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Rich with irony: Staffers of Senator ‘Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do’ demand $15 an hour – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Rich with irony: Staffers of Senator ‘Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do’ demand an hour In a news story today saturated in irony and hypocrisy, the Washington Post reports that “Labor fight roils Bernie Sanders campaign, as workers demand the hourly pay the candidate has proposed for employees nationwide,” here’s the opening: Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications. Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a -an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers

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Rich with irony: Staffers of Senator ‘Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do’ demand $15 an hour

Rich with irony: Staffers of Senator ‘Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do’ demand $15 an hour - Publications – AEI

In a news story today saturated in irony and hypocrisy, the Washington Post reports that “Labor fight roils Bernie Sanders campaign, as workers demand the $15 hourly pay the candidate has proposed for employees nationwide,” here’s the opening:

Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications. Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a $15-an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers and other employees supporting them have invoked the senator’s words and principles in making their case to campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

Sanders has made standing up for workers a central theme of his presidential campaigns — this year marching with McDonald’s employees seeking higher wages, pressing Walmart shareholders to pay workers more and showing solidarity with university personnel on strike. The independent from Vermont has proudly touted his campaign as the first presidential effort to unionize its employees, and his defense of the working class has been a signature element of his brand of democratic socialism and a rallying cry for the populist movement he claims to lead.

So while democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is a strong advocate of government-mandated “political wage setting” that would force all US employers to pay their workers a minimum of $15 an hour, he sure isn’t “putting his money where his mouth is” according to his own campaign staffers. Member of his unionized staff are complaining that many field staffers working for Senator “Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do” are “barely managing to survive financially” on hourly wages that average below $13. Before more than doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and raising labor costs on employers who hire limited-experience, low-skilled workers by more than 100%, you would think the hypocritical democratic socialist would set an example by paying his own workers a $15 an hour wage before burdening small and medium size businesses across the country with significantly higher costs of doing business.

It’s so typical for hypocritical liberals, Democrats and progressives to propose imposing higher costs and higher taxes on others without first paying those higher costs and taxes themselves. For example, both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have said they don’t think rich Americans, including themselves, are paying enough in income taxes. But if they are feeling so guilty about being under-taxed, there is nothing preventing Buffett and Gates from paying higher taxes voluntarily today, without waiting for changes in the tax code, by making a gift to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Tax rates on income are only the legal minimum that the IRS requires to be paid on taxable income, but there’s no maximum that Buffett and Gates could voluntarily pay to ease their concern that they are currently under-taxed!

Likewise, Sen. Sanders doesn’t need to wait until an increase in the federal minimum wage forces him and every other US employer to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour in the future, he could set an example of his commitment to “living wages” by paying his own workers that amount today. Or more. Like the IRS tax rates, the $15 an hour federal mandate would only be the minimum hourly wage required by law to be paid, and Sen. Sanders could voluntarily pay his workers even more than legally required to demonstrate his concern for workers.

By paying his workers a living wage of $15 an hour (or more) today Sanders could not only show his own commitment to government-mandated artificial price controls and the legal plunder of the nation’s employers, but he could set an example for other members of Congress to pay their own staffers a “living wage” before they use the coercive power of the government to force all employers to pay their workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

We hear a lot of cheer-leading and advocacy from Sanders and other democratic socialists in support of a “living wage” necessary for employees to survive and support a family. But we hear almost nothing about the “living profitability” that is required for employers to survive and stay in business, support their families, and continue to employ workers?

Rich with irony: Staffers of Senator ‘Do As I Mandate, Not As I Do’ demand $15 an hour
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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