Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democratic Party candidates for the Presidency frequently espouse their goal of achieving “Wage Equality.” Invariably their exhortations about the need to address wage inequality are greeted by wild cheers. I suspect that if their enthusiastic audiences stopped to give this call to action a bit of thought, their cheers would be replaced by jeers.
However, not unlike stampeding livestock, once a bunch of people charge in a particular direction, just about everyone else blindly joins that charge.
The call for addressing wage inequality generally begins by linking wage inequality to the need to increase the minimum wage. For whatever reason, the Obama administration established the goal of creating a federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. Fast food workers have taken to the streets to demand a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.
I certainly understand the appeal for America’s working poor and those sympathetic to their plight to favor raising the minimum wage. I know that there are those who disagree about this concept but today we will not discuss the wisdom of raising the minimum wage, we will only consider just how bogus the calls for linking the increase in the minimum wage to achieving “wage equality” is and what this really means for middle class American workers, their families and the American Dream.
A worker who is paid $10.10 per hour would earn just over $21,000.00 per year. If raising the minimum wage would help eliminate wage equality, someone needs to ask who these workers will be made equal to. An hourly wage of $15.00 per hour would yield an annual wage of $31,200.00. Again someone needs to ask who these workers will be made equal to.
Hillary Clinton generally begins her demand for wage equality by talking about the billionaires and how unfair it is for these “Masters of the Economic Universe” to have amassed so much money while millions of Americans are living below the poverty line.
To be fair, I have no use for Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Both of these billionaires have called for greatly increasing the number of H-1B visas for high tech foreign workers and have done everything they can to undermine the careers and futures of Americans. However, Hillary’s hypocrisy is never discussed by the media.
On February 13, 2014 the Clinton Foundation website posted a press release with a noteworthy title, “Clinton Foundation And Gates Foundation Partner To Measure Global Progress For Women And Girls.”
Hillary is quick to castigate billionaires such as Gates but has partnered with his foundation to help women around the world. While she is quick to talk about the struggles of professional American women here inside the United States she has partnered with a corporate giant who has made it clear that he wants to be able to bring unlimited numbers of foreign high-tech workers to the United States.
This will not bode well for professional American men or women in the high-tech professions.
Senator Chuck Schumer, arguably the ringleader of the “Gang of Eight” that concocted Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation, was the chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee on April 30, 2009 when Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank testified before a hearing called by Schumer on the topic, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?”
At that hearing Greenspan’s prepared testimony included this excerpt which cited none other than Bill Gates who made the outrageous assertion that we are “driving away the world’s best and brightest.” Gates and Greenspan need to be reminded that if your truly believe in “American exceptionalism,” the world’s best and brightest are Americans:
The second policy issue that must be addressed by Congress is the even more compelling need to facilitate the inflow of skilled foreign workers. Our primary and secondary school systems are increasingly failing to produce the skilled workers needed to utilize fully our ever more sophisticated and complex stock of intellectual and physical capital. This capital stock has been the critical input for our rising productivity and standards of living and can be expected to continue to be essential for our future prosperity. The consequence of our educational shortfall is that a highly disproportionate number of our exceptionally skilled workers are foreign-born—two-fifths of the science PhDs in our workforce, for example, are foreign-born. Silicon Valley has a remarkably large number of foreign-born workers.
The quantity of temporary H-1B visas issued each year is far too small to meet the need, especially in the near future as the economy copes with the forthcoming retirement wave of skilled baby boomers. As Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, succinctly testified before Congress in March 2007, “America will find it infinitely more difficult to maintain its technological leadership if it shuts out the very people who are most able to help us compete.” He added that we are “driving away the world’s best and brightest precisely when we need them most.”
Time and again it has been proven that there is no shortage of qualified American workers. Only a shortage of Americans who will not accept the substandard wages their foreign counterparts are willing to accept. Consider this November 2, 2015 Breitbart article, “Jeff Sessions: H-1B Visas ‘Tremendous Threat’ to American Professionals.”
Now consider Greenspan’s disturbing excerpt about the “benefits” to be gained by opening the floodgates for H-1B visas:
The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.
Greenspan was apparently a key player in the meltdown of the banking system and the economy through his subprime mortgages- consider the January 27, 2011 Fox News report, “Financial Crisis Panel: Bank Meltdown Could’ve Been Avoided.”
Yet Schumer called upon Greenspan to provide advise on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Incredibly, Greenspan is at it again. On December 17, 2015 CNN/Money Magazine jointly published a report, “Greenspan: America’s H-1B visa program is ‘too small’” which began with this excerpt:
Alan Greenspan believes the economy would thrive if America let more immigrants into the country.
The former Federal Reserve chair says the highly skilled migrant program – the H-1B visa that is popular with tech companies – should be a lot bigger.
“The H-1B visa program is much too small,” Greenspan said Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “If we really wanted to increase productivity, we would really open that program up.”
The H-1B visa program has become a “political hot potato” because it is common knowledge that it has been used to undermine the careers and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of highly educated, experienced and dedicated American workers. However, Greenspan is at it again.
Furthermore, it appears that Greenspan is getting what he wants- a decrease in wage inequality. This should please his pals, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerman and the Democratic candidates for the Presidency and other “leaders” such as Chuck Schumer.
The problem is that this is not good news but bad news. While Gates and company continue to prosper, the middle class is being dismantled.
The December 9, 2015 L.A. Times headline blared the stark reality of the consequences of this onslaught by foreign workers, “Middle-class families, pillar of the American dream, are no longer in the majority, study finds.”
Furthermore, on April 19, 2013, the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Unit, Development Prospects Group published a report, “Migration and Development Brief 20” that predicted that enactment of immigration reform legislation in the United States would increase the remittances flowing from the United States to the countries of origin for the rapidly growing number of foreign workers.
At a time when our nation’s deficit continues to soar to “infinity and beyond” it is hardly encouraging to imagine still more money being wired out of our country, further increasing our national debt and hobbling our nation’s already struggling economy.
Apparently according to Greenspan, Schumer, Clinton and their cohorts, wage inequality will remain a “problem” as long as middle class workers earn more than their lesser educated and lesser skilled fellow Americans.
Those who cheer the concept of “Wage equality” need to be careful about what they wish for.