The New American Standard
A couple of weeks ago, I had to go into maintenance mode and replace the flush vale on my toilet. Such fun, I know. I jumped in the car, headed down to the hardware store, bought the parts, and headed back home to get to work. But I was a bit shocked when I found this inside the toilet tank:
At first I thought, “Well, that’s rather ironic,” but is it, really? After all, “Made in [insert non-USA nation here]” has become the new standard of consumer products in America. Even when I go to the supermarket, I see more produce labeled “Imported from Mexico” than “Grown in the USA.” I try to avoid the Mexican stuff, considering the multiple produce recalls of Mexican produce that have apparently stemmed from Mexican farm workers’ penchant for dropping a deuce in the fields where they’re picking food.
I love cilantro, but I’m not so much a fan of feces.
The simple truth is that the United States has priced itself out of the labor market. This is why most manufacturing isn’t done in the US, and why US-made products are so expensive. It’s also the main reason why demands for a $15/hour minimum wage are so ridiculous: companies can’t afford to pay those prices for labor, and will have to charge exorbitant prices no one can afford, as well as lay off workers, to pay just so they can make payroll for their overpriced workforce.
There are a couple of trends happening in the United States. One is that manufacturing jobs are leaving – they have been for years, but the rate seems to be increasing. At the same time, tech companies, who are supposed to be picking up the slack from America’s flagging manufacturing sector, are increasingly using the H1B program to import foreign workers, who will work for lower salaries than US workers. If we don’t start addressing the income disparity between US and foreign workers, this trend will only get worse, and while the Democrats continue to raise minimum wages in the US and increase taxation on the wealthy, we will find that there are no jobs left in the United States, because we’re just too damn expensive.
This doesn’t have to be the new standard for America. We don’t have to commit national suicide…but the only way we can stop it at this point is to stop the government from forcing the price of labor up via minimum wages.