90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, March 17, 2014

The Conservative Argument For Raising The Minimum Wage

A fast food strike in Oakland, Calif., in August 2013. (Steve Rhodes/Flickr)

A fast food strike in Oakland, Calif., in August 2013. (Steve Rhodes/Flickr)

Ron Unz made his fortune in Silicon Valley and his political reputation by essentially eliminating bilingual education in California. He’s now pushing for a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in the state to $12 an hour, the highest in the nation.

Unz told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that he got involved in the minimum wage issue because of the immigration issue.

“One of the arguments frequently made is that a lot of the immigrants who come here take the jobs that Americans don’t want, and that’s perfectly true,” he said. “In a lot of these jobs, if the wages were reasonable, Americans would take the work, and then there wouldn’t be as much of a problem.”

Raising the minimum wage would also take the burden off taxpayers to subsidize the working poor, Unz says.

“The bottom line is that the American government right now spends $250 billion a year on social welfare programs to benefit the working poor,” he said. “What we have right now is the classic case of businesses privatizing the benefits of the workers, but socializing the costs — shifting the burden to taxpayers and the rest of society. And I think businesses should stand on their own two feet and pay their own workers, rather than force the taxpayers to make up the difference.”

Read More


  • Ron Unz, software developer and publisher of the Unz Review. He’s former publisher of the American Conservative. He chairs the Higher Wages Alliance, which is sponsoring a California ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour.



Let's turn our attention now to California. Who is one of the most passionate voices behind a push to raise that state's minimum wage to $12 an hour? He's a Silicon Valley millionaire and a libertarian and former publisher of the American Conservative magazine. Not the typical profile of a champion for higher wages, but Ron Unz is spending a lot of his own time and money to put a new minimum wage question before California voters.

Ron Unz joins us from the studios of Stanford University, and Ron, welcome, and let's just start with the obvious question. What first made you think that raising the minimum wage in California is a good idea?

RON UNZ: Probably the thing that got me involved in the issue was actually the immigration question because it seemed to me that right now, with all the immigration issues America has, one of the arguments frequently made is that a lot of the immigrants who come here take the jobs that Americans don't want, and that's perfectly true.

And the bottom line is that right now in a lot of these jobs, if the wages were reasonable, Americans would take the work, and then there wouldn't be as much of a problem.

CHAKRABARTI: Now let's step back for a moment because the whole concept of a higher minimum wage has been so profoundly anathema to conservative Republicans and libertarians, you know, for generations, that when you first started becoming more vocal and active about this, you know, what did your fellow libertarians say? Did they look at you like, you know, someone had hit you over the head with a two-by-four, or...?

UNZ: Strangely enough, the reaction was surprisingly open to the idea. I mean, the bottom line is that American government right now spends $250 billion a year on social welfare programs to benefit the working poor. If we force businesses to pay a reasonable wage to their own workers, the American taxpayers would save tens of billions of dollars a year. And that's a very conservative argument to make.

CHAKRABARTI: I see here that for example a study out of U.C. Berkeley finds that at least 50 percent of fast food workers participate in at least one public assistance program. And...

UNZ: That's exactly true. What we have right now is the classic case of business privatizing the benefits of the workers but socializing the costs, shifting the burden to the taxpayers and the rest of society. And I think businesses should stand on their own two feet and pay their own workers, rather than force the taxpayers to make up the difference.

CHAKRABARTI: But wouldn't some libertarians and conservative Republicans say by increasing the minimum wage, maybe yes, we do take some people off of public assistance, but you're just replacing, you know, one form of government subsidy with another government action, which is essentially the creation of a floor on the market rate of labor in the country?

UNZ: I think if the low-wage businesses were forced to compete on a level playing field and pay for their own workers, most of them would do fine. They would simply raise their prices a small amount and cover the additional costs. And those that simply couldn't survive if they had to pay their workers rather than get the taxpayers to make up the difference, well, from a free market perspective, maybe they shouldn't exist in American society.

The best example of that is the sweatshop industry. We right now have an industry in America trading manufactured goods and competing on wages with Bangladesh and the poorest countries in the third world. The only reason the sweatshop industry survives in a country like the United States is because of these tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

And I think if we eliminate the subsidies, it's better for everyone.

CHAKRABARTI: I mean, it seems like what you're saying is very rational. And if it's so, why wouldn't businesses do this on their own without the need for what's essentially government regulation or government intervention in setting the minimum wage?

UNZ: Well, let's take for example the retail industry. The data by that Berkeley research center you mentioned shows that Wal-Mart, the largest low-wage employer in America, could accommodate the costs of a $12-an-hour minimum wage nationally by simply raising their prices 1 percent one time.

But the only way Wal-Mart could take that step is if all Wal-Mart's competitors did the same thing. And the problem is even though it would benefit all of these retail business, if they got together and agreed to uniformly raise their prices and raise their wages, they would be violating the anti-trust laws in the United States.

That's why we need the government to enforce a reasonable, livable minimum wage, and that actually benefits, I think, a lot of these retailers rather than hurts them.

CHAKRABARTI: I wonder, what about the common - possibly the most common retort whenever raising the minimum wage is suggested, and that it's going to be a job killer?

UNZ: Well, a little while ago the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, came out with a report that opponents of a higher minimum wage touted as being very favorable to their position. The CBO report argued that 500,000 jobs might be in danger because of a higher minimum wage. But also, 25 million workers would get a large wage increase.

Furthermore, many of the jobs lost might be in the case of teenagers. And we could take a tiny fraction of the tens of billions of dollars in government subsidies we'd be saving and use it to fund a business tax credit for teenage employment. That would be a small fraction of the dollars the current government is spending to subsidize so many tens of millions of low-wage workers. So I think it would be very beneficial.

CHAKRABARTI: That's Ron Unz, former publisher of the American Conservative magazine. He chairs the Higher Wages Alliance, which is sponsoring a California ballot initiative to raise the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour. This is HERE AND NOW.


CHAKRABARTI: It's HERE AND NOW, and we're talking with Ron Unz of the Higher Wages Alliance. He's a libertarian leading the drive for a ballot initiative in California that would raise the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour. It would be the highest in the nation if passed. Just before the break, Ron was outlining a libertarian argument for higher wages, namely that low-wage workers end up relying on other forms of government assistance.

But Ron, I've got to ask, at one time - one time you were the publisher of the American Conservative magazine, and in hearing you talk, while what you say may be reasonable, it is not something that people are used to hearing coming from someone of a libertarian persuasion. So why do you think it is that many conservative Republicans and libertarians are so staunchly opposed to raising the minimum wage?

UNZ: Interestingly enough, I think a lot of them are looking at the issue now in this other way and are seeing it makes a lot of sense. Take for example Bill O'Reilly, the biggest conservative on television. He announced his support for a $10 an hour minimum wage, exactly what the Democrats are proposing.

Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative icon, endorsed a higher minimum wage in her syndicated column. Peter Thiel, one of the most staunchly libertarian conservatives in America, has endorsed a $12 minimum wage in California. I think more and more conservatives and libertarians are seeing that a higher minimum wage supports free market, it supports cutting government and raising the value of work. And I'm hoping the numbers will grow as time goes by.

CHAKRABARTI: What you haven't said so far is that if indeed there was an automatic reduction in the need for the size of the social welfare programs in the country, would you then go on to advocate for government to cut those?

UNZ: The nice thing about this issue is that cuts are automatic. For example most of these government programs, the amount of money spent is based on the poverty needs of the population. A $12 an hour minimum wage is what I'm advocating in California. And it would mean that every fulltime minimum wage worker in the state would earn $25,000 a year, $50,000 a year for a full-time couple at minimum wage workers.

At those levels, individuals simply aren't poor enough to qualify for a lot of anti-poverty programs. And if workers are no longer poor and are not eligible for anti-poverty programs, the amount of spending in those programs automatically is reduced. Congress doesn't have to do anything.

CHAKRABARTI: You know, you mention California, and I'm seeing an article in the New York Times that members of labor unions in California that have long been champions of increasing the minimum wage, they look at you somewhat askance. I mean, I'm seeing a quote from Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation, who says you have not shown - or he, in this case referring to you - has not shown a great deal of support for workers' issues in the past and was nowhere to be seen in the legislative debate here. So it's not really clear what the motivation is.

UNZ: The whole thing is I've been focused on the minimum wage issue for the last two or three years but entirely at the federal level. It was only a few months ago I realize that with Congress log-jammed on the issue, the only hope of getting something done might be a California initiative.

Now as it happens, when I first popped up on this issue, I'd been totally out of politics for 10 years. I hadn't been involved in this issue in the state legislature or anything like that. And so naturally the large unions in California were very surprised and flustered. But now that I've had a chance to meet with a number of them, answer their questions, discuss the issue with them, they really seem quite, quite supportive because they want their workers to get a higher minimum wage, and that's what exactly I want. And the more I can bring Republican and conservative support to the issue, the more chance there is of actually having it enacted.

CHAKRABARTI: Well, how far would you go? Because I also see that a lot of labor leaders say really what's essential is to get the minimum wage not only raised but then tied to inflation so that the, you know, the purchasing power of that minimum wage stays up over time. I mean, would you go as far as advocating for that?

UNZ: I think that's a very reasonable idea. Inflation these days is very low, about 1 or 2 percent. So it's not the burning issue it might have been in the 1970s. But once we raise the minimum wage in California to $12 an hour statewide, I think it would be great if the state legislature then got together and added an automatic cost of living adjustment based on whatever formula they decide is best.

CHAKRABARTI: How much of your own money have you spent in trying to get this ballot initiative going in California?

UNZ: Well, I've put in some of my own money, but one thing I should emphasize is I'm nowhere remotely in the financial league of many of these Silicon Valley people that popped up over the past few years and have written tens of millions of dollars in checks to support their ideas.

I'm putting in some of my money. I'm talking with other people and hoping them to get involved, as well. And I do think there's an excellent chance this initiative will get on the November ballot in California. And once it gets on the ballot, a very good chance it'll win, possibly by a landslide.

CHAKRABARTI: I've read that you may have already spent a couple million dollars. Is that true?

UNZ: No, no, not in this campaign, not yet certainly.

CHAKRABARTI: OK, not yet. Do you think that it matters that this is California, that it's the nation's number one economy by - in terms of the size of the state's economy?

UNZ: I think it really could have a huge national impact if this initiative gets on the ballot because we're talking about the state that launched, for example, the tax revolt with Prop 13, that has been the forerunner of many major social and economic changes in American society in the last 30 or 40 or 50 years. And raising the California minimum wage to $12 an hour, the highest in the country, could really force Congress to take action on the issue and raise the minimum wage for everybody in the country, as well.

CHAKRABARTI: You know, we've been talking a lot about the economic impact of raising the minimum wage. But a lot of what progressives and Democrats find to be the most compelling argument for a higher minimum wage is that it deals with the problem, or it helps deal with the problem of income inequality and rising income inequality in America. Is that part of your motivation here, or does that not really matter to you?

UNZ: I totally agree. It's a huge problem right now. We have a system in which the wealthiest 1 percent in American society have as much total wealth as the bottom 95 percent combined. When you have that level inequality, you inevitably will get social instability, and social instability is not good for anybody, either the 1 percent or the 99 percent.

I'm in no way claiming that raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour would solve all those problems, but at least it would put a reasonable floor under ordinary workers who right now are suffering terribly with their low wages. And even with the taxpayer benefits they receive, they just can't get by. At $12 an hour, at least they can survive.

CHAKRABARTI: Mr. Unz, do you still consider yourself a libertarian or a conservative?

UNZ: Well, I come from a scientific background. I'm a physicist by training. I try to look at issues on a case-by-case basis. Many times, the answers I come up with in my opinion are on the conservative side or the libertarian side or the free market side, but I just come to whatever conclusions I can. And, you know, whether the minimum wage is regarded as a conservative idea or a liberal idea, I think it's a very good idea for the country.

CHAKRABARTI: Well, Ron Unz is a software developer and publisher of the Unz Review. He's also former publisher of the American Conservative. He now chairs the Higher Wages Alliance, which is sponsoring a California ballot initiative that seeks to raise the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour. Mr. Unz, thank you so much for speaking with us.

UNZ: Great to be here.

CHAKRABARTI: And listeners, what do you think of Ron Unz' line of thinking when it comes to raising the minimum wage? Let us know at hereandnow.org. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • loyal listener

    Dumb headline. It’s “a” conservative argument. Not “THE” conservative argument.

    There are a lot of different viewpoints on all issues within the conservative movement. NPR should pay more attention to conservatives and they might realize that.

  • loyal listener

    Higher minimum wage would lead to higher unemployment, especially for lower wage and younger workers. Sad that we have a president who chooses not to enforce the law, and then lies about the deportation numbers to cover it up. Obama wants more Democratic voters. That is far and above the number one reason he is pushing for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    • creaker

      set a a maximum wage of a dollar an hour – and unemployment will drop to nothing?

      • Mike

        And the price of a loaf of bread would drop to a nickel!

      • loyal listener

        Have you every studied macroeconomics, supply and demand, wage controls, etc?

        Didn’t think so.

    • dialyn

      He responses to this argument. Listen to him instead of automatically jumping on the party line.

      • loyal listener

        Please speaka the ingles. I no understand you.

  • dialyn

    I don’t have much use for the Libertarians and their pals the Tea Party in general, but Mr. Unz has a reasonable argument (as opposed to the hysterical, bullying kind of screaming we usually are forced to hear). At least he has a plan and some ideas, which most of the politicians don’t seem to be able to come up with. They’re so busy fund raising and trying to get re-elected and kissing rich people derrieres, they have abandoned what their real job is supposed to be. Mr. Unz at least has some logic behind his plan. If we don’t start discussing things instead of screaming at each other, we will never come up with real solutions. We’ll just swing wildly from extremist to extremist with the country fracturing apart (which some people want). It’s very sad our ability to be rational has been abandoned in favor of manipulated emotional blackmail.

  • Mike

    I’ve been trying to jump onto the “buy American” bandwagon. But if the minimum wage goes up, American made products will go up.

    My experience on work tools (wrenches, drills) is that “made in China” is maybe half the quality of “made in USA”, it’s often also about 1/3 the price. If the minimum wage increases by $4 or $5, will “made in USA” mean 4 or 5 times the price of “made in China”?

    • Charles Ames

      Yes I am VERY concerned that a thoughtless higher minimum wage could lead to the nasty wage and price spirals that I remember in the 1970′s. Some places that are cursed with extortionate high housing prices, lower wage earners would not actually benefit. Rents and property prices would just go up all the more! Housing already takes up far too much of the disposable income of too many people in the lower part of the income scale, and far to much of the population distribution.
      We did not learn our lesson in 2008.

  • Rowland Williams

    If our federal tax dollars stopped subsidizing the food, housing and Medicaid of low wage workers, there would be riots in the streets.

    It is time to stop giving corporations welfare under the guise of a low minimum wage.

  • Deb

    I am a small business owner for 16 years now. All I can speak to is my experience. In my 16 years I have had two types of employees that are paid minimum wage, teenagers just getting started in the work force and people that have had many many short term jobs in the past that I am taking a chance on, maybe I can train them for this and turn it into a long term situation. Usually within a few weeks or months the second type have moved on, usually just stop showing up. I can’t imagine an employee showing up on time and doing their job for a year and still making minimum wage. If you had an employee that did that they would make more money, I mean, these are the people we want to keep! Now here is my issue with a $12 or $15 minimum wage, what about my core employees? The ones who started here a few years ago and have worked their way up to $15 an hour? I can’t pay them the same as the guy that is untrained and just walked in the door and I know they would not stand for it! So what do I pay them? $20? $25? Okay, now my payroll has doubled, what do I do? I can’t afford 50% of my gross for payroll so prices go up and we are back where we started.

    • disqus_76C0PFpw8x

      This is a great argument for pay ratio laws (see Switzerland).

      • loyal listener

        Yeah, let’s make everyone poor. Great idea. ..

    • Big Pie

      It works out, because (in theory), provided you currently supply a product that people want, more people will have the money to buy it, increasing your demand and profts enough to pay your workers without raising prices. People earning minimum wage unfortunately don’t often save money; they’re unable to. Paying them more is giving them more money that they will turn around and spend.

      • loyal listener

        That’s assuming that minimum wage workers only work at jobs that serve other minimum wage workers. And since that’s not true, your point is invalid.

      • Mike

        The key words are “(in theory)”. If a worker gets paid another dollar, he’s not likely to buy a dollar more of the product he makes. Product demand won’t grow just because some of the workers are paid more.

    • Mike

      That’s right. Increasing the lowest paid worker will ripple up the line. An experienced worker who’s been there a year will be upset if a new hire is paid the same. Everyone will expect an increase.

      That’s what inflation is made of.

  • Frog

    It won’t work but at least this is a California initiative…not the whole country.

    Bill Gates says that 80% of fast food workers (a good chunck of the minimum wage employees) live in non-poverty households.

    “So within certain limits, you know, it doesn’t cause job destruction. But if you really start pushing it, then you’re just making a huge tradeoff. You have to say which are the households that end up benefiting. Is it much more the teenager in a wealthy household or is it that household in poverty?”

    “A lot of the problem there is that those people don’t have many hours. It’s not the actual wage level.”

    Let the states handle it.

  • Jane

    I have to admit I’m surprised at Unz’s proposal, with his background, but I believe he’s right. Raise the minimum wage, enable workers to pay living expenses and get off government poverty programs, make business pay higher wages, and, fine, raise prices 1% to pay for higher wages. Frankly, people won’t notice price rise at such a small amount.

    • Mike

      If wages go up by 50% ($8 to $12), won’t the product they make go up a similar amount?

      • ChiHD

        “If wages go up by 50% ($8 to $12), won’t the product they make go up a similar amount?”
        No it would not because labor costs are usually only a fraction of total cost of a product. Even in industries where labor costs are highest, they only account for roughly 35% of total costs. Assuming total labor costs are 35% of total costs, this means that if labor costs increased by 50%, this would only increase the total share of costs attributated to labor from 35% to 45%, a 10% increase, while the overall cost of the product increases by 17.5%. So something that costs $10 would cost $11.75, something that costs $100 would cost $117.5. I gave the $100 figure for perspective sake but more likely than not, minimum wage work will most likely be in a field producing goods that cost about $10.
        Lets take the fast food industry for example. They have a profit margin of roughly 10% according to 2012 numbers. Using the same figures I gave above, if wages increased by 50%, then their profit margin would decrease from 10% to 8.5%, a 1.5% decrease.

        • loyal listener

          Some industries are almost 100% labor cost. Get some real world experience in the private sector, then report back to me.

          • ChiHD

            An example of which industries these are would be nice.

            Edit: BTW, I do have business experience both in theory from academics and in practice. But that does not mean I am fully familiar with every industry in existence. Not sure what you mean by “real world experience.” Maybe you should put up some information rather than just throwing out fancy phrases.

        • Mike

          Then a 50% increase in the labor cost would increase the price by 17.5%. I was questioning Jane’s suggestion that the price would rise by only 1%.

          • ChiHD

            This may or may not necessarily be true. This is because employers actually have many options they may explore when dealing with cost increases, increasing prices being only one of them.
            1. The most obvious option is to increase prices by the same proportion of overall cost increases. The purpose would be to maintain the same profit margin. Whether this will negatively affect the market however is rather debatable. As shown in my prior post, if a product sells for $10.00, it would only raise the cost of that product to $11.75. Meanwhile, a significant portion of the population, those whom were making wages below or near the new wage, experienced a significant boost to spending power. You will have more people whom are capable of purchasing this very same product that saw a price increase or people will buy it more due to wage increases.
            2. Cutting the labor force. Also one of the more obvious options but I think it may occur for reasons different from what most would expect. A company typically will not cut their labor force if doing so hinders their ability to meet demand as long as meeting demand is still profitable. This means that as long as demand for a product does not decline, it does not make sense to cut the labor force even if profit margins drop. You are still earning money from meeting demand, it is just less of it. Cutting labor too much so that one can no longer meet demand would only reduce their overall revenues in proportion to their cost reduction. This should result in a net zero or minimal change in the profit margin. For the reasons in point 1, I think its reasonable to assume demand should increase due to greater overall spending power in the economy.
            A meaningful reason for why jobs may be cut would be to maximize operations efficiency. Many companies do not necessarily operate with only the amount of workers they need to meet demand. They may have more workers than are necessary. These excess workers may be the ones whom may lose their jobs as a result of cost increases. Changes in working hours may affect this however since it allows companies to be flexible with how many workers they want to keep on the roll in order to be able to adjust to any sudden changes to demand.
            3. A less likely option would be for a company to simply accept lower profit margins. It may seem counter intuitive, especially for small businesses, but in reality it is likely that companies will be using a combination of the various options listed here and perhaps many more options in conjunction to deal with cost increases. In my original post, I caluculated that if labor costs are 35% of overall costs and if profit margins are 10%, then a 50% increase in labor costs would reduce profit margins by 1.5% to 8.5%. If in executing the various cost reduction options available they are able to bring margins to 9.7%, the business may well settle for that lower margin (just a random number I’m throwing out since its highly subjective what a business will settle for).
            4. Another option would be to compress wages. This means to either freeze the growth of or lower wages in middle-upper management positions in order to offset increased wages for the bottom workers. In larger companies, this is much more likely to occur since there is likely a larger gap between upper management positions compared to the lowest paid workers. In a smaller company such as a sole proprietorship, this would be tied to point # 3, where its similar to take less of a profit margin.
            There are still many other tools available to businesses aside from what I listed here but I will stop with this.

        • Charles Ames

          It seems that companies are better fit than governments to respond to what capital markets are doing. We have on the one hand, that raising the minimum wage in California would result in a price rise of only 1%. I see that ChiHD has done a somewhat more credible computation. It simply cannot be that a significant rise in the minimum wage in California, which is currently USA$9.00/hr and would rise at one step to USA$12.00/hr would not cause the most unwelcome of inflationary pressures. Would prices at stores, including Wal-Mart rise just by a paltry 1%, when wages are now mandated to be 1/3 higher? Will any of this slow the vile problem of excessive housing and rental costs that pose a very real problem in the economy, both in the US and worldwide?

          • ChiHD

            I gave a rather long post to Mike below me. I think it addresses some of your questions here so feel free to take a look. Basically a business can tackle the problem of increasing costs from many directions. In practice, it is likely that a business will use a combination of many different options. Prices may indeed increase, but it is not likely they will use a 1-for-1 proportional price increase to deal with increasing costs.

    • loyal listener

      I’m guessing you didn’t do too well at math in school. ..

  • Doitagain2

    I think it is telling that Japan’s new Prime
    Minister, having seen the result of pampering banks, wants to lean on larger
    employers to raise the pay of their lowest paid to stimulate the economy, while
    US has remained wedded to the trickle-down theory. That undoubtedly saved some bankers’ bonuses
    and saved their ability to lobby for their industry. That theory of economics created a revolt in

    • loyal listener

      Get rid of obamacare, that would be one thing we could do to boost the economy, raise employment levels, and increase the number of hours low wage earners can work.

  • Mike

    Mr Unz said, “In a lot of these jobs, if the wages were reasonable, Americans would take the work…”

    I, too, was taught that in college economics: Pay enough and somebody will do it. But I no longer believe it.

    Americans want “clean” jobs– white shirt and tie office jobs. They’ll never work in fields harvesting crops for any wage. They’ll go on food stamps before they’ll sweat and get their hands dirty.

    • loyal listener

      Then take away the foods stamps. When they get hungry enough, they’ll start working.

      • Mike

        “Let them eat cake!” (France mid 1700′s)
        Remember what that brought on.

        • Ryan Campbell

          Yes, Marie Antoinette supposedly remarked that after being told the poor had no bread.

          The problem with your flippant statement is that they had no bread because they were being over-taxed by a monarchy who lavished gifts upon themselves & their sycophants (now know as pork, kick-backs & bail-outs) with no care for the rights of the commoners.

  • jmfay

    CA is the state with the largest number of illegals working and taking jobs “no American” would do which is a total falsehood. if CA wanted the wages to rise; all they have to do is get laws passed that dont invite illegals to stay here; exist; etc and they dont want to do that!!!

    Wages rise when labour is scarse. illegals hurt the job market by bringing down those wages; taking work; etc away from our own citizens and legal residents.

    Thats why we need a mandated e verify for all work including independent contractor work and for all current employees so we weed out all the illegals working.

    We dont need to mandate a new federal or state minimum wage if this was done and we also reduce legal immigration to a manageable level of 100000 per year including refugees.

    No amnesty. No work permits. NO nothing but deportation.

  • Mike

    Do you really think a CEO will pay himself less so the workers can be paid more?

    • ChiHD

      The correct answer I think is:
      It depends. The CEO is beholden to the board of directors and the board is interested in higher profits. If a law forces costs to increase, then the board may insist that reductions come from somewhere in order to offset a portion or all of the additional costs. I listed some options in another post to you but certainly a reduction in overall compensation to the CEO is one that can be explored.

    • disqus_76C0PFpw8x

      He would if he were required to by law. By choice, no of course not.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 19 4 Comments

Abandoned Homes In Buffalo, N.Y. Selling For $1

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1, as part of the "Urban Homestead Program."

August 19 Comment

A Look At U.S. Military Options In Iraq

Retired Admiral William Fallon, who was head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, discusses the current conflict.

August 18 37 Comments

More Americans Are Flocking To The South

A New York Times interpretation of census data finds the South is seeing significant in-migration for the first time.

August 18 10 Comments

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

The firing of a University of Arizona doctor highlights the complexity and politics of marijuana research.