#MakeAmericaExpensiveAgain

 
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Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com

When you listen to Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech tonight — seriously, America, why? — expect to hear a lot of compassionate talk aimed at working Americans. Specifically, about the Democratic Party’s plans to raise the national minimum wage to $12/hour, force companies to offer paid parental leave, double-down on ObamaCare, expand Medicaid, and push for greater education subsidies.

Then, ask yourself: Are these policies going to make life less or more expensive for Americans? So many of our problems — particularly, those regarding employment and the economy — stem from the way our federal government artificially raises the cost of American labor by imposing perquisites on it. Ask yourself, does your company spend too little time working on HR matters? Do you wish you had more federal forms to file? Is it too easy to hire someone willing to trade their time, effort, and skills for pay? Would our problems be better solved by more one-size-shall-fit-all-dammit edicts from Washington, DC? Then, compare your answers to Clinton’s.

Almost all Americans agree that government regulation has some place in the workforce. But even if you think the government’s role should be large and generous — or, as I might put it, expensive and intrusive — ask yourself why such solutions must come from Rome-on-the-Potomac, rather than your state capital. What works in California may not work in Texas; what works in Texas may not work in Wyoming; and what works in Wyoming almost certainly won’t work in New Jersey. That’s okay! That’s why we have a federal system that allows people the opportunity to order their local societies differently than others, except in a handful of matters like national defense. Or, at least, we used to.

Hillary Clinton’s loathsome character — the lying, the venality, the entitlement — should be disqualifying in itself. But her ideas deserve Americans’ vote no more than does her reputation.

Members have made 23 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: What works in California may not work in Texas

    What works in California doesn’t even work in California.

    • #1
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:31 am
    • Like0 likes
  2. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    So, you’re endorsing Gary Johnson, right?

    I’ve seen little evidence that Trump opposes the basic core principles that Hillary supports. He merely offers different flavours of the same ideas. A $10 minimum wage instead of $12. Edicts from Washington D.C. on trade and tariffs. Promises of government-run healthcare out of Washington, but managed by Trump so it’ll work. Has he ever talked about leaving any issues to the states? Has he ever talked about deregulation? As for the bit about lying, in his own books he endorses strategic mendacity as a leadership skill!

    • #2
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:33 am
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  3. Profile photo of Austin Murrey Member

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: When you listen to Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech tonight — seriously, America, why?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s all they’ve got left in the tank. The Democratic Party is so bereft of down-ballot talent that they have to turn to Hillary to save them with another “historic first” election.

    • #3
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:34 am
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  4. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Misthiocracy:So, you’re endorsing Gary Johnson, right?

    I honestly haven’t made up my mind as to precisely how I’m going to do a protest vote. It might be for Johnson, but I’m leaning toward just writing in Ben Sasse at the moment.

    #NoMandate.

    • #4
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:35 am
    • Like0 likes
  5. Profile photo of Herbert E. Meyer Contributor

    My compliments on a very good piece.

    And it highlights an issue that deserves far more attention than we’re giving it: Too many Americans have absolutely no idea how a free-market economy actually works. They’ve never been taught that an economy is a kind of operating system: if you want it to do something, you must go about it according to how the operating system has been designed. For instance, it you want to check your email on your cell phone you cannot do that by spitting on the screen; you must click the email icon and go on from there.

    Because so many Americans no longer grasp how our economy actually works, they’re susceptible to all sorts of nonsense from politicians — from the right as well as from the left. What Donald Trump says about trade is just as silly as what Hillary Clinton says about wages.

    If we can recognize how little Americans understand about our economic operating system, perhaps we can turn our attention to the — crucial — question of how best to teach economics to them. Otherwise, they will continue to be persuaded by candidates who appeal to their feelings rather to their intellect.

    • #5
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:37 am
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  6. Profile photo of James Gawron Thatcher

    Tom,

    Let’s see Obamacare has raised your premiums by an average of 75%. If you take the subsidized policies you get weaker coverage, higher deductible, and less access to physicians. Amazingly enough, although the whole program was meant to be aimed at the uninsured, wait times at the emergency room are 3 times as long.

    Thanks Obama-Clinton, is there anything else you’d like to screw up that badly.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:39 am
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  7. Profile photo of Vance Richards Member

    Expensive? No, no, no! She is gonna give us free stuff, and free stuff doesn’t cost anything . . . right?

    • #7
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:40 am
    • Like0 likes
  8. Profile photo of WI Con Member

    Yes, but this will be offset through their energy policies. You see, the sun shines for free! The wind blows for free! We can power this nation for the cost of an Obamaphone!

    • #8
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:48 am
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  9. Profile photo of RightAngles Member

    Vance Richards:Expensive? No, no, no! She is gonna give us free stuff, and free stuff doesn’t cost anything . . . right?

    I still remember that Twitter exchange with the millennial girl raving about free tuition. Someone tweeted back at her “Who do you think will pay for that?” She replied, “What part of ‘free’ don’t you understand?” When I finished laughing, I wanted to cry.

    • #9
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:53 am
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  10. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    I’m jealous. You get an attaboy from your Dad.

    You’re also absolutely right, of course.

    • #10
    • July 28, 2016 at 9:59 am
    • Like0 likes
  11. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    Just give me my free stuff and leave me alone . . . just need to print more money, right?

    • #11
    • July 28, 2016 at 10:10 am
    • Like0 likes
  12. Profile photo of livingthehighlife Inactive

    In addition to the high cost of labor, look at building projects from the 1930s through the 1960s and ask a politician if there’s anyway those same projects could be completed in the same amount of time at the same cost (adjusted for inflation, of course).

    The answer is a resounding “[expletive] NO!”

    The EPA, OSHA, FTC, XYZ agency all have oversight on large capital projects that double the cost and timeline of any large infrastructure project. Want to build a new power generation station? Fogetaboutit! Want to build a natural gas processing plant? The bureaucrats are lined up over your shoulder to make sure it’s done according to some obscure irrelevant section buried deep in the millions of lines of regulation bored bureaucrats make up in their spare time.

    So how to get things done? Grease the palms of politicians, donate to their foundations, their PAC, their favorite charity. It all buys a little protection.

    • #12
    • July 28, 2016 at 10:10 am
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  13. Profile photo of RightAngles Member

    WI Con:Yes, but this will be offset through their energy policies. You see, the sun shines for free! The wind blows for free! We can power this nation for the cost of an Obamaphone!

    Yes We Can!

    • #13
    • July 28, 2016 at 10:20 am
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  14. Profile photo of Eric Hines Inactive

    Pressmen also should find a way to ask Clinton why the Democrats choose not to apply disparate impact criteria to minimum wage laws and their outcome.

    Pressmen also should find a way to ask Clinton where they think the money to pay those higher minimum wages–specifically where, no glittering generalities.

    Pressmen also should find a way to ask Clinton what impact they think the minimum wage increase will have on union wages and negotiations for wages.

    Eric Hines

    • #14
    • July 28, 2016 at 10:57 am
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  15. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Herbert E. Meyer:My compliments on a very good piece.

    And it highlights an issue that deserves far more attention than we’re giving it: Too many Americans have absolutely no idea how a free-market economy actually works. They’ve never been taught that an economy is a kind of operating system: if you want it to do something, you must go about it according to how the operating system has been designed. For instance, it you want to check your email on your cell phone you cannot do that by spitting on the screen; you must click the email icon and go on from there.

    Because so many Americans no longer grasp how our economy actually works, they’re susceptible to all sorts of nonsense from politicians — from the right as well as from the left. What Donald Trump says about trade is just as silly as what Hillary Clinton says about wages.

    If we can recognize how little Americans understand about our economic operating system, perhaps we can turn our attention to the — crucial — question of how best to teach economics to them. Otherwise, they will continue to be persuaded by candidates who appeal to their feelings rather to their intellect.

    What’s worse is if Trump wins and the conservative brand becomes attached to him in a permanent way. We’ll be explaining how he’s not a conservative for decades, I fear.

    • #15
    • July 28, 2016 at 11:30 am
    • Like0 likes
  16. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Bereket Kelile:

    What’s worse is if Trump wins and the conservative brand becomes attached to him in a permanent way. We’ll be explaining how he’s not a conservative for decades, I fear.

    And it stinks already.

    • #16
    • July 28, 2016 at 11:39 am
    • Like0 likes
  17. Profile photo of Austin Murrey Member

    Tom Meyer:

    Bereket Kelile:

    What’s worse is if Trump wins and the conservative brand becomes attached to him in a permanent way. We’ll be explaining how he’s not a conservative for decades, I fear.

    And it stinks already.

    We have only ourselves to blame.

    • #17
    • July 28, 2016 at 11:45 am
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  18. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    The information regulators would need to make regulations work to the benefit of the nation is the same information planners would need to build a workable five year socialist plan. It doesn’t exist. Hayek was right. Even if regulators cared deeply and were accountable, and really wise and disinterested, they could not do what Congress asks them to do. Most states couldn’t either. This is one of the false narratives progressives from both parties have successfully foisted on the population. Good transparent laws are necessary and these require a minimum regulatory framework, but most regulation just manipulate the competitive system to reduce challenges to the old powerful corporations and provide rents to office holders. Take any sector you know well and think through the regulations that pertain to it. Would not clear law and tort do a better job? What information do regulators actually have? What information looking forward can they have? Think banking. If a chunk of owners equity, say ten to twenty percent, was on the line with every loan would they pay a little more attention to management and the portfolio? Can the half dozen regulatory agencies actually track these things? They cannot. They just raise costs and they add no benefit, none zip zero because they can’t even do what they say they do.

    • #18
    • July 28, 2016 at 12:09 pm
    • Like0 likes
  19. Profile photo of CuriousKevmo Member

    Jamie Lockett:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: What works in California may not work in Texas

    What works in California doesn’t even work in California.

    You and I agree on this point Jamie, but given the diversity of the California economy and all of the major tech stuff happening here, they seem to be able to keep the state afloat. All that I ever hear is how obviously successful all these liberal policies are here in CA. Not only isn’t it true, but I’m pretty sure none of it translates to other states even if it were true.

    • #19
    • July 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm
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  20. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    CuriousKevmo:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: What works in California may not work in Texas

    What works in California doesn’t even work in California.

    You and I agree on this point Jamie, but given the diversity of the California economy and all of the major tech stuff happening here, they seem to be able to keep the state afloat. All that I ever hear is how obviously successful all these liberal policies are here in CA. Not only isn’t it true, but I’m pretty sure none of it translates to other states even if it were true.

    Given that outside the tech bubbles citizens are fleeing the state in droves, don’t expect it to last.

    • #20
    • July 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm
    • Like0 likes
  21. Profile photo of Randy Weivoda Thatcher

    Misthiocracy: Has he ever talked about leaving any issues to the states?

    Yes, but then he will contradict himself within two minutes. Read this article on where The Donald stands on minimum wage.

    • #21
    • July 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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  22. Profile photo of Matt Balzer Member

    Tom Meyer:

    Bereket Kelile:

    What’s worse is if Trump wins and the conservative brand becomes attached to him in a permanent way. We’ll be explaining how he’s not a conservative for decades, I fear.

    And it stinks already.

    Doesn’t this happen a lot already? “Compassionate conservatism” for example?

    I’ll grant that the problem will be exacerbated, but it’s not anything new, IMO.

    • #22
    • July 28, 2016 at 11:50 pm
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  23. Profile photo of CuriousKevmo Member

    Jamie Lockett:

    CuriousKevmo:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: What works in California may not work in Texas

    What works in California doesn’t even work in California.

    You and I agree on this point Jamie, but given the diversity of the California economy and all of the major tech stuff happening here, they seem to be able to keep the state afloat. All that I ever hear is how obviously successful all these liberal policies are here in CA. Not only isn’t it true, but I’m pretty sure none of it translates to other states even if it were true.

    Given that outside the tech bubbles citizens are fleeing the state in droves, don’t expect it to last.

    Yeah, I’d love to be one of them, but I can’t convince the Angelic One.

    • #23
    • July 29, 2016 at 4:12 pm
    • Like0 likes