Wages & Prices
White House Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow called himself a “happy camper” about the state of the U.S. economy and criticized those making it sound like the country is in recession. “I do want to say and repeat that the U.S. economy is very strong and that’s what the jobs report [shows], and wages are rising,” he told anchor Stuart Varney on Fox Business’ Varney & Company July 15. Kudlow criticized those trying to gloss over the good economic news.
The left love to complain that recent economic growth has only benefited people at the very top and left the middle class and the poor behind. The Wall Street Journal just found more evidence to the contrary. “The fortunes of low-skilled workers have turned up markedly” amid the longest economic expansion in U.S. history and a near-record low in unemployment, Journal chief economics commentator Greg Ip wrote on July 10.
In a 48-page report out Monday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of the Democratic “Raise the Wage Act” to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. One of the main takeaways from the report was that almost 4 million jobs (3.7 million) could be eliminated by 2025. Of course, since the liberal media have backed this Democratic Party effort, none of the network evening newscasts (ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News) reported the CBO’s findings.
CBS News online provided Democrats ammunition disguised as free advice and “facts” just ahead of their first debate. Supposedly wondering how the economy is “really doing,” CBS journalists Aimee Picchi, Alain Sherter, and Irina Ivanova glumly answered, “The first quarter of 2019 may be as good as it gets for quite a while.”
One of the left’s favorite economic talking points is an obsession with income and “wealth inequality.” In keeping with that trend, CNBC editor-at-large John Harwood offered five approaches to “fight” wealth inequality for the “economically helpless” on June 19. Most of those five proposals were liberal solutions including suggestions for taxing those at the top, imposing a higher minimum wage and spending on infrastructure. Harwood’s left-wing bias has been on display at CNBC for years.
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and CEO Gerald Storch brought a free market reality check to Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) arguments for a $15 minimum wage on CNBC’s Squawk Box June 6. Sanders went to Arkansas to attack Walmart over wages and demanded at its annual shareholders meeting that it raise wages even more on June 5. O’Leary and Storch both opposed a wage mandate, saying markets do a better job of setting wages than the government.
Even liberal newsrooms have to grapple with economic realities, as Vox Media may be learning.
The New York Times continued the left’s efforts to pit the haves against the have-nots with a business section cover story complaining about CEO pay.
During the Trump administration Hispanic unemployment has hit five all-time record lows, but the nation’s number one Spanish-language television newscast, Noticiero Univision, once again blew off the latest blockbuster economic news for the country’s largest minority group, which participates in the American labor force at a higher rate than any other segment of the U.S. population.
My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of “Discrimination and Disparities.” It lays waste to myth after myth about the causes of human differences not only in the United States but around the globe. Throughout the book, Sowell shows that socioeconomic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be easily explained by any one factor, whether it's genetics, sex or race discrimination or a history of gross mistreatment that includes expulsion and genocide.
In the third episode of the fifth and final season of The CW’s Jane the Virgin, the hot button issue of pay parity arose with a twist. Instead of the usual liberal trope that women are not paid the same as men, in the episode titled “Chapter Eight-Four,” it is a man who is paid less than a woman that causes the problem.
Equal Pay Day, supposedly how far into the year women must work to earn the same amount men made the previous year, fell on April 2 this year (8 days earlier than last year) and of course Hollywood was all over it.