- - Monday, November 23, 2015


Major disappointments, frustration and the loss of hope can result in great anger. Much of America, especially the black community, is hurting economically. This follows the very high hopes the black community had in 2009 when President Obama came to power. Today, however, black wealth is actually much less than it was in 2009 and the poverty rate is higher. Overall black unemployment is tragically high and black-youth unemployment is even higher. These high rates do not even include many who have given up hope and left the labor market. A record number of people are on food stamps or otherwise dependent on the government. From Ferguson, Mo., to New York and Baltimore, this has led to civil unrest. Unless the situation improves, we can expect more of this type of behavior.

Several college campuses around the nation are also witnessing civil unrest. Students faced with very limited employment opportunities are also saddled with large student loans. These students now realize their futures look rather bleak.

Government policies are largely to blame for these problems. For too long programs were developed and implemented without outcome being taken into consideration. During the past seven years the Obama economic and social policies have worsened these problems.

We need a careful examination of the results of new laws and regulations. The minimum wage liberals tout is actually quite damaging to the low-income wage earners. There is a sad history that increasing the minimum wage is followed by a loss of jobs. Likewise Obamacare has made the 29.5-hour part-time workweek commonplace and encouraged many small businesses not to hire more than 50 employees.

A higher salary always increases the incentive to hire fewer people. Whether it is land, labor or capital, rising price gives an incentive for substitution. An example can be found in my own family. My wife’s uncle was an elevator operator in a strong labor union in Manhattan. They kept forcing wage increases, which made automation more attractive. Now, few elevators are operated by people.

The next president and Congress should encourage greater employment by reducing the cost of hiring people. An increase in jobs would bring many long-term unemployed people into the labor market and give them a work ethic and hope for the future.


East Windsor, N.J.

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