Unemployment continues to decline albeit modestly and slowly (and recognizing the low participation rate). At the same time there is growing competition for workers which is translating into higher wages simply because employers must compete for workers. What does that tell you? It tells you the system is working as it should even while we wish it would move at a quicker pace.
It tells you something else; the system is not rigged against the middle class. The system, given a fair chance, responds to markets, to demand and to shortages of goods and of workers. What we should be asking is why it has taken seven years to start this process.
If you force changes applicable to only one part of the equation, it doesn’t work. Raising the minimum wage to unreasonable levels for example distorts the system. That is rigging it against the average Joe or Jane. Just ask the workers at closed Wal-Marts or other smaller businesses trying to cope with local minimum wage laws.
That is not to say that the MW should not be indexed in some manner, which is different from arbitrarily picking $15.00 and imposing it on the system especially on a state by state or even city by city basis.
There are other factors affecting jobs and here again, the progressive solution machine does not get it or explain it.
One word has and will continue to affect jobs; technology. Some jobs are going away and new ones created which is how the system works. New ways of doing things means old ways are obsolete. That should be no surprise to anyone except those who choose to ignore facts and rather find a scapegoat.
Ask the retail clerk if Amazon.com is impacting their sales? Why are there a half-dozen stations in a bank, but only two tellers? Because you use the ATM, and smartphone to conduct your business. Why is the postal service a loser? Because it can’t manage its cost overhead while you send e-mail even greeting cards via the web.
The system will create and reward, at the required level, the jobs it needs and it needs the jobs you create through your demand for goods and services. If you demand more technology, some jobs are going to disappear. So, if you want to save the clerk’s job or get them a raise, just stop buying online; throw away your phone, write more checks.
Now, if you want low prices. That means something else. It means the lowest acceptable provider must be found … no matter where they live or it means profits must decline along with more lost jobs.
That is the world we live in, global economies, instant communications, and amazing technology.
When a politician tells you he or she can change our economy without considering the above or without consequences, beware. If a politician tends toward isolationism, send him packing. He doesn’t live in the 21st century. If a politician wants more regulation, ask the consequences on economic growth.
Bernie Sanders wants a revolution. What would be revolutionary is some honesty, competence and strategic thinking from politicians.