2020 presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke revealed his new labor plan that would increase union power and strip business owners of their freedom to pay workers according to market rates.
Under the guise of labor rights, O’Rourke is calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage. In his view, no one should be living below the poverty line in America.
“We need to be there for workers across the country who have always been the engine of our economy,” O’Rourke declared.
He added, “We need to keep up the fight for $15 an hour to ensure that one job is enough — and no one needs to work a second or third just to support themselves and their families. Only then can we build an economy that finally works for everyone in the country.”
O’Rourke also wants Big Labor to get its cut and start recruiting more union members and strengthen collective bargaining.
“The decline of labor unions is a major reason why American workers are struggling,” O’Rourke asserted. “Unions raise the bar for all workers — but today, only about 10 percent of workers are union members, which has led to a reduction in the wages of all American workers.”
O’Rourke also stated that he would work with Congress to advance legislation that would mandate employers to offer seven paid sick days a year.
The former El Paso Congressman’s legislative proposals sound great on paper, but they are devoid of any kind of economic logic. If O’Rourke is concerned about workers making ends meet, he should not be pursuing minimum wage policies which inevitably lead to unemployment.
Additionally, concerns about productivity are best addressed on the free market. The key to increasing worker productivity is by expanding the capital stock. The biggest inhibitor to that is the regulatory state and our complex tax system. To his credit, President Trump has carried out unprecedented deregulation measures that have given the private sector some breathing room.
It also doesn’t help that we have a central banking system that causes inflation and makes our overall cost of living much higher on a yearly basis. A system of sound money would help America’s working classes tremendously.
None of these considerations are on O’Rourke’s agenda. Instead, he believes getting more government involved in the economy will magically make American workers more prosperous. This is the height of economic wishful thinking.