Over the past few Labor Days, we have pointed out that while Democrats once presented themselves as the party of the working guy; pro-union, pro-American manufacturing, pro-infrastructure and anti-communist, today’s Democratic Party looks nothing like the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy.
In the age of Donald Trump Democrats became, not the party of the American working man, but the party of get-out-of-jail-free cards for criminals, free stuff for young urban professionals and special rights for LGTQ++ and illegal aliens.
Rather than protect American workers from low wage illegal alien competition, President Joe Biden has opened the southern border to a record number of illegal aliens.
Border Patrol agents have made about 1.82 million arrests at the southern border so far in the government’s fiscal year, which runs from October to the end of September. The number beats the record set last fiscal year, which was 1.66 million apprehensions in the year ending September 2021.
With about two months left in the agency’s fiscal year, full-year arrests are expected to break the two million mark for the first time, analysts said according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal.
And leading Democrats, such as Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have called for the abolition of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – which would make Biden’s de facto open borders policy a permanent reality.
Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has long-advocated debt-free college and the Democrats’ most influential members of Congress, such as New York Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have made free college and Medicare for all, including illegal aliens, hallmarks of their legislative agenda.
Recognizing that taking such an unpopular vote would be a suicide pact for congressional Democrats Biden is trying to use presidential emergency powers to accomplish most of that agenda. Biden’s $10,000 student loan “forgiveness” order for college-educated debtors with incomes of up to $125,000, proposed to be accomplished without a vote in Congress, tramples the Constitution and spits in the eye of working Americans who chose not to go to college or who worked to pay their loans on time.
As Kimberly Amadeo explained in an article for The Balance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics only counts people without jobs who are included in the labor force for the “U-3 rate,” that’s the “unemployment rate most often reported by the media. To be included in that calculation a worker must have looked for a job in the last four weeks to remain in the labor force.
The real unemployment rate (U-6) includes the underemployed, the marginally attached, and discouraged workers. It's usually much higher than the U-3 unemployment rate - the rate most often reported in the media. The U-6 real unemployment rate is a broader definition of unemployment than the official U-3 rate. The U-6 was 6.7% in June 2022, down from the rate of 7.1% seen in May 2022.
Millions refuse to even look for a job—resulting in a labor force participation lagging substantially below the already low pre-COVID-19 levels and forcing under-staffed businesses to hobble along while facing soaring costs. The drop in participation relative to pre-pandemic represents more than 3 million people absent from the workforce, reported Joel Griffith in a report for The Heritage Foundation.
And let’s not forget the Democrats’ war on energy jobs.
“Killing 10,000 jobs and taking $2.2 billion in payroll out of workers’ pockets is not what Americans need or want right now,” Andy Black, president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipelines, said when Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline on day one of his administration.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America called Biden’s decision “both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working members who will lose good-paying, middle-class family-supporting jobs.” All-in-all some 839,000 jobs have been lost in the energy sector and the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline alone cost 11,000 jobs, including 8,000 good paying union jobs.
On the national level Democrats have put stopping “climate change” ahead of jobs for coal miners – once the bedrock of the Democratic Party in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
The Biden administration proved Republicans right when announcing aggressive climate change executive actions in January 2021, with special climate envoy John Kerry using the timeworn line that “the same people can do those [green energy] jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice.”
The problem is that no one is building new “green energy” facilities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Southeastern Ohio and Wyoming coal country, leaving union miner and oil worker families little opportunity in their hometowns devastated by Democrat policies.
In almost every sector that has traditionally provided a comfortable middle-class lifestyle to America’s working families employment has plummeted.
But that shouldn’t really be a surprise, because as our friend Stephen Moore documented in an April 2021 column, to appease Democrat politicians, rank-and-file union workers are being sold out by their bosses:
Last week, the United Mine Workers of America endorsed Biden's Green New Deal. Yes, you read that right. The coal mining union bosses have embraced a proposal that outlaws coal mining.
This is about as dumb as the Pipefitters Union endorsing President Joe Biden. He repaid them with his first act as president: killing the Keystone pipeline. So, now we have the Pipefitters Union against pipelines and the coal miners union against coal.
Did anyone bother actually to ask the rank-and-file members what they thought? Can they get their union dues back?
They should. The livelihoods of more than 50,000 coal miners just got sold down the river by their union bosses.
And for what? So these miners can be given Biden welfare checks or so mining jobs, which typically pay $75,000 a year, can be replaced with solar panel installation? Ask any miner about that trade, as I have, and they will laugh in your face.
UMWA President Benedict Arnold (his real name is Cecil Roberts) conceded that his union members "may lose a few more jobs here." Still, he defended his capitulation to the Biden anti-coal radicals by saying, "We're trying to insert ourselves into this conversation because a lot of coal miners in this country and their families have suffered already some traumatic losses."
So, his solution is to make the trauma a whole lot worse thanks to the Neville Chamberlain appeasement with the green enemy fanatics of the industry.
To compound the problem, as noted above, Democrats have become the party of the illegal aliens and unlimited immigration that has suppressed the wages and destroyed the quality of life for millions of America’s working families.
As Karen Zeigler and Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies noted in a study of the Obama years, “Government data show that since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”
This is remarkable, concluded Zeigler and Camarota, “given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.”
Now here’s the key takeaway from Zeigler and Camarota’s study: “Though there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.” (Emphasis ours)
Indeed, about the only union that has not fallen all over itself to encourage illegal immigration is the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), which, knowing what a Joe Biden-inspired 2 million-plus illegal alien surge at the border would look like, fought like hell to get Donald Trump reelected.
Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are not the workingman’s friend. However, in today’s American labor movement, it appears the spirit of the great labor leaders of the past who fought Big Business and a hostile government is well and truly dead.
We wonder what Samuel Gompers (the first and longest-serving president of the American Federation of Labor) John L. Lewis (early leader of the United Mine Workers and a founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations) Walter Reuther (United Autoworkers President and leading liberal Democrat of the post-WWII era) or Eugene V. Debs (labor leader and Socialist candidate for President) would think about scabs, like UMWA President Cecil Roberts, who sellout their members for a pat on the head and an invitation to the Biden White House.
Control of Congress
Right to life
Critical Race Theory
student loan forgiveness