There is every reason to be confident in a decisive Trump victory this year. The economy, a coronavirus scare notwithstanding, is the strongest it's been in 50 years — thanks to him.
This is reflected in his best approval rating ever, with unusually high numbers from African-Americans. Elected Democrats and independents keep becoming Republicans, while a record number of GOP candidates are running for Congress and Republican governors sweep the top 10 for most popular in the country.
Overconfidence is how Hillary Clinton lost 2016. Conservatives and independents need to be aware that, even though Joe Biden has been branded as the "moderate" in the Democrat Primary, he's only moderate compared to Bernie. We all need to be afraid of what the terrifying implications would be if Democrats had the year that Republicans did in 2016.
So presented are the top three economic/labor issues we have to worry about should that be the case.
- Pushing an aggressive Big Labor policy
The Democrat House is ramming through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a labor bill that doubles down on the coercive unionization system the United States already has in place.
As our friends at National Review summarized, currently the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) spells out various "unfair labor practices" to ostensibly protect workers from employers while doing nothing to protect them from unions. In states with right-to-work laws, employees must support the union through dues or fees, even if they voted against the union and don't want to be part of it.
The PRO Act nullifies states' and workers' rights in this regard. Workers everywhere could be forced to support unions. Under the bill, failed negotiations would lead to the business being forced into mediation and even binding arbitration with the union.
Private-sector unions need intervention from Democrats to stay relevant, as seen in the steep decline of such unions in recent decades. But if workers and the market have decided we don't need them anymore, maybe we should leave them in the past.
- Expanding data-driven lawsuits against big tech based on "discrimination"
Discrimination is terrible and needs to be fought … but in the absence of actual discrimination, the people who make money fighting it need to dream some up.
This has been the case with some midnight regulations the Obama Administration dropped to sabotage President Trump — and some innocent companies. In the offending regulations, Obama's Department of Labor attacked tech companies Palantir, Google, then Oracle with bogus accusations of discrimination for some of their government contract work. In each suit, no actual evidence of discrimination was presented, merely out-of-context statistics. To any real court of law, mere statistical sampling would not qualify as evidence, but the DoL has much lower standards.
Now, under the banner of "fighting discrimination," Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has the power to disqualify federal government contractors without accountability. Given the threat of debarment, federal contractors — who walk a tightrope through the byzantine procurement process anyway — are reluctant to stand up to OFCCP. In a recent report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted that many member companies are too scared to share their experiences with OFCCP, even anonymously, for fear of future retribution.
If any Democrat wins this November, expect to see more of this.
- Hiking the minimum wage
How much should the minimum wage be? If it's raised to $15, then suddenly it will need to be $16. Then $17, et cetera et cetera. Blue states have started pushing arbitrary minimum wage increases, regardless of the damage they do to the economy.
For example, retailers and other firms are feeling an increasing impact in New York as the state's minimum wages have gone up. In 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found 16 percent of service firms in the state said the latest increase is having a "significant effect" on their planning, up from just 9.6 percent of service firms that said that in 2018. In a separate bank poll, 18 percent of Empire State factory owners said the latest wage increase is likewise having a "significant effect" on them, up from 17.1 percent in 2017.
Picking the minimum wage to target — instead of the whole economy, as the president has done — is deleterious. The more expensive low-skilled workers become, the more likely businesses are to turn to foreign labor or automation. Moreover, small businesses that can't bear the increased costs and are more likely to crash when the next recession comes, in which case the wage for such workers will become $0.
"A left-leaning economist is a contradiction in terms," a professor of mine in business school said. There is every reason to hope that enough people realize this they will reward the president with a second term, but if there isn't: be prepared.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House, and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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