Is Trump a better Democrat than the Democrats?


I used to be one of those obnoxious “white liberal” types, asking my fellow blue collar whites – Why do you vote against your own best interests?  I was even tempted to call it “racism”.

When it came to Trump v. Clinton, though, that just didn’t make sense anymore.  Here was Trump proposing what some of the better Democrats have been pushing for decades, protection of American jobs; and here was the Democratic Party nominating a would be outsourcer-in-chief.  When my fellow “white liberals” picked up the old – Why do you vote against your own best interests? – rhetoric, I was like – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

As my regular readers know, I am not part of Trump’s cult of personality.  I reluctantly supported him, because it was him or Clinton, and I have been willing to criticize him when I think it’s due.  But this week, Trump is earning my praise!

  1. Trade – Remember when this was the Democrats’ thing?  Little by little, Trump is coming through on his trade promises.  About a month ago, he implemented 30% tariffs on imported solar panels.  I remember in 2009-10ish when the AFL-CIO was denouncing China for their predatory trade practices in relation to solar panels and considering a lawsuit before the WTO.  I worried that this would be as far as Trump would go, but now, here he is about to slap a 25% tariff on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum!  Thank you Trump!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Trump is getting flak from his own party on this because, as I’ve always hoped, Trump is a bad Republican.  On trade, Trump is a much better Democrat than the Clintons, and much of the members of the Democratic Caucuses in Congress.
  2. Repealing the Individual Mandate – Lest we forget, it was the neoconservative Heritage Foundation that originally came up with the idea to force people to buy health insurance.  Obama himself, in 2008, warned that this could put people in a situation where insurance would be so expensive they’d sooner pay the tax penalty.  Then Obama implemented the mandate, and many are, as he warned, paying the penalty because insurance is too expensive.  Thanks Obama!  But if Obama won’t honor his own positions, Trump will do it for him.  Trump first tried to repeal the individual mandate as part of a larger health care reform.  Upon failing to do that, rather than giving up, he worked a repeal of the mandate into his tax reform.  Starting this year, there will no longer be a tax penalty for not buying health insurance.  So while Obama did the bidding of the corporatist Heritage Foundation, Trump turned out to be a better Democrat than Obama on healthcare.
  3. Cautious foreign policy* – Remember when the Republicans were the warmongers? Things were simpler then.  We hated Bush, the war in Iraq was a yuge mistake, and Obama would bring us change we could believe in.  Then Obama made the mistake of appointing Clinton as Sec. of State, and she talked him into Libya, the biggest foreign policy disaster of his entire presidency.  Thank goodness Obama didn’t go all in on Syria!  While Trump isn’t perfect on this, so far he’s proven to be more cautious in practice than Obama, Bush, or either of the Clintons.  While we are continuing to attack ISIS targets in Syria, we’ve mostly avoided conflict with the Syrian government, we’ve backed the Iraqi government just enough to push ISIS out, and there doesn’t seem to be any quagmires on the horizon.  Meanwhile the “Democrats” are red baiting on Russia and beating the war drums themselves towards the Assad regime.  It seems on foreign policy, Trump is a better Democrat than any Democratic President since Jimmy Carter, and better than most of the Democrats in Congress.
  4. Guns – This one is still uncertain, but following Trump’s listening session with the families and friends of victims of the recent shootings, Trump is open to some sensible gun safety regulations. He’s proposed expanding background checks, raising the age to 21 to purchase semi-automatics, and removing firearms from the hands of people with mental illnesses that could be at risk.  We don’t know how much of this Trump will follow through with yet, but it is certainly noteworthy that once again, populist Trump is clashing with the real Republicans (and I don’t mean that as a complement to them) in order to do what’s best for the American people.

I’m not joining the cult of Trump or anything.  I reluctantly supported him in 2016, and I just may again in 2020, depending on whom the Democrats nominate.  I still have plenty of grievances with Trump.  He is deregulating the financial sector like a Clinton and he’s completely blind to the realities of institutional racism in our criminal justice system.  But as a blue collar Democrat, disgusted at the party that ignores our concerns to maintain its unholy alliance of Political Correctness and Neoliberal Corporatism; I’m looking at Trump and thinking –

I voted for some of my own best interests, and I just might do it again. 


Read Also:

Defiant Trump Battles Globalists Like No President Before Him (by DC Whispers)

Is Joe the Plumber a Hypocrite for taking a union job?

Why I’m Not A Republican



Who is really giving a megaphone to “deplorables”?


Who is really giving a megaphone to “Deplorables”?

Throughout the last several decades, white supremacist groups have been in their rightful place – the margins of society and the butt of several jokes.  The most attention that the KKK could hope for was a slot on the Jerry Springer show, somewhere between the lesbian cousin lovers and the “kung fu hillbilly”.  In the late 1910s to early 1920s, however, the Klan enjoyed a brief period of being part of the American mainstream.  The Klan of today sometimes tries to make itself palatable to the American mainstream, and desperately seeks attention, but they can’t achieve this if nobody even bothers to notice them.

The “Deplorables”

According to Hillary Clinton, there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”

Frequently we hear stories of some Klansman, or former Klansman, who decided to support Donald Trump.  White supremacists in this country are very anti-immigration, and Trump’s desire to build a wall and deport 11 million illegals certainly appeals to them.  But one need not be a white supremacist to support enforcing immigration laws.  And these white supremacists would likely disagree with Trump’s support for LEGAL immigration.  

Of course, Trump has also received kind words from the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.  Farrakhan, an avid anti-Semite, likes that Trump is the only member who has stood in front of the Jewish community and said ‘I don’t want your money.”

There’s plenty of reasons that radicals, and “deplorables” might support Clinton or Trump, but acknowledging these groups only gives them a megaphone.  No such megaphone has been given by the Trump campaign to the USA Communist Party, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, nor should there be.

Who is really granting them a megaphone?

Remember David Duke?  Most Americans, especially young Americans, probably didn’t even know the name until it came out that Duke was endorsing Trump.  Those who did know the name were probably more than happy to let him fall into anachronistic obscurity right along with the KKK of which he was once a member.  But David Duke cleverly breathed new life into his infamy by giving the mainstream media the opportunity to tarnish Trump’s campaign by drawing attention to David Duke’s half-hearted endorsement.  Trump made the mistake of individually disavowing him, thereby giving him the attention he sought.  Fortunately, Trump has been careful not to repeat that mistake.

In truth, Clinton and her supporters do more to help groups like the KKK, or the less extreme white nationalist “alt-right” movement by constantly denouncing them and Trump for having their tacit support.  There are plenty of Klansman nobodies, trying to become somebody by saying, “Hey, I’m wearing a white sheet with a swastika on my arm and I’m voting for Trump”.  Every now and then, someone from the Klan will get clever and endorse Clinton instead.  Oooopsss!  Didn’t see that one coming!  

If Trump goes through each of his deplorable endorsements, calling them out by name and disavowing them individually, all he will accomplish is recognizing that these people are even worth noticing.  Trump has collectively disavowed all white supremacists, and that’s all he should do.  Anything more just gives them the attention they crave, which it seems Hillary Clinton and her supporters are happy to do.

What the Last Clinton did to US – Part 1 our jobs


Presidents are praised when the economy does well, and blamed when it does poorly.  The average voter doesn’t realize that it usually takes years to feel the effects of policies, and sitting Presidents are usually presiding over the effects of the previous administration.  Furthermore, the US President can’t do a whole lot on domestic policy without Congress.  With that in mind, let’s revisit the Clinton years from 1993-2000.  This is the first of three blog posts I will publish on Clinton’s legacy that we should consider before offering the White House to another Clinton.  This first blog post will consider Clinton’s “free trade” policies and how they hurt America’s working class.

Clinton was generally a popular president, and is praised for the booming economy of the 90s.  However, he had little to do with it.  When Reagan and Tipp O’Neal reformed the tax code in 1986, they made it much easier for new businesses to emerge and pay a more modest tax rate in the mid 20 percentages, rather than nearly 70%.  The Tech Boom that created all that 90s prosperity was possible in part thanks to Reagan and O’Neal working together.

So what did Clinton do?

When Clinton ran in 1992, America was at an economic crossroads.  In short, do we protect our thriving manufacturing sector and unique blue collar middle class; or do we open ourselves to free trade in pursuit of cheaper goods, with the intention of maintaining that middle class by allowing cozy office jobs to replace the old manufacturing jobs?  Bush wanted the later, Perot wanted the former.  Clinton presented himself as a centrist on this issue, supporting freer trade with some protections for working people at home and abroad.  Clinton won the White House in part on that platform.

How Clinton crippled America’s manufacturing sector

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was implemented in 1994.  Many manufacturing jobs went to Mexico, but the American economy thrived.  Many economists, therefore, believed it was a success.  I may lose my job at the factory, but I can learn some new tech skills, put on a short sleeve white collared shirt and a tie and become Dilbert!  Not bad, eh?

As Ross Perot noted, you can show me all the numbers you want, but if you look at what was happening on the ground, the people suffered.  I don’t mean Americans (not yet anyway) but Mexicans.  Where factories popped up in Mexico, so did poverty.  So did pollution.  So did long hours for low wages.  There were few, if any, protections for exploited Mexican workers, and the profit margin for CEOs massively increased.  We were told we’d get cheap stuff in America, but most of the cost savings of cheap labor was eaten up by upper management and shareholders.  But that’s OK, we’ve got our tech jobs, right?

We might have survived NAFTA anyway.  Mexico’s government is far from perfect, but it isn’t a dictatorship.  They do have a Constitution, they do have rights, and the people were demanding better.  Wages were starting to increase in Mexico over time.  Their economy was picking up.  In time, their living standards likely would have come close enough to American living standards that CEOs would no longer stand to make too much profit from outsourcing, and if anything would redevelop manufacturing in America to save on shipping.

They needed cheaper labor.

In 2000, Clinton’s last year in office, he did something much, much worse than NAFTA.  Clinton signed a bill to “normalize trade” with China – to permanently lower tariffs and phase out quotas.  Unlike Mexico, China is run by a strict oligarchy – the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  Elections are but a rigged formality where the candidates are chosen by the CCP, and the people “vote” for them.  There is an official constitution, but it’s a joke.  The people of China have as much rights as the CCP will allow them to have.  Therefore, whereas Mexican workers can vote for better laws, form unions, etc. Chinese workers have no such recourse.

But for US, this was particularly harmful and couldn’t have come at a worse time.  The tech bubble was bursting, a recession was beginning, and just when we needed to fall back on our manufacturing base, Clinton was handing it over to the Chinese Communist Party.  As it currently stands, our trade deficit with China is astronomical.  As you can see from the US Census, we import from China about 4 times as much as we export to China.  They’re beating US 4 to 1!

Meanwhile, the American middle class is crippled.  We were told that “free trade” would improve our standard of living.  The only people who benefit are the uber-wealthy in both China and the US.  CEOs these days are paid on average over 200 times what their employees are paid.  In 1965, CEOs usually made about 20 times their employees.  Ya know, back in the old days.  Today, average wages in manufacturing are above $19 an hour, but these jobs now.  Manufacturing made up nearly 40% of GDP when Clinton took office, but that has dropped to under 17%, so by more than half!  Meanwhile, the average retail associate earned just above $9.50 an hour.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how Clinton favored Wall Street and banksters over the American people.  I’ve broken this into three parts because as I did more research and developed more solid arguments to support my position, I realized that it was about to turn into information overload.  My blog posts are often used to spur debate, and I’d like such debates to focus on one topic at a time.


While this politifact article rates Ed Shultz’s claim as “half-true”, it still acknowledges that at least 32,000 factories have closed since these “free trade” deals began 

For further info on the plight of Chinese workers, visit


Will African Americans leave the Democratic Party?


The Democratic voting base today is a minority coalition.  It is an alliance of African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, transgender and transsexuals, third wave feminists, and atheists.  Of these “minority” groups, African-Americans seem the most loyal.  For decades, blacks have voted at least 90% Democratic.  However, the Democrats expect more of them, and give less in return, as I’ll explain shortly.

First, note that blacks were won over by the Democratic Party gradually from about the 1930s until the 1960s.  There is plenty written on this subject.  For this blogpost, I only want to highlight that blacks were won over when the Democratic Party delivered results for them, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.  But not a lot has been done for the black voting base of the Democratic Party since the early 1970s.

For those who say that racism is history, let me just give you a glimpse of reality.  In the US, Blacks are over five times more likely to be in prison than whites, and more than twice as likely as Hispanics.  Some will say that it has more to do with poverty than skin color, but Hispanics on average are no more affluent than blacks.  Look into “Institutional Racism” if you want to learn more, but in short, blacks are far from achieving genuine racial equality.

Do the Democrats care about African-Americans anymore?

Despite the overwhelming institutional discrimination still faced by African-Americans, very little is said by most Democratic politicians, and Republicans usually deny it’s even happening at all.  (OK, so there’s Rand Paul and … Rand Paul.)

Now consider the Democratic Presidential candidates.  Of the five who attended the CNN Democratic Debate, two of them have strongly pushed for criminal justice reform: Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley.  Martin O’Malley hasn’t polled above 5%, and Jim Webb didn’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell.   Who is at the top?  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  Whenever you hear a speech from either of them to the Democratic base, they highlight their LGBT credentials.  They highlight a “woman’s right to choose (abortion)”.  After alienating the socially conservative half of the working class, Sanders will start highlighting his populist economic policies.  Clinton will try to convince the base that she’s a progressive too.  But you hardly hear a peep about continued racial injustice, criminal justice reform, de facto segregation of public schools, unequal housing, or any of the other structural barriers to racial equality that particularly affect African Americans.  It’s not that Clinton or Sanders don’t, in principle, support racial progress, but they don’t seem to hold it high on their priority list.

The Fragile “minority coalition” – black interests are not Democratic interests

Blacks are often misunderstood to be “hard core liberals”.  Yet they are about as reluctant to identify as “liberal” as most whites nationwide.  Think Progress is just one of many examples of “white liberals” who can’t make sense of this.  The reality is that most blacks may vote Democrat, but they are not “liberals”, they are not “conservatives”, and they are not “moderates”.  Ideological diversity is a privilege enjoyed by whites in this country, and to a lesser extent Asians and Hispanics.  But African-Americans have too much at stake to ponder ideology.  The long history of oppression they’ve faced has forced them to always think of the common good of the black community, sometimes called black utility heuristic .*

Black Americans largely support the economic agenda of the Democratic Party.  Most of them want a higher minimum wage, protection of American jobs (which Clinton suddenly claims to care about lately), stronger safety nets, better funding for better education, etc.  But on the moral issues, like gay marriage and abortion, many don’t know this, but blacks are actually the most conservative demographic in the country.  According to this 2015 Pew Poll, only 41% of blacks support same-sex marriage, compared to 59% of whites.  That 41% is as high as it’s ever been for them, and it’s still not a majority, despite the popularity of this issue.

In the CNN Democratic Debate, Hillary Clinton passionately railed against “continued discrimination against the LGBT community”, even though they have the right to marry anywhere in the US now.  With that issue resolved, what could possibly be left?  Yet we hear more from Rand Paul than Hillary Clinton about criminal justice reform and the link to high unemployment rates among blacks.

So gays are making progress.  Transgender people are making progress.  Third wave feminists even are making at least an impact of the Democratic Party itself.  The Democrats continue to court Hispanic voters with promises of immigration reform, such as the DREAM Act.  Yet nothing is being done for African-Americans, and they are on average much worse off than any other demographic.  Most Democrats proclaim LGBT rights as the “new civil rights” movement, but they haven’t even achieved the goals of the old civil rights movement.

How the Democrats will lose them

It won’t happen all at once.  The Republicans, long ago, had the majority of black voters.  They were the party of Lincoln, after all, and they did end slavery.  Following that, however, the Republicans became increasingly disinterested in African-American issues.  They still, in principle, supported some basic civil rights policies in the 1920s and 30s such as anti-lynching legislation, but these issues were low on their priority list.  Consequently, the Republicans slowly lost black voters to the Democratic Party.

The Democrats will likely lose them the same way.  As Republicans prioritized big business friendly policies and appeasement of the then very racist white south, over equal rights for blacks; today’s Democratic Party prioritizes LGBT rights, abortion, immigration policies, and appeasement of the financial sector.

Furthermore, consider that African-Americans are mostly very religious people.  What could be more important to a once enslaved people who relied on their faith to lead them to freedom – then religious freedom?!  However, the left would have us believe now that “religious freedom” is synonymous with homophobia, and that, to them, is the equivalent of racism.  But the calls for religious freedom from the right will certainly be heard by black worshipers.

The one problem with my prediction – Where will they go?

I’m sure the Republicans of the 1920s thought – It doesn’t matter if we pass anti-lynching legislation this year, this decade, or this century.  It isn’t like blacks are going to vote Democrat.  Not the party of the Confederacy!  The Republicans, at their peril, took their black voting base for granted.

I’m sure the leadership of the Democratic Party likewise thinks it can continue to procrastinate on criminal justice reform, continue to blame Republicans for underfunded public schools in black neighborhoods, while putting their real energies into keeping funding for Planned Parenthood.  It’s not like blacks will go Republican, right?  Not the party of Lincoln!  Not the party that ended slavery…uh oh!

I don’t know if the Republicans will capitalize on this opportunity or not.  The party base is mostly older white people.  In short, most of them do not see themselves as racists, but they largely support the institutions that yield racially unjust outcomes.  I’ve watched Rand Paul slowly gain popularity among this group, then become outspoken against racial injustice in the criminal justice system, and suddenly plummet in the polls.**  It’s likely that this base of the GOP will resist efforts of the party to highlight criminal justice reform anytime soon.

There’s also the remote possibility that a viable third party could emerge.  However, that has about a Jim Webb’s chance in a Democratic Primary.

If the GOP plays its cards right, it could win back the descendants of the people they once helped free from slavery***.  Because of that old white voting base, I don’t expect this to happen quickly.  But as blacks become increasingly fed up with the Democratic Party, first they’ll stay home more often, then some Republican politicians will ask – How can we get them to vote for us instead?  And then it will begin.

How will Democratic elites respond if they lose the black voting base?

Democratic elites once took my white, working class ancestors for granted.  As I’ve explained before, white southerners switched Republican for a wide variety of reasons.  But the elites of the Democratic Party, and most of the academic establishment, claim that white Republicans are just racists who can’t get over the end of Jim Crow.  They speak of a “southern strategy” and racist “dog whistles”, while ignoring our real interests.

If I’m right about this, and blacks leave the Democratic Party over the next few decades, will Dem. elites take responsibility for how they neglected their black base, just as they neglected the white working class base?  They can’t claim racism, not against black people, right?  Only white people can be racist.  Maybe they’ll blame homophobia.  They will be able to find some examples I’m sure of certain prominent blacks who are anti-LGBT.  George W. Bush, after all, made some inroads in the black community with his opposition to same-sex marriage.  I wonder if they’ll claim that Republicans have a homophobic “dog whistle” that only homophobic black people can hear.

Then, I also wonder how they’ll lose the Hispanic vote by the end of this century.  Democratic Party elites have a propensity to shoot their party in the foot, despite gun control.  By all democratic (small “d”) logic, they should be mopping the floor with Republicans.  Republicans wage wars we can’t afford, tax the poor, subsidize the rich, send our jobs to South-East Asia, and blame the underemployed working class for being lazy.  But Republicans also know how to capitalize on the blunders of the “liberal” elite.


*I already know that white liberals will opportunistically retort with rhetorical questions like “Who are you to talk about the black experience?  What do you know about it?”  Never mind that white liberals have made their academic and political careers out of pretending to know what African-Americans face.  I don’t pretend.  I’ve never walked a mile in their shoes.  But I do listen to them.  And much of what I state in this blogpost is based on what I’ve either heard from many of them, or read, as you can see in some of my links below.

**Rand Paul is more recently picking his numbers back up.  He was about fourth or fifth last I checked… there’s still plenty of time before the Iowa caucus.

***Really, black slaves freed themselves.  The Republicans supported them when they saw how it would help them win the Civil War.

Link(s) for further consideration:

Another prediction that blacks may leave the Democratic Party:

Despite my tone above, I really don’t have a problem with gay people or their newly obtained marriage rights.  If you want to know what I think exactly on that subject:

Rand Paul’s dangerous flirtation with “Judicial Activism”


I would write a blogpost refuting a statement by the very man I’m endorsing for President.  Rand Paul hasn’t lost any of my respect due to this, I simply think he is in error.  He’s allowed the left to mislead him with their often flimsy definition of judicial activism, which pretty much amounts to “using the judicial process to overturn bad laws”.  If “bad laws” are unconstitutional, then it is the Supreme Court’s job to overturn them.  Judicial activism is when these judges start abusing that power to push their own agenda, no matter how well intended that agenda may be.  Legislators, that is, Congress is there to pass good policies.  The Judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court, is only there to ensure that these laws adhere to the Constitution.  So, I’d like to address each of Paul’s examples of where he thinks he’s supporting judicial activism.  Some of these really do fit the definition of activism, but others are simply proper use of judicial review, that is, to overturn unconstitutional laws or statutes.  (Note that I will quote the parts of the Constitution used in full at the bottom.)

  1. Lochner vs. New York – This ruling in 1905, a 5-4 decision, concluded that the right to enter a contract was implicit in the 14th It specifically overturned some early labor laws in the NY, limiting bakers to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week.  I’ll agree with Rand Paul to the extent that this was judicial activism.  I’ve read the 14th Amendment thoroughly, and fail to see how it guarantees unlimited, unregulated individual contracts.  With that said, I see nothing wrong with such a law, but I do agree that it is an example of judicial activism and the kind that Rand Paul would support.
  2. “The New Deal” – This is a broad category of many laws passed during the Roosevelt era, and difficult to refute for that reason. Some of them probably were unconstitutional, and others not.  My position is that Congress has the authority to create programs such as Social Security, for it is consistent with the General Welfare clause of Article I, Sec. 8.  If Rand Paul is like his father, and believes Social Security to be unconstitutional, then overturning it would not be judicial activism.  It would simply be the proper use of judicial review.
  3. “State bans on birth control” – This is a tough one. I personally am a strong supporter of birth control rights.  As an advocate of judicial restraint, I’m hesitant to overturn state laws on this (though I’d certainly oppose Federal laws).  I could see how this would be consistent with the rather vague 9th Amendment, however, and would not consider it an abuse of judicial power to overturn state bans on birth control based on the 9th.  Birth control is a very personal decision, and unlike with abortion, the dispute over human life doesn’t enter the equation.  I can see how this would be one of those “others [rights] retained by the people”.
  4. “Obamacare” – here I completely agree with Rand Paul’s policy position, but completely disagree with his assertion that it would be “judicial activism” to overturn it. Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional as it requires people to purchase a product, effectively punishing inaction.  As there is no constitutional justification for this, we default to the 10th amendment, and leave it to “the states, respectively, or the people”.  Rand Paul is right to want to overturn Obamacare, but this would be well within the authority of the Supreme Court, and certainly not any type of judicial activism.
  5. Brown v. Board of Education – this is the ruling that ended segregation of public schools on the basis of the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Like Paul, I agree that segregation needed to be overturned, and I’m glad that it was.  Unlike Paul, and unlike many Civil Rights leaders, I do not see this as judicial activism.  This is perfectly consistent with the original intent of the 14th Amendment, ratified after the abolition of slavery to ensure equal protection under the law to all citizens, with the intention aimed at the time towards former slaves.  Surely that includes the right to the same educational opportunities as whites.

So in conclusion, while I agree with some and not others of Rand’s positions, I completely disagree with his definition of “judicial activism”.  Judicial abuse of power is a very dangerous trend.  If 9 unelected judges who serve for life can overturn laws at their whims, they have become a panel of oligarchs.  And to my libertarian friends, just like I tell liberals, remember…if they can overturn laws you don’t like, they can also overturn laws you do like.  Do you really want 9 unelected judges who serve for life to have that much power?

From the US Constitution, word for word:

14th Amendment (Section 1) – All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

9th Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article I, Section 8 (first clause) – The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

10th Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Another of my posts on judicial activism:

Why Aren’t American workers earning more money? (It’s not because of a low minimum wage)


“Low wages are the most costly any employer can pay” – Henry Ford

At times like these, many are tempted to support a minimum wage increase.  The cost of living is increasing (mainly food prices), our economy is growing, yet wages for the lower middle class are stagnant and the upper middle class is shrinking.  A few wealthy people are reaping the benefits of global industrialization while the rest of us scrap to get by.  Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a meme or a quote from the Sen. Bernie Sanders on the subject, and he means well in his efforts to raise the minimum wage.  This, however, treats the symptom rather than the cause.

Our stagnant wage growth in relation to the cost of living is caused by two factors:  “free trade” resulting in job outsourcing, and hidden inflation of the US Dollar.  Of these two causes, I find “free trade” to be the most serious.  This all started with Bush Sr. and Clinton…mostly Clinton.  They believed that if we signed “free trade” agreements with low wage countries such as Mexico, China, etc. that our hard manual labor based jobs would go to these countries, allowing highly educated American workers to focus on technology and high paying sectors with a high skill set.  This economic model has worked well for countries like Ireland, with its mere 4.5 million population.  The US, however, has a population of over 360 million, about 80 times the size of Ireland’s.  There is not enough demand for these high skill set products and services in the entire world to keep America employed.  Our tech sector does well, and does provide some excellent jobs, but it will never be enough.

Now some might say that if China, Mexico, etc. are cheaper, than why shouldn’t it be made there?  It benefits US because we get cheap stuff, right?  Well, let’s start with Mexico.  Jobs were sent to Mexico in the 1990s, and their economy grew.  We felt it, we lost SOME manufacturing jobs, but our economy grew none the less.  Jobs grew, wages grew, and many thought Clinton was a wonderful President because of this.  However, as Mexico’s economy grew, their wages grew also.  The eventual result probably would have been a level playing field between Mexico and the US.  As the supply of jobs in Mexico would have outgrown the demand for those jobs, companies would have had to pay Mexicans a fair wage or else lose them to other companies who would.  Which brings us to China.

The market forces that normally allow wages to increase…well these forces are suppressed in China.  If workers demand better wages, they turn up missing.  If they form labor unions, they are slaughtered.  If they work 80 hours, and only get paid for 50 hours, they file a complaint with their local government and such complaints are largely ignored.  Furthermore, China devalues their currency making their goods artificially cheap.  Even the Grandfather of Capitalism himself, Adam Smith, knew that free trade would only work if all nations involved had reliable currency values.  Yet our naïve (if not crooked) politicians tell us that “free trade” creates jobs for everyone, and is more efficient.  Meanwhile, our economy has plenty of minimum wage jobs, and jobs that pay $8 or $9 an hour, but many of us remember the 1990s when a reasonably skilled and intelligent college student could find a $10 hour part time jobs.  I have not adjusted for inflation here.  That was $10 an hour back when you could go to the grocery store and buy ground chuck for 99c a pound.  (Now you’re lucky to find it for under $4 a pound).

If we want wage growth, increasing the minimum wage will help very little.  Companies who hire the bare minimum of employees, such as Walmart, will be forced to pay a little more.  But smaller companies attempting to grow may find this burdensome and simply hire less new employees.  Furthermore, it doesn’t address the real problem.  We need a pragmatic trade and industrial strategy in the US if we want real wage growth.  We need a simpler, more sensible corporate tax code so that companies can pay a modest tax rate without having to hire a department of accountants and former bureaucrats to figure it out.  Companies who hire Americans should pay relatively low taxes, while companies who outsource and then import those products back to the US should bare a much larger portion of the tax burden.  Lower and simplify the corporate tax rate, and raise tariffs.  This will bring jobs back to America, and increase revenue, thereby lowering the US deficit.  Doing so will at least help to curb inflation, which is in reality much higher than we are told by the US Department of Labor.  If you really think inflation is less than 3% per year, think about that the next time you are buying groceries.