Trump has done nothing but rob Americans of raises
As we end the first decade without a minimum wage increase in the history of the minimum wage, Wall Street is celebrating. The Dow burst through 29,000 on news that the December 2019 jobs report was below expectations.
Why would traders be thrilled about a bad-ish jobs report?
Because wage growth is slowing down — and it was already pretty weak, considering the historically low jobless rate and the almost $1 trillion in Stimulus the federal government is pumping into the economy.
“Lower than expected wage growth is a good thing for markets,” Morning Consult’s John Leer tweeted. “It keeps corporate costs low, which drives profits higher.”
Why has CEO pay grown 940% since 1978 while average worker compensation has only 12%? Why has the federal minimum wage been stuck at at $7.25, almost 1/3 below its peak buying value? Why can’t 40% of Americans even afford a $400 emergency?
Largely, because markets and the Republican Party like it this way, even though starving consumer spending starves the economy in general.
Why have wages been rising more on the bottom than the top recently? Because state governments, largely state governments where Democrats are in charge, have been raising their minimum wages. If it hadn’t been for these states stepping in to help workers, the poorest would have been experiencing worse pay growth than any other group in America.
Refusing to raise the minimum wage isn’t the only way Donald Trump has waged war on workers. In addition to ripping overtime pay from 8 million low-wage Americans by gutting an already too meager overtime proposal issued by the Obama Administration, he’s put corporations in charge of investigating themselves for wage theft, the largest form of theft in America, while removing safety requirements for workers in some of the country’s most dangerous industries. Hospitality workers are facing a direct assault on their tips from Trump’s Department of Labor, which is now run by Antonin Scalia’s son, perhaps the most pro-corporate and anti-labor Secretary in the Department’s history.
Trump’s disdain for properly paying workers has been well documented — yet his passion for low wages is rarely properly noted.
Eclectablog was one of the few publications to repeatedly note that Trump told autoworkers that their pay is too high. And he also literally said, “Wages are too high” several times during the primary campaign, until he realized that he needed to start lying about having ever said that.
Trump’s eagerness to underpay underlings is so compulsive that he continues to employ undocumented immigrants well into his presidency and still hires foreign guest workers for his businesses as he rejects nearly all refugees and hopes to expand the travel ban to more countries.
Republicans are opposing minimum wage increases everywhere, saying $15 an hour is too much for low-skilled workers. Meanwhile, Jared and Ivanka earn about $24,000 an hour, each, while applying their low sills in the White House.
There’s so much to focus on, but Trump’s hatred for decent wages could serve two purposes for Democrats — it focuses people on the most obvious weakness in this economy, the struggles of the 140 million poor and low wealth people in the country, and it reminds us that as strategically racist Trump is, he loves ripping off Americans more than anything.