CNN, the New York Times, and the Democrat candidates at Tuesday’s Democrat debate ignored the huge issue of Americans’ flat wages and stalled salaries.
But President Donald Trump’s staff used the Democrat debate to tout the rising blue-collar wages in his economy.
The questioners from CNN and the New York Times asked about trade, abortion, monopolies, the opioid epidemic, guns, and much else, but did not ask the candidates how they could change government policy to help raise Americans’ wages, which have been stalled since roughly 1990.
The candidates promised indirect government aid to Americans, such as “Medicare for All,” free college, and a rollback of pharmaceutical monopolies. Sen. Bernie Sanders promised a “jobs guarantee,” Andrew Yang touted his “freedom dividend” — which would be a $1,000 monthly check for each American adult — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged higher wages for childcare workers and pre-school teachers.
In contrast, Trump’s team emailed reporters a list of favorable media quotes admitting that his lower-immigration economy is helping to raise wages after decades of minimal growth. The email, which was sent mid-debate, was headlined: “Blue-collar workers are seeing big benefits from the Trump economy,” and it said:
America’s historic low unemployment rate of 3.5%, the lowest in fifty years, is unlocking opportunities for working class Americans.
- From the Chicago Tribune: “What’s most heartening is that this jobs boom is helping the less-educated, low-skill Americans who’ve missed out on other, weaker jobs recoveries. Mark this moment: Millions of American job seekers have prayed for it.”
Meanwhile, wage growth has exceeded 3% for eight out of nine months in 2019, and February’s wage growth of 3.4% was the strongest growth in a decade. Moreover, for the first time since 2009, the benefits of wage growth are predominantly going to “workers at the lower end of the pay scale.”
- From the New York Times: “The decade-long recovery is at last delivering income gains to middle-class and low-income families.”
- From the Washington Post: “The surge of minority women getting jobs has helped push the U.S. workforce across a historic threshold. For the first time, most new hires of prime working age (25 to 54) are people of color.”
- From the Economic Policy Institute: “From 2017 to 2018, relatively fast growth continued at the top…but the 20th and 30th percentiles saw the strongest growth at 4.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.”
The Census Bureau said on September 10 that men who work full time and year-round got an average earnings boost of 3.4 percent in 2018, pushing their median salaries up to $55,291. Women gained 3.3 percent in wages, bringing their median salaries to $45,097 for full time, year-round work.
CNN and the New York Times also choose to ignore the decisive issue of 2016 — immigration, which has cut Americans’ wages amid a post-1990 flood of cheaper labor.
For example, income growth is lagging for American graduates, partly because the federal government allows investors to keep roughly 1.5 million college-graduate visa workers in good jobs sought by American graduates.
White House touts modest wage-gains in Trump’s Buy/Hire American economy. Puzzle #1: Wage gains for college-grads lag behind gains for non-college employees. Puzzle #2: Why do white-collar journos not investigate slowdown to their college peers’ salaries? https://t.co/TYy7deCWQ8
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 15, 2019
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or a university. This total includes about 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees in business or health care, engineering or science, software, or statistics.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of about 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers and spouses — and about 500,000 blue-collar visa workers. The government also prints more than one million work permits for new foreigners and rarely punishes companies for employing illegal migrants.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth and stock values for investors. The stimulus happens because the extra labor ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
The federal policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts wealth from young employees toward older investors. It also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, reduces marriage rates, and hurts children’s schools and college educations.
The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, undermines suburbia, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.