Can't Make It Here Anymore

During the Obama years, I used to ride from one dying town to another along rural highways. They were drying up. People moved to bigger cities, but the work there was all temporary or seasonal: Obamacare meant nobody could afford to hire you full time, or even part time once they changed the rules to require you to offer part time workers health benefits. Minimum wage doesn't apply to seasonal or temporary employees, so that was the only kind of work many Americans could get. You'd need two or three such jobs, and none of them were about to arrange their schedules for you so that it was easy to carry two or three. 

I see all this talk of banning pipelines, killing union jobs, $15 minimum wages, destroying the gig economy and independent contracting. It's all supposed to help, allegedly, like Obamacare. We're going right back to where we were, only harder than ever. 

At least we might get some good songs out of it. 


Eric Blair said...

Despair gets you nowhere.

Grim said...

Despair is a mortal sin, I've heard.

Look at it another way, though: he wasn't writing about today. He was writing about how it was before Trump's term. People might have told you, then, that these changes to America's economy couldn't be fixed; that they were permanent, structural changes to the world's economy; that those jobs were never coming back; that America couldn't 'make it here' anymore. Or as President Obama said, "What magic wand does he have?"

It turned out to be the case that we could do it here, though. Literally all that was needed was a President who would roll back regulation while setting up some trade barriers to protect domestic industry, and some immigration restrictions to force business to pay more for domestic labor.

This all turns out to be a choice, in other words. And it's a choice being imposed on America by a political class who is hostile to Americans' interests: their loyalty lies to multinational corporations and, as Lee Smith points out, their partnership with China. It's a choice being imposed by a bureaucracy that doesn't care how much it hurts American workers, as long as they get to rule.

Getting rid of them is the obvious answer, but it's also a very hard problem.

douglas said...

I always thought Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Living" was pretty good.