I oppose Donald Trump’s politics. His comments about Mexicans, Muslims and women are repulsive, but like a broken clock being right twice a day, a kernel of truth exists in this candidate’s presidential campaign rhetoric (“Mass deportations would hurt our economy,” The Numbers Crunch, Oct. 1).
Trump argues for higher wages for some workers while opposing a federal minimum wage increase for all. This is the subtext for his repeated threats to deport millions of undocumented workers.
As a general rule, reducing the U.S. labor force of 160 million would mean less competition for job openings. Trump’s policy to tighten the job market is cruel: deporting millions of people, uprooting families, creating a social disaster on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
I do not favor that deportation scenario.
However, the tighter the job market, the stronger the bargaining power of workers to demand and receive higher wages. Tight labor markets result in wages rising across the board, as happened during the 1990s.
Trump is dangling his prosperity scenario to supporters who rely on hourly wages to pay their bills. Though he’s a multibillionaire, he says that he alone can protect his supporters from job competition.
Of course, migrant labor has been a feature of the U.S. economy for decades, with the bracero program during World War II a case in point.
Trump’s deportation plan contradicts his views on jobs and the minimum wage, while claiming to help make America the great nation that it was in the past.
Broken clocks are right twice a day. Trump is proof of that.
Seth Sandronsky is a journalist and member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.