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De Blasio & Warren's New Progressive Agenda

May 13, 2015 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

A who’s who of the American Left has just unveiled their version of a Contract with America. This new Progressive Agenda is the brainchild of New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, along with such liberal luminaries as Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and former Vermont governor and DNC chairman Howard Dean, various union bosses, and celebrities Susan Sarandon and Steve Buscemi. But for all the glitter associated with its big-name signers, the manifesto is devoid of new ideas and, if ever enacted, could be counted on to plunge millions of Americans into poverty.

A potpourri of job-killing, economy-stifling ideas.”

The manifesto begins with a number of ideas designed to make it more costly and difficult to hire low-skilled workers. Naturally there is a call to raise the minimum wage, not just to the $10.10 an hour proposed by President Obama, but to a full job-destroying $15 an hour. Even advocates of a minimum-wage increase like Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts and Paul Osterman of MIT warn that a hike of that magnitude would be more than the economy could handle. But just in case this didn’t completely price poor people out of the job market, the manifesto signers would also make flexible scheduling more difficult, mandate that employers provide paid family and sick leave, and require that more workers be eligible for overtime pay. It goes without saying that they also want to empower unions and that they oppose right-to-work laws.

De Blasio, Warren, and the rest wouldn’t just cut off the first rungs on the ladder out of poverty; they would feed them through a wood chipper, burn the pulp, and scatter the ashes.

Then, having made it more difficult for the poor to find work, the manifesto signers would make it more expensive for them to buy things. In opposing free-trade deals, the progressives would, in effect, impose a tax increase on the low-cost imports that many poor people need to survive. They would also raise the cost of production for many goods manufactured in the U.S. that include foreign-made parts. Of course they would also make it more difficult for U.S. companies to build markets abroad, but, as we’ve already seen, job creation is hardly a priority for de Blasio, Warren, et al.

When not destroying jobs, the manifesto falls back on the surprising new idea of spending …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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