Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Michael Dukakis does comedy (with a UCLA professor)

The former presidential candidate has an OPED in the NYT today which comments that the Senate and the House bills on immigration are flawed. They then go on to suggest a - "simpler alternative. If we are really serious about turning back the tide of illegal immigration, we should start by raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to something closer to $8. The Massachusetts legislature recently voted to raise the state minimum to $8 and California may soon set its minimum even higher. Once the minimum wage has been significantly increased, we can begin vigorously enforcing the wage law and other basic labor standards."

Hmmm, let's see. Raise the minimum wage and increase enforcement. Who gets hurt? First, those in the minimum wage stream - mostly American youth - fewer jobs available. No question. The evidence is not even sketchy here. Second, those employers who get nailed by the wage and hour nazis who will be every bit as efficient as the Department of Homeland Security. Notice, I did not suggest that illegals working here would face a particular burden. A lot of those workers are in day jobs where the ability of normal governmental enforcement mechanisms are limited. So what a great idea, increase the burden on current employers, a small percentage of whom employ illegals and youth workers in exchange for hiring more wage and hour enforcers.

Seems like Dukakis is every bit the policy analyst that he was a tank driver.

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