics is a full-contact sport. He doesn’t need Trump’s troll army, but being more vocal, or vocal period, would help, I think.

  60. On the minimum wage:

    You can never force a business to pay someone more than their labor is worth. The only people who are going to benefit are those who sell and service the automation systems that will replace the lowest paid entry level jobs. Why \$12? Why not \$15 or \$150? Raising the minimum wage makes great politics but it doesn’t deliver economically. All we are going to do is create an even bigger pool of unemployable teenagers and others with limited skills.

    BTW: The wage is not the ‘wage cost’. Back when I had a small payroll, to pay someone \$14 per hour it actually cost me \$21 after factoring in the cost of workman’s comp, liability insurance, and government imposed fees / taxes (all of which were tied to the wage rate). Far more can be done by addressing these government mandated costs that sap the take home pay of everyone.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  61. Boris says:

    There is no choice that helps the needy that is without cost.

    Not true in this case. Transfer payments would make low-skilled workers whole and they are more than covered by the gains from immigration.

  62. @Muse

    Were you replying to another commenter? My point wasn’t about legality, which, at low wages, is irrelevant.

    • Replies: @Muse
  63. iffen says:

    Transfer payments would make low-skilled workers whole and they are more than covered by the gains from immigration.

    If this is true we should expand our low-skilled immigration ten-fold and treble or quadruple our transfer payments making low-skilled workers whole. Is there a limit to the economic “gain” produced by low-skilled immigration? If not, let’s have unlimited immigration and we can all retire as millionaires on transfer payments.

    • Replies: @Boris
  64. @Hell_Is_Like_Newark

    Raising the minimum wage makes great politics but it doesn’t deliver economically

    The original point of the minimum wage was not directly to raise the marginal worker’s hourly wage, but to do so indirectly by outlawing competition from coolies bohunks crackers darkies underpriced labor from outside the community.

    So it makes a huge difference whether the underpricing worker is a citizen or not. One has a right to be here and compete for work; the other is here as a privilege. (Especially since a low-wage life contributes little to the public treasury, while often requiring withdrawals, i.e., public subsidy.)

    I wish Ron would address this particular point.

    • Replies: @hell_is_like_newark
  65. Muse says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Yes. My mistake. Sorry. Meant in reply to mark Green, comment No. 16.

    Bit of a non-sequitur after reading your comment. Sometimes I lose my bearings when commenting using a cell phone.

  66. @Reg Cæsar

    I am for bringing a halt to immigration… illegal and most of the legal. When you add in the job costs of the school costs, crime, welfare etc.. that cheap labor is VERY expensive.

    I just strongly disagree with Mr. Unz that raising the minimum wage will ‘price’ the illegal labor out of the market. Illegals will just move to the underground economy. You have to get them to leave, voluntarily (enforcing E-verify and other methods of making life intolerable here) or by force (Operation Wetback II).

    Price controls (the minimum wage is a price control on labor) in the end hurt those who are at the bottom of the job ladder.

    My first job as a 16 year old I got hired for one reason.. I was so cheap that my employer had little to loose in giving me a chance. After 4 months I was over minimum wage because he didn’t want me to leave for a better paying job. This was in 1986 and we hadn’t been overrun with illegals yet. Teenagers did the crappy low paying jobs.. not some illiterate invader from a village in Honduras..

  67. Boris says:

    Obviously there are limits and the effects of immigration are relatively small. But just as obviously, productive workers make the economy better.

    • Replies: @iffen
  68. iffen says:

    The effects of immigration are damaging and consequential. One of the problems is that no or low-skilled workers are not productive and do not add to the economy above their contribution. Long term they consume more resources than they add. Adding more low productive people is not a good plan. Compare Alabama and Mississippi to Northern California and the Boston area. Do you see a “productivity” problem between the two?
    We don’t need any more unskilled laborers, we can’t find gainful employment for the ones that we have already.

  69. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What are your thoughts on TPP, TTIP, and net neutrality?

  70. @Muse

    That’s wrong. California must offer solutions, not edicts or power grabs. Then , and only then, folks could be potentially provided 30/hr for volunteering their participation. The question is how valuable people are.

    • Replies: @Muse
  71. Give ’em hell, Ron!

  72. Muse says:
    @Jeff Barnes

    What is wrong, and why?

    “California must offer solutions?” does not mean anything. Your proposals lack substance and make no sense. Solutions to what, the fact that some people’s work product is worth very little to their fellow citizens?

    Requiring somebody to pay \$30 per hour to an employee regardless of the actual worth of the hour of work against the wishes buyer is both an edict and a power grab. Implicit in this arrangement is the use of the coercive power of the state to take property from one individual and give it to another “volunteer” as you call it, without the willing consent of both parties.

    The value of something is what someone else is willing to pay for it, or for something very similar. It is the fundamental method of valuation and appraisal.

    • Replies: @Jeff Barnes
  73. res says:
    @Ron Unz

    I haven’t seen it posted elsewhere, so here is the online debate link:

    I just finished watching the debate. Well done, Ron! I liked the targeted final questions. That sure gave you a chance to raise your bilingual education issue (as the moderator noted ;).

    Am I the only one who was underwhelmed by Rep. Loretta Sanchez? Can anyone help me understand her appeal?

  74. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This along with your article in favor of a 12/ hour minimum wage (which almost convinced me to change my opinion about the minimum wage) were both excellent. It’s so complicated. Your approach is unique. Free from bias and fearlessly analytical. If you were running for senate in Washington, I would vigorously support your campaign, we need people of your caliber in leadership.

  75. @Boris

    Transfer payments (earned tax credits) mean subsidizing the employers of low-wage workers at the expense of (other) workers. Essentially, welfare for the employer, which would worsen immigration’s inegalitarian consequences.

    My main problem with Ron’s program is the minimum wage goal is way too low. Bernie goes to \$15; \$12 is in Hillary’s league. I say \$20 – \$25. Minimum wage should be set at the level of the lowest wage we can ethically accept for wage earners. Will it cause unemployment? Of course. The state must take up the slack and provide public employment on infrastructural projects if capitalism can’t provide a rock-bottom livable minimum wage.

  76. OutWest says:

    When I was young I definitely was low skill. One of the great motivators that cause me to gain skills through work and deferred gratification was the low pay for low skill (another was the hard physical work).

    Do you see a moral hazard in rewarding low skills with family-supporting income?

  77. JackOH says:

    Great comment, OutWest. Back in the 1960s in my part of NE Ohio, many relatively unskilled workers in the steel industry, auto parts and auto assembly plants, fabricating shops, etc., earned more than degreed schoolteachers, university professors, nurses, retail and other managers. I haven’t thought about those weird disparities, but I do recall as a youngster thinking that if the dirty fingernails people earned enough to buy a house, marry and start a family, etc., then, by gosh, the clean fingernails people with educations certainly made more. I was mostly wrong then, but it took me years to find out how wrong I was.

    I can’t comment on moral hazard, but I do know several salaried people at the onetime GM-owned auto parts factory here who reverted to hourly status because they tired of butting heads with senior management.

    I’d like to think compensation for work ought to be transparent enough so that the average Joe who sees the wage and salary schedule at his employer ought to say: “Yeah, that sounds about right.” Judging by the comments on this and other related threads, “sounds about right” means a lot of different things.

  78. @Muse

    California needs to stop favoring corporations over their workers. The idea is very simple, the state mostly serves the interests of business. By repeating the same simplistic canards about “value or willingness” I’d guess you can’t see Government other than as some potential negative or coercive force. I assure you, no large business has a problem with Government in California. Most of them, without question, are dependent on the Government. Naturally, some corporations would have a problem with workers who demanded 25 or 30 dollars per hour, and would use acts, statutes, precedent, public laws to prevent such a thing from happening.

  79. @OutWest

    Good point. And the minimum wage doesn’t have this consequence.

  80. If Republicans are likely to lose, it makes sense to nominate someone avant-garde like Ron Unz.

    Ron can shift the Overton Window, if he elects to do so. If he tries to “win”, he will get run over by a career politician.

    Just grab the Trump supporters to win the Primary, and ironically that would include the anti-Semitic Alt-Right. Or as I said, you can also get run over by career politicians. Your choice.

  81. Jefferson says:

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – any decrease in the cost of college needs to be matched with increased selectivity and more demanding curricula.

    Otherwise, we are just subsidizing partying while people major in Underwater Basket Weaving and Lesbian Muslim studies, and a college degree will be worth exactly what a high school diploma is now except we’ll be spending trillions more as a society.

    You seem to only care about the reducing cost side and not about the increasing standards side. This is terrible public policy.”

    Having a bachelor’s degree in Lesbian Muslim Studies can land you a job at The Young Turks or The Huffiington Post.

  82. Hibernian says:

    Good teachers cannot be replaced by robots. Nor can restaurant workers be TOTALLY replaced by robots.

  83. JackOH says:

    Ron, have you thought of some follow-through in the event you aren’t the next U. S. Senator from California? Let me suggest making yourself and some of your “UR” writers available for public speaking engagements. There ought to be a speakers’ bureau willing to handle public policy speakers, especially someone who’s actually been on the public stump in a major state.

  84. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    I got the Sample Ballot for CA on Friday.

    It was hard to find you. Why don’t they list people in Alphabetical order?

  85. @Muse

    Maybe, maybe not on the minium wage. Seattle’s problem is not just higher costs for lower skilled workers but a massive laid off from Boeing and some other companies that pay above the minium wage. Ron’s idea of 12 causes less problems than Bernie Sanders ides of 12. I noticed that California was bumped up to 10 an hour and the Leisure and Hospitality industry is still growing. but at higher levels like over 12 an hour ,business do complain about higher minium wages. Also, a lot of people here blame illegal immigrants for low wages but while that is true in California it isn’t true in Mississippi which is only 4 percent Latino. That is why if the minium wage is gradually rise to 12 an hour it will not effect Mississippi as much if you did it more rapidly.

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