February 14, 2018

A $20 minimum wage to defeat GOP and steal immigration issue from them

As Democrats plan their attacks for the mid-term elections, they must focus on economics and not on culture (any aspect of "Trump's persona" goes under cultural issues).

The main line of BS that Republicans have been spoon-feeding voters is the same old failed trickle-down supply-side economics of the Reagan years. Only now they figured out that if they could convince major companies to throw some breadcrumbs to their workers in the form of small one-off bonuses, it would make for better propaganda than an IOU.

The natural response is that one-time bonuses of small size do nothing to improve a person's standard of living, even over the next two years, forget the next 5, 10, or 20 years. They need to double their income, not halve their taxes.

The long-term solution is to impose tariffs on foreign manufacturing so that these plants will be built in America and employ Americans at the high wages that such economic activity naturally provides, unlike the unprofitable activity related to agriculture. Since Trump ran on this issue, it would be one where Democrats would help Trump achieve his good policies, from the Democrat perspective, since he basically ran his campaign as a Democrat who wanted to restrict immigration.

For a shorter-term solution, which would have longer-term benefits as well, the Democrats must push for a higher minimum wage -- some are saying $15 an hour, but why not a nice round $20 opening bid? (And index to inflation.)

It is a no-brainer to prove the superiority of higher wages over a one-time bonus, so there goes what little the GOP had to point to for economic benefits to the sub-elite classes. Not to mention the no-brainer of portraying this as benefiting the vast majority over a handful of wealthy elites and corporations.

The mid-terms would make a nice time to use this single issue to branch out into other populist issues in time for the next general election, making it a non-reformist reform.

For example, the Democrats could steal all of the anti-immigration voters away from the GOP by proposing a $20 minimum wage. The entire purpose of open borders is for employers to have infinite access to cheap labor, rather than pay Americans a decent wage. By making it illegal to employ cheap labor -- $20 an hour is certainly not cheap -- there goes 90% of immigration.

If employers had to pay $20 an hour, they would not bother with immigrants, who don't do as good of a job as Americans do, and who are not as well integrated into our society. If you're forced to pay $20 an hour, you're going to try to get the absolute best workers you can -- and those will be Americans, not desperate foreigners.

That will be true whether the foreigners tried coming here illegally, or were brought in legally on visas. At $20 an hour, there would simply be no more demand for them. You might as well hire an American and get more bang for your buck.

This will also work even better than E-Verify to force foreigners out of our country who do not belong here. They are only sustained by cheap-paying employers. Once employers have to pay $20 an hour, all employment will dry up for the 50 million foreigners here, and most of them will pack up and go home.

That is true not only for the illegals, but a good chunk of the legal immigrants too. Even if they had naturalized status as citizens -- if nobody wants to hire you, because you don't produce as much as an American would for $20 an hour, you'll be permanently unemployed. You came to America to enjoy higher wages than your homeland, while still steeply undercutting American workers' wages. But if that's no longer possible, you won't get hired, and you might as well go back, where you'll be better socially and culturally integrated anyway.

Democrats would not have to emphasize this pleasant side-effect on immigration that would come from raising the minimum wage to a living wage, but they would peel off far more voters from the other party, including in red districts, come into office with a larger mandate, and remove the sole major issue that anyone even bothers voting Republican for anymore.

Trump won the general election by stealing two major issues from Democrats -- trade and foreign policy (and the minor issue of not touching the social safety net) -- while Bernie and similar Democrats would only have to steal one major issue to dominate the elections -- immigration.

Framing it entirely in terms of class and standard-of-living avoids making it a cultural issue tinged with race or ethnicity. And the non-white base of the Democrats are African-American citizens -- not foreigners of any race. They will not get offended just because raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour will slash the amount of immigrants coming in, and ramp up the number of them leaving the country. "I got mine, bitch, now you go getcho own back in Mexico or India or China."

There's more to be said on how raising the minimum wage would re-configure the business landscape, since there's plenty of scare-mongering there, but suffice it to say that it would cause a re-allocation of investment away from crappy ventures that only survive by paying $2 an hour wages (a Mexican hole-in-the-wall "restaurant"), and into ventures that were profitable while paying at least $20 an hour (a manufacturing plant).

Consumer prices stay the same when labor costs go up, due to competition on price among rival firms in a sector. Instead, it is profits that get affected by higher costs. Still, lower profits won't necessarily be borne by stockholders -- maybe they can pay the same dividends to shareholders, while making the bloated management eat the losses caused by higher low-end labor costs. Instead of $10 million a year in compensation, an executive makes "only" $5 million or just $1 million a year, while the amount going to shareholders stays the same.

(This reduces inequality, and makes for a more harmonious society.)

Managers could not threaten to leave for greener pastures, since all companies would be facing higher low-end labor costs with a $20 minimum wage. And no group of stockholders would want to eat the lower profits themselves; all would do their best to make the managerial class eat those losses instead via lower compensation.

There may be differences by sector, where in some the managers would have relatively more power than stockholders, and executive pay would not suffer as much as dividends. And in others, managers would have far less power than stockholders, and executive pay would really take it up the ass. But on the whole, it is likely to be the lavishly compensated ranks of managers who would suffer from a higher minimum wage, rather than the owners of the companies themselves.

Labor and capital coming together to squeeze the cancerous managerial class -- a natural fit for the Democrats, whose coalition includes not only financiers but trade unions, as opposed to the yuppie managerial specialty of Congressional Republicans. Democrat sectors of the economy (finance, tech, media) are not labor-intensive, so they wouldn't be harmed much anyway, compared to the GOP's sectors which are all labor-intensive (manufacturing, energy, agriculture, armed force).

It is also the managerial class that is most forceful in bringing in cheap labor -- stockholders don't care how costs are kept down, and that could just as well happen by slashing managerial compensation while keeping labor costs at a living wage, which would exclude immigrants. Pursuing their own class interests, the managers and professionals want to make labor the one to shoulder the burden of the stockholders' orders to cut costs, while keeping their own costs comfortably high.

The people who Americans always hear complaining about "I can't find Americans to do this job" are managerial types, not stockholders, who are too removed from the hiring and firing process. The managers cannot find Americans to do the job at the low wage being offered. Raise the wage, fill the job immediately with Americans.

In this way, a movement for a $20 minimum wage would heighten their class consciousness as well as their national consciousness. Who benefits the most from immigration? Employers of cheap labor. Not so much the stockholders, who are invisible to workers and who are not involved much in day-to-day operations of a company. Working people have much more contact with, and hatred of, the managerial layers above them, and these are the ones responsible for hiring and firing, including the drive to hire cheap immigrants over "costly" Americans.

The Trump movement was primarily anti-yuppie rather than anti-investor, another way in which it was attacking the Republican orthodoxy (of appealing to managers and professionals rather than workers or wealthy investors).

The Bernie movement is more explicitly anti-investor, yet remains vague and squishy about how anti-managerial it is. Typical of socialist and Marxist movements, which are primarily composed of managerial and professional types, who are happy to attack stockholders while continuing to exploit the working class in distinctly managerial ways, like wanting open borders for cheap-labor immigrants.

If the Bernie-style Democrats want to appeal to more Americans and confront the most pressing problems, they have to take on the managerial yuppies more than the uber-rich stockholders. That's not so far from the class orientation of the party already. And the main issue to do this -- jacking up the minimum wage -- is already on the Bernie agenda. And its side effects on immigration would steal away large swaths of GOP voters without alienating core Democrat voters, as long as these were pointed out in neutral terms.


  1. Not when a new regime sweeps out the old. The last one was Reagan, pre-figured by Carter. It's now in its own Carter-esque stage of internal fragmentation after a would-be reformer tries to solve its problems from within the dominant party, after several attempts to push back from the opposition party.

    When the Bernie-style Democrats sweep into office in 2020 or 2024, they're going to re-shape society as much as the Reaganites did back in the '80s, or the New Dealers in the '30s, the Progressives in the 1900s, the Lincoln party in the 1860s, the Jacksonians in the 1830s, and the Jeffersonians in the 1800s.

    Diminishing marginal returns, starting with the biggest things that are easiest to pull off.

    You're stuck thinking about the malaise / complacency phase of the cycle, but it's shifted out of that and into the phase of "attempted major reform from within". When that fails, as always, it breaks the regime, and a whole 'nother regime takes its place.

  2. Wrong, Reagan carried out what he came into office to do -- cut taxes, deregulate, privatization, and ramp up military spending. They've been coasting on that legacy ever since.

    The complete opposite of the New Deal, which had high taxes, more regulations, public goods (like the interstates, not toll roads), and no permanently high military budgets.

    That was indeed a change of regimes, and we're going to see another one during the next election and the one after that, as the Bernie Democrats drive out the Reaganites in both parties.

  3. Great minds think alike (http://www.unz.com/article/immigration-republicans-and-the-end-of-white-america-singlepage/)

  4. And propagandizing (white) youth did nothing in the past election, in either party. It was offering concrete political action to take in a collective rather than isolated way.

    Attend a Bernie rally, donate to his campaign, phone bank for the next primary, and actually get out and vote in the election.

    Same thing on the Trump rally side, only targeting more middle-aged and old people.

    They didn't build much organizational infrastructure to keep the movement going after the campaign was over, so it largely fizzled out after the election.

    Yet the propaganda campaign has kept on going, on both the Trump and Bernie sides -- yet has amounted to nothing. We already know the system is rigged, etc etc etc. We need concrete action to take, like voting in an election. Or phone banking or donating.

    But since it's not a big election year, those forms of action aren't available.

    So it must be regular boring meetings that grow the movement, get people involved and engaged, pursue concrete policies like raising the minimum wage or single-payer healthcare, and build momentum for the next big collective action. Whether that's the next election or a march on Washington or whatever else.

    The Bernie side has steadily been building itself after the election, although it's nowhere as big as it was during the primary campaign. But it's actually being done.

    What is the Trump movement doing concretely? Absolutely nothing. A handful of retarded Alt-Right publicity stunts that torched whatever influence they might have had. No meetings or organizations, no concrete policy goals, no candidates being groomed or fielded or donated to or voted for.

  5. Even on the propaganda front, the Trump voters have mostly joined their cult leader and been co-opted by the stale GOP bullshit. Every day is whitepill Monday, no matter how much worse the economy, foreign policy, and immigration realities continue to get.

    Or if they focus on anything going wrong and in need of remedy, it's personal-level stuff like individual FBI agents having a bias against the individual Trump for partisan reasons.

    It's mind-boggling how absorbed the Republicans have become in this FBI narrative. No institutional analysis or focus, harping on things that are in the past rather than confronting us still (the offending *individuals* have been removed), and in general pretending like Obama's government is still in power.

    Jesus, how much longer do we have to hear about Crooked Hillary? Either lock her up, or get off the pot. She's dead, and thrown under the bus by her own party. Move on to something real, like NAFTA, the indefinite occupation of the Middle East, amnestying millions of illegals while not cutting immigration for 10 years, etc.

    There are no concrete actions that anyone is taking on this FBI stuff, let alone of a collective nature -- like they're going to organize a march on the FBI headquarters or something. Just more atomized whining about personal-level crap.

    But when the Pentagon over-ruled Trump and Bannon's call to not get involved in Syria, that wasn't a Deep State coup. Nor when the Goldman Sachs people vetoed the new Glass-Steagall Act, terminating NAFTA, tariffs on steel, etc.

    Nope, that's just the best of all possible worlds. But some particular FBI agents hated Trump's guts and got removed? I knew it, Deep State coup! We've found our election issue for the next four years!

  6. Good article by Ron Unz on raising the minimum wage in order to curb immigration, although in hindsight we can see how hopeless it was to push this idea within the GOP.

    The sectors of the economy controlling the GOP are labor-intensive, so they will never give up cheap-labor policies -- whether open borders or a low minimum wage.

    Democrats support open borders due to their temporary focus on identity politics, but that's not a constant back through the party's history, and is already on the way out in the Bernie re-alignment of the party. Especially after the Bernie supporters saw how awfully the ID politics people trashed the primary and made the Wicked Witch of Wall Street their nominee, just because she's willing to "feel your pain" about being an ethnic minority, woman, or homosexual. That will be a dead end going forward, and it'll change their resistance to closing the borders, when doing so will benefit the working class.

    As for the minimum wage, Unz is smoking some really strong dope thinking that the labor-intensive GOP sectors would ever go for it -- though in fairness, we were smoking it too by thinking that just because Trump won, the GOP would gut NAFTA, pull out of Afghanistan, and cut off cheap immigrant labor to the farm states in the Great Plains.

    Gee, GOP, do you mind if we eviscerate every one of your major factions?

    Unz makes a mistake in analyzing the GOP as the "white party" and the Democrats as the "non-white party". That's what led him to suggest the GOP would go for raising the minimum wage -- if their goal is to ramp up their natural white voter base, cut off immigration via raising the minimum wage.

    But their voter base is not "white people" but beneficiaries of the labor-intensive sectors of the economy -- the military and other armed force groups, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, etc. And in class terms, professional-managerial rather than working class or elite investors.

    If the GOP were the white party, it would have a lock on the states bordering on Canada, which it does not -- unless they're agricultural states like the Dakotas and Montana.

    At any rate, the goal is to get a certain set of outcomes -- raising workers' wages and salaries, America for the Americans, stabilizing population growth, etc. Whichever party will carry that out, we will support.

    And very clearly now, that will not be the GOP. It will be a Bernie-led Democrat party, especially after the populists who supported Trump invade the blue tent.

    BTW, better link for the Unz article (most sections didn't open up on the original link):


  7. Bonus points to Unz for arguing in favor of destroying cheap-labor sectors of our economy by raising the minimum wage -- and making these arguments to a conservative / GOP / libertarian audience, who are largely programmed to believe that raising the minimum wage will "eliminate jobs" and be bad for the economy.

    Just another case of libertarians being autistics who don't understand how the real world works. Of course a workplace, or even an entire sector, will disappear if its business model cannot survive in an environment where the minimum wage is $20.

    But workplaces are not inert things that, once destroyed, will never be reborn in some other way.

    Some cheap Mexican "restaurant" that goes broke if it has to pay its workers $20 an hour, began life with a major investment from a bank, from a minority business arm of the government, or some other source of financing.

    They're too poor to start up a business out-of-pocket, and they wouldn't want to take that kind of risk anyway, vs. taking out a loan that you could maybe get better terms on if your business goes bust and you can go to bankruptcy court.

    Well, when these crappy Mexican "restaurants" all get wiped out when we raise the minimum wage to $20, all that investment and financing will still be out there -- it will just have to find another destination.

    It's like rainfall to a forest -- if one species of tree gets wiped out after environmental changes, some new species that is better adapted to the changes will flourish, and be nourished by the ever-present rainfall.

    What will flourish when the business environment changes to include a $20 minimum wage? Manufacturing plants, industrial commodity production that will feed those plants, skilled trades, and so on and so forth. The good kinds of jobs that made possible the world of Leave It to Beaver.

    As Unz says, this is a feature, not a bug, of jacking up the minimum wage. It will help to re-industrialize the economy and make it prosperous for the majority, rather than this neo-feudalist servant economy over-run with cheap-labor foreigners on top of it all.

  8. "As a radical environmentalist, the stupidest thing I can think of is flooding this country with millions more humans. Flooding millions of poor 3rd World peasants here is a terrible idea; they will just reproduce their failed 3rd World culture here in the US. 3rd World peasants and their offspring behave at a low level, cause a ton of problems, degrade functioning neighborhoods and cities, and cause an unholy mountain of gang and crime problems. They’re just lousy immigrants flat out."


    Seems like you both developed this idea independently. I hope it picks up steam.

  9. it seems the Old Left / Democrats used to understand the economic implications of mass migration, thus I wonder how the change of narrative came about in the first place?
    if, as you convincingly argue, they don't and didn't really have an incentive to be for it (unlike the GOP coalitions), what made the New Left into rabid open border shills? is this from the culture war to one-up the GOP, and newer lefty activist generations got high on their own supply? why did becoming a champagne socialist pay off? who paid?
    if we find out what caused the problem, it might be easier to fix

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY2pv3Bt_jM

    This is the best explanation I've seen.

  11. There are almost no populists left in the Democratic party , mostly Neo Libs and race baiters. They don't have the votes for this kind of thing.

    In any case an increase in wages, nearly tripling them would result in a lot of layoffs, closed business, part time work being ended and a dramatic increase in automation

    Given the cost of kiosks for example you can assume at least one person per store, probably more would be quickly laid off , probably many many more.

    Also higher wages are more likely to increase illegal immigration as the risks of being caught are slight and fines would still make up for wage increases in many states

    California and New York will suffer some but what will happen is big labor will make sure tons of illegals flood the Midwest and say an illegal costs $10 an hour, half price labor is irresistible

    Given the unofficial "Conservative Whites need to go" platform of the Democratic party , enforcement of border controls much less actual deportation is out of the question anyway.

    Now if the D's were really crafty and had the votes they could pass such legislation , flood the nation will illegals than lower wages and amnesty them guaranteeing a lock on power.

    Republicans however are smarter than this

    They thing that is hard to swallow is the urban prosperity of the post war era was a fluke and the normal situation in the US is basically oligarchical with the government or privative security backing by force "capital"

    In the past people could feel but we are out of places to flee too and the government is everywhere now

    Redistribution too is limited, there has never been a time in which significantly more than 20% of the GDP can be collected in taxes at the Federal level . A new people as the Democrats are trying to create will probably support less since nearly all immigrants come from low trust countries

    This won't touch a welfare state. This suggest that long term vast increases in urban poverty are to be expected no matter what we do.

    The humane approach is to repatriate as many people as possible and except a low fertility rate in perpetuity .

    Just have a super cheap welfare system with free mandatory birth control, basic medical, 3 hots and a cot , clothes , Obamam Phone bus pass and Netflix till the population declines enough that the work conditions will support it

    This is pretty cheap and long term deal away with the problem.

    Now businesses will hate this since there will be indefinite contraction as will "big church" but its the only logical solution

    Also no doubt the temptation to make people pay more somehow will come up. It won't work, if they don't vote them out or start a civil war you get Venezuela

    Venezuela is exactly what happens when taxation and control exceeds the people's willingness to pay.

  12. Here is why this is a terrible plan:

    1) Without cheap labor, America can't outcompete third world countries in the agricultural sector.

    2) Agricultural products are some of America's biggest exports, so destroying agriculture would worsen American trade deficits.

    3) America needs to out-compete the agricultural exports of third world countries in order to keep those countries in debt to Americans and force other developed countries to be dependent on America for their food security/virtual water flows.

    4) Cheap agricultural exports form a virtuous cycle because combined with free trade agreements like NAFTA they allow us to drive the small independent Mexican farmer out of the market and force him to work in more efficient big agribusiness concerns in America.

    5) Another virtuous cycle is that these farmers provide support to FTAs like the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (with our vital ally Japan) in low population states with key Senate seats.

    6) The Non Hispanic White population of America is rapidly aging and even the current population of America is an insufficient recruiting pool for raising a large enough volunteer army to invade Iran (which is why it hasn't happened yet), not to mention possible future conflicts with even larger countries. America will probably reach its peak population in the beginning of the latter half of the 21st century, but it will its reach peak 18-30 year old male population much sooner. Immigration restriction will exacerbate the problem. Not even aggressive recruitment drives among the female population will prevent a huge manpower shortfall.

    7) Tariffs would have severe consequences for America's vital military relationships with creditor nations like Japan and Germany. Moreover countries like Japan, Germany, and China are a vital part of DoD's supply chain so tariffs on these countries would necessarily worsen the defense sequester and further increase budgetary strain on our national security.

    8) Moreover, we depend on foreign purchases of American weapons systems in order to keep unit costs within manageable limits, but these countries demand offset agreements in exchange for shouldering their part of the national security burden. Bringing jobs back to America from these countries would violate these offset agreements and hinder our defense exports, leading to skyrocketing unit costs and rendering us unable to maintain parity with our adversaries in vital capabilities like 5th generation fighters. Only a traitor could support hindering our warfighters this way.

    9) Without immigration we will see an inversion of the population pyramid, leading to the collapse of social security and the financial markets.

    10) Free trade agreements are also necessary in order to obtain vital security cooperation from our allies. See for instance the work of S. Bitar on FTA negotiations and U.S. military deployments in Latin America. Without being able to interdict drug shipments in South and Central America, pharmaceutical profits will decrease, further endangering the financial system, and we will not be able to provide drug-sourced covert funding to special operations all around the globe.

  13. In sum, your policy proposals would involve America retreating from its global responsibilities, leaving it unprepared to confront threats to freedom and democracy. On the other hand, the current system will provide for our great republic's security and prosperity for generations to come.

    Besides, what can you hope to accomplish? It doesn't matter if you're a liberal or a conservative, a nationalist or a communist, a Jew or a Christian, the Pentagon has something for everybody. Do you think socialists who couldn't stop real wages from stagnating for decades are all the sudden going to stand up to the same people who deploy Army Rangers to train and equip their beloved PKK? Do you think after all of the decades of the Cold War the security agencies haven't infiltrated every left wing group down to the most miniscule Maoist cell? I guess it's just a coincidence a bunch of 1% trustafarian DSA podcasters "ironically" named their fans after a NATO/CIA sponsored anti-communist stay-behind operation. DSA Socialists who support Kurdish independence literally have the exact same position as John McCain.

    This is the BernieBro of the future:


  14. In case anyone was confused that it's the GOP sectors that want to destroy America and the American people, I'm leaving up that garbage neolib / neocon comment.

    We can't re-industrialize because that would come at the expense of agriculture? Then agriculture is going to become a lot less profitable. Sucks to the red states in the Plains. But we're not going to let those NAFTA boosters screw over the rest of the country.

    Remember who won the last civil war over industry done by well-paid natives vs. agriculture done by cheap-labor foreigners. And this time, we'll be facing a far less fearsome enemy -- a bunch of Dutch cucks this time, compared to the hell-raisin' Celts from the Deep South last time.

    Trade deficits went deeply negative only after we de-industrialized because food products are worth nothing, while industrial commodities and manufactured goods are worth a shitload.

    Tariffs are transparently meant to benefit us, not any of the other countries leeching off of us. Why bother with the argument about benefiting our leeches in an era defined by the theme of "America first"? Tone-deaf.

    Same with our military globalism -- all of it has failed to yield any tangible or financial wealth for the American people. No spoils, no tribute, no nothing. Just a worthless gravy train for the elites of the defense contracting sector.

    Unless they're going to steal some oil fields or banana plantations, what good is it to send them anywhere for endless occupation? Just so some LARP-ing bunch of generals can feel like they're occupying more spaces on a global chess board? Worthless. You have to point to tangible gains made in order to claim a win. All they have are failures.

    What a garbage argument from start to finish, even worse when you consider how tone-deaf it is in today's political climate. When will the shills ever learn that the elitist dismissal of "Let them eat cake" leads to the popular reaction of "Off with their heads"?

    Never. They always think "This time is different," and keep pushing.

  15. If you talk to businesses they say those native workers are on drugs and unwilling to work. The Mexican who comes in with 4 kids and a wife is a drag on the society, but he individually tends to be a very hard worker. And the lure of illegal immigration is the off-the-books employment. So I don't think a $20 min wage is a solution unless you deport illegal aliens. But if you can deport them, you don't need a $20 min wage.

  16. Wrong: the "workers are all on drugs" BS only comes from offering $5 an hour. Nobody of higher quality is willing to show up to work for such pitiful breadcrumb wages. Jack up the wages to even $10, let alone $15 to $20, and all of a sudden the non-drug-addicted will show up to interviews.

    The wage you offer determines the quality of applicant you'll find.

  17. "Jobs Americans won't do" has become "Jobs Americans cannot do," with elites flipping their narrative from one where the commoners have it so good that they would never lower themselves to do the jobs stolen by immigrants, to one where the commoners have it so bad that they're too strung out on painkillers to function at the jobs stolen by immigrants.

    It's a shameless attempt to mix in the topical opioid epidemic with the constant struggle to lower wages through massive immigration.


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