Thursday, September 5, 2019


He was homeless. He died Sunday on a West L.A. sidewalk. He is part of an epidemic. STEVE LOPEZ The balding, middle-aged man was facedown on a flattened piece of cardboard, arms at his side, a small pool of blood near his mouth. He wore bluejeans, his feet were bare, and headset buds were still in his ears. Two LAPD officers who responded to the emergency call from a passerby had pitched a white pop-up tent around the body, which lay on the sidewalk of Massachusetts Avenue between Sepulveda Boulevard and the 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles. CORONER’S OFFICIALS remove a man’s body in West Los Angeles. On average, nearly three homeless people die in the county each day. (Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times) 9/5/2019 Los Angeles Times - eNewspaper 2/5 It was Sunday morning, the middle of Labor Day weekend, three-quarters of the way into a year in which deaths of homeless people in Los Angeles County are on a record-setting pace to top 1,000, according to preliminary numbers from the county coroner. “I hope this will be another wake-up call that urgency is the order of the day,” said County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who called it incomprehensible and unacceptable that dying on the streets has become routine. On average, nearly three homeless people are dying daily in the county, nearly double the rate of deaths by homicide. Illness, addiction, accidents, suicide and the ravages of being unsheltered are among the primary causes of death. “We know the research says that people who are what’s called rough sleepers, those who are living on the streets and not in a shelter or a car, are 10 times more likely to die than the regular population,” said Dr. Susan Partovi, citing a study in Boston. Partovi has been administering to homeless people in Los Angeles for years. The average age of the first 666 homeless people who died in L.A. County as of Aug. 25 was 51, well below the county’s average life expectancy of about 80. Homeless people are dying on sidewalks, along riverbeds, and in tents, parks, shelters, vehicles, motels and hospitals. You can call it a travesty. An emergency. A call to action. It is all those things. Bodies are being found in virtually every corner of the county, a grim consequence of the intensifying epidemic of homelessness. In 2012, 407 homeless people died in L.A. County. The number has gone up sharply every year, to last year’s record high of 921. This year, the toll hit 525 in just the first six months — 88 more than over the same period a year earlier — and the pace has been steady since then. New York City has roughly the same number of homeless people as Los Angeles County but has moved tens of thousands of them into shelters. Despite much harsher weather, New York recorded 292 homeless deaths in 2018, fewer than a third of the Los Angeles total. “We’re seeing homeless deaths in areas where we didn’t see them five or 10 years ago,” said Brian Elias, chief of investigations for the county coroner’s office. Elias’ boss, Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Jonathan Lucas, said his office is stepping up its analysis of trend lines and causes of death to help address the crisis. “We need to be taking this information and looping it back to the departments of mental health and public health, to the policymakers, the county supervisors, and present it in a way that can help inform their decisions,” said Lucas, adding that he’s passionate about what he considers a duty to the community. 9/5/2019 Los Angeles Times - eNewspaper 3/5 The coroner’s office noted that the six-month increase in deaths over last year was roughly proportional to the increase in the total number of homeless people from a year earlier. The first 666 deaths of the year included 42 homicides and 27 suicides. Males vastly outnumbered females, 83% to 17%, and the victims included 253 white people, 220 Latinos and 168 African Americans. Substance abuse and heart conditions, sometimes in conjunction, were among the leading causes of death, but no cause had been determined in about 100 of the cases. The coroner’s reports, filled with clinical language and dispassionate narratives, are ghostly sketches of social disorder, poverty, violence, addiction and isolation. They speak to a breakdown that extends beyond homelessness and reaches into our economy, our schools, our criminal-justice and healthcare systems. In a region of abundant wealth and world-class hospitals, people die penniless, they die in pain, they die alone. On Jan. 1, a 37-year-old African American woman died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after being found unresponsive a day earlier on a sidewalk in North Hollywood, one week after giving birth to a girl. The woman had a history of asthma and substance abuse. On her left arm was an “RIP” tattoo. On Jan. 20, a security guard noticed a man sitting awkwardly, with an open beer at his side, near a business on Telstar Avenue in El Monte. The guard touched the man, got no response and dialed 911. Paramedics pronounced the 71-year-old white man dead at the scene. On Feb. 6, a 27-year-old Latino male with a history of depression died on Foothill Boulevard, west of Osborne Street, in Pacoima. According to the coroner’s report, the young man had attempted suicide a week earlier and was placed on psychiatric hold. At 8:45 p.m. on the 6th, says the coroner’s report, the man’s “father heard the decedent moving around outside their tent. He heard a gasp of air but did not check. 10 minutes later the decedent’s father went outside of their tent and found the decedent hanging from a tree. He cut the decedent down.” In the case of the man who died Sunday in West Los Angeles, I arrived on the scene at the same time as coroner’s investigator Adrian Munoz, 29. He sized up the scene. No drug paraphernalia was visible. There were no obvious signs of struggle. Munoz ran his gloved hands over the man’s head, feeling for evidence of trauma. He found nothing. Los Angeles Police Officers Jeff Duarte and Ray Leung told me there were a lot of homeless people in the area, most of them veterans who get services at the nearby Veterans Affairs campus. 9/5/2019 Los Angeles Times - eNewspaper 4/5 The victim, who was African American, appeared to have been traveling lightly. No shopping cart filled with belongings. No tent or tarps. Just a red sleeping bag, his backpack and a few Budweiser tallboys he never got to. Munoz performed his duty with an air of respect, taking care in offering this one last service to a fellow human being. He crouched, laid his hands under the man and turned him onto his back. The man’s mouth was bloody. His gray eyes aimed skyward, in the direction of wispy clouds and sunstruck palms. Munoz checked inside the man’s mouth for signs of trauma. Nothing there. He lifted the man’s shirt, examined his torso. “A scar in the middle of his chest,” Munoz said. A possible heart procedure. Munoz laid a clear plastic sheet over the man, then placed a white sheet on top of that. In the man’s wallet, Munoz found a driver’s license, a bank card and a state medical benefits card. In the backpack, he found a little blue packet of Alka-Seltzer, several pairs of fresh socks and some medicine vials. It appeared that the man had been a patient at the Venice Family Clinic. Those details should help the coroner’s office in the next phase of its investigation: trying to determine who the man was, how he ended up alone and dead on this stretch of sidewalk, and whether he had family to notify. Only a few days earlier, I had spoken to Carrie Kowalski, a physician’s assistant at the clinic. On her street medicine rounds, she had told me, she sees every conceivable malady and a lot of addiction. A common theme among her patients, she said, is that “something went wrong from childhood and started someone on a path” to physical, mental and addiction issues. “It can be physical violence, abuse in the foster care system, sexual abuse, the experience of veterans, and you become homeless and now you’ve got more trauma,” Kowalski said. “You get hit by a car or you get raped and you get beaten. Your stuff is stolen and it becomes this huge mess, and it snowballs.” As does the death count. Ridley-Thomas recently called for creating enough shelter and housing for everyone, and imposing a requirement that homeless people come indoors. Those are big, expensive, difficult challenges. But losing ground, as we currently are, is not acceptable, Ridley-Thomas said. We need more psychiatric emergency services, more addiction rehab and more recuperative care so that homeless patients don’t go from hospitals straight back to the streets. In the area around the West L.A. death, I couldn’t find anyone who knew the dead man. A homeless guy named Kenny told me he knew of someone hit and killed by a car nearby. A homeless guy named Emerson said someone was found dead on Westwood Boulevard. “I got to get off the streets,” said a homeless guy named Adam. 9/5/2019 Los Angeles Times - eNewspaper 5/5 A van from the coroner’s office pulled up to Massachusetts Avenue about 12:30 p.m., and Munoz helped the driver lift the body into the vehicle. The day was young as the van headed to the morgue, but the man was already the third homeless person to die Sunday. And the 680th to die this year. Times staff writers Ben Welsh and Maloy Moore contributed to the column.

ILLEGALS ABOVE THE LAW - KOCH FOODS SUES ICE OVER 'ILLEGAL' RAIDS - Claims they didn't know their "cheap" labor who can't speak a word of English were in the country unlawfully... Sure, right!

Koch Foods Sues ICE over ‘Illegal’ Raids: Illegal Aliens Not Knowingly Hired

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officers prepare for morning raids to arrest undocumented immigrants on April 11, 2018 in New York City. ICE detentions are frequently controversial in New York, considered a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants, and ICE receives little or no …
John Moore/Getty

Food processing corporation Koch Foods Inc. is suing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after raids which they say were “illegal,” claiming that they did not knowingly hire unauthorized workers.

Last month, ICE agents conducted the largest workplace raid in more than a decade across five food processing plants in Mississippi, netting the arrests of 680 illegal aliens. That same day, though, ICE officials said they released about 300 of the illegal workers back into the U.S. on “humanitarian grounds” while more than 200 of the illegal workers had prior criminal records. Prosecutors say many of the illegal workers stole Americans’ identities to work at the plants.
In a legal motion against ICE, Koch Foods executives claim that ICE officials did not have substantial evidence to indicate that the food processing plant in Morton, Mississippi employed illegal workers and therefore the raids were illegal.
Koch Foods executives also say that there is no evidence to support that they intentionally hired illegal workers, writing:
The affidavit sworn out against Koch Foods contains no information from confidential informants alleging that Koch Foods was knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. And the affidavit does not indicate that ICE has any source indicating that this type of illegal behavior exists at the Morton Processing Facility. The affidavit is entirely founded on the presumption that, since certain persons who have been deported by [ICE] had previously worked at Koch Foods’ Morton Processing Plant, then it should be assumed that Koch Foods must have known that they were hiring unauthorized workers. [Emphasis added]
The motion claims since the raid on Koch Foods Inc. was illegal, any data or information taken by ICE from the food processing plant should be barred from use in a courtroom.
“Imperfection ought not expose a business to the egregiously disruptive execution of a workplace search warrant,” the motion states. “The execution of the search warrant, in this case, was an abuse by law enforcement that should not be permitted.”
Federal prosecutors have asserted that Koch Foods, along with the other four food processing plants raided by ICE, “willfully and unlawfully” hired illegal workers over Americans. Koch Foods, specifically, is detailed as having a long record of hiring illegal aliens for more than a decade. Between September 2002 and April 2019, the affidavits state, ICE agents arrested 144 illegal workers at Koch Foods — not including the illegal workers who slipped through the cracks.
The legal action by Koch Foods against ICE comes as a lawsuit alleges that multiple corporations in the food processing industry have conspired for years to depress the wages of their immigrant and American workers.
To date, none of the employers at the five food processing plants have been charged with hiring illegal workers over Americans by federal prosecutors. Likewise, only 40 of the 680 illegal workers arrested by ICE have had charges brought against them.
Today, there are at least eight million illegal aliens holding American jobs in the U.S. economy that would have otherwise gone to American workers and legal immigrants. The mass employment of illegal aliens by hundreds of businesses, though, continues to go largely ignored by the law, as only 11 employers and no businesses have been federally prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens in the last year.

Extensive research by economists like George Borjas and analyst Steven Camarota reveals that the country’s current mass legal immigration system burdens U.S. taxpayers and America’s working and middle class while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth every year to major employers and newly arrived immigrants. Similarly, research has revealed how Americans’ wages are crushed by the country’s high immigration levels.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces. JOHN BINDER

Plutocrat Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce Lobby for Big Tech’s Green Card Giveaway

Phelan M. Ebenhack, Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP
18 Jul 20196

The billionaire, pro-mass immigration Koch brothers’ network of organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are lobbying hard for passage of a green card giveaway plan to benefit 300,000 Indian workers who were imported by Big Tech’s outsourcing business model.

Last week, the majority of House Republicans and Democrats — led by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — voted to approve a green card giveaway for 300,000 Indian workers and allow India to effectively monopolize the U.S. green card system for at least the next ten years.
The legislation, known as HR. 1044, will ensure outsourcing firms such as Cognizant, as well as Big Tech conglomerates like Amazon and Facebook, have a green card system where only temporary foreign workers on H-1B visas are able to obtain employment visas by creating a backlog of seven to eight years for all foreign nationals. This process would solidify that employment-based green cards only go to temporary foreign visa workers that have been imported to the U.S. by corporations to replace American workers.
Lobbying hard for the legislation‘s passage is the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity organization and the Chamber of Commerce — both of which have routinely opposed President Trump’s “America First” immigration agenda that seeks to reduce overall immigration to raise wages.
The Koch-funded LIBRE Initiative is also asking members to sign letters demanding the passage of the legislation, known as HR. 1044, claiming that it will “make our communities stronger.”

Our legal immigration system is flawed. With proper reforms, it can be fairer and more transparent, and do more to benefit the U.S. economy and make our communities stronger. This bill is a great place to start. Contact your Senator here! --> 

Help Bring Fairness to Skilled Worker Visas

Likewise, the Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to Congress explaining their support for the green card giveaway plan, arguing that HR. 1044 is necessary to provide certainty “for employers that hire highly-skilled, highly-educated immigrant workers that were born in India and China.”
A number of Senators have taken campaign cash from both Koch Industries and the Chamber of Commerce. Senate Republicans like Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have all accepted campaign cash from the Kochs.
Similarly, the Chamber of Commerce has funded Senators such as Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

Progressive Immigration Critic: Corporations Push H-1B Giveaway Bill to Slash Middle-Class Salaries

17 Jul 2019169

Bills H.R.1044 and S.386 — both titled the “Fairness to High-Skilled Immigrants Act” — will accelerate “the active stripping of the United States” via the “outsourcing of white-collar jobs” to H-1B visa workers, explained Kevin Lynn, executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform. He joined Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight for an interview with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Progressives for Immigration Reform was founded in 2008 to examine “the unintended and intended consequences of unbridled immigration,” said Lynn. “There’s a reason immigration [used to be] restrictive and well-regulated. It’s because prior to it being so from the 1920s back, immigration was being used to hammer labor, so it was very much a part of the populist movement [which] called for restricting immigration. We began to see the first of that legislation in the 1920s, and really, that system was in place until 1965 when the idea was to increase the diversity but not the numbers because the Democratic Party was very much aware of what large numbers of immigrants — how that would impact wages, benefits, [and] social mobility through supply and demand.”
The “Fairness to High-Skilled Immigrants Act,” the namesake of both H.R.1044 and S.386, is a “misnomer,” said Lynn. Mansour described the bills’ shared name as “Orwellian.”
Lynn recalled his time volunteering and working for Ross Perot between 1992 and 1994. “[Ross Perot’s] big thing was fighting NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO. We failed, and a good portion of our manufacturing base was shipped overseas, and what we’re seeing now [is] the outsourcing of white-collar jobs. We look at a lot at tech workers, but it’s really beyond that — it’s any white-collar job — [and it has] been happening since the late 1990s.”
Disney’s replacement of American workers at Disney World with foreign H-1B workers in 2015 — which included the American workers training their foreign replacements prior to being laid off — is an illustration of a broader phenomenon of “displacement of American workers” via the status quo of H-1B visa issuances, said Lynn.
Outsourcing of jobs to foreigners has expanded beyond manufacturing jobs, explained Lynn. “Initially, they stripped out the manufacturing, and now they’re going after the intellectual property: what’s between the ears of our productive class here in America. This bill, what it will do, is reward all this bad behavior.”
H-1B visas have become de facto green cards, explained Lynn.
“Prior to 1990, an employment visa was a temporary visa,” noted Lynn. “The dual intent nature of the [H-1B] visa, now, allows them to apply for a green card. You have 85,000 people a year coming in on these green cards, which are supposed to be for a three-year stint, which typically allows them to stay another three years on an extension — so it should be six years and gone — but we have all these people coming here with green cards staying. And then, to add insult to injury, they said, ‘If you apply for your green card and you run into that six-year deadline, you can just stay,’ so as a result, hundreds of thousands of workers from India [stay in America] because 80 percent of the workers who come in on the H-1B visa are from India. So you now have hundreds of thousands of [Indians] in the queue versus other countries, and that’s why there’s a backlog, not because India has such a large population.”
“This bill is just going to exacerbate the problem, obviously,” said Mansour. “It seems as if this is a giveaway to the corporations that are — let’s just be honest — trying to replace American workers with cheaper labor because it dramatically cuts their overhead and increases their profits. … This mass inflow of cheaper foreign labor is felt overall by every American all across the American workforce, not just the tech sector. This reduces wages for all Americans, eventually.”
Foreigners graduating from American post-secondary institutions are less costly to hire than their American counterparts, explained Lynn.
“In 2017, over 200,000 foreign students who graduated from a U.S. college or university took advantage of Optional Practical Training,” noted Lynn. “As if things aren’t difficult enough, [American graduates] are now competing with foreign students who actually get a 15-percent rebate to the person hiring them because [the employer] doesn’t have to pay Social Security or FICA.”  Non-citizen foreigners, he speculated, are likely to be more “acquiescent” to employer demands than their American counterparts. “It’s a downward spiral [of wages],” he added.
“I see what’s going on as — I call it — the active stripping the United States,” added Lynn.
Political leaders have prioritized “diversity and multiculturalism” over “good-paying jobs,” stated Lynn.
“What’s going on now, particularly with our employment visa programs, these are not high-skilled workers,” remarked Lynn. “These are barely skilled workers. For instance, the H-1B program, it has four skill levels: one, two, three, and four. Seventy-four percent who come over on the H-1B program are in skill levels one and two, so they compete directly with our community college graduates, our bachelor’s school graduates, and they have a real advantage when it comes to getting hired.
Mansour invited Lynn’s response to claims that immigration is necessary to counter allegedly insufficient birth rates among Americans.
Lynn highlighted research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. He read the following abstract [emphasis added]:
We assess and compare computer science skills among final-year computer science undergraduates (seniors) in four major economic and political powers that produce approximately half of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates in the world. We find that seniors in the United States substantially outperform seniors in China, India, and Russia by 0.76–0.88 SDs and score comparably with seniors in elite institutions in these countries. Seniors in elite institutions in the United States further outperform seniors in elite institutions in China, India, and Russia by ∼0.85 SDs. The skills advantage of the United States is not because it has a large proportion of high-scoring international students. Finally, males score consistently but only moderately higher (0.16–0.41 SDs) than females within all four countries.
“We have the brains,” said Lynn of Americans’ abilities to compete with foreigners in the workplace. “We have the talent. We have the numbers. But what we’re seeing now is this great displacement that is so large.”
Lynn concluded by highlighting a brain drain of expertise to America. “If they are skilled, that’s great,” he said of immigrant workers. “In the case of say, doctors — and I talk to a lot of foreign-trained physicians or international medical graduates, we’re really getting the best of the best, here, for the most part. But the problem is there is a hit that the sending country takes — they lose that talent — and they may be in desperate need of medical help, instead of us doing the hard work of investing in our people. Let’s make sure we are producing those types of people.”
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.
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Watch–Mo Brooks: Democrats Demand $15 Minimum Wage While Supporting ‘Tsunami’ of Wage-Crushing Immigration

17 Jul 2019121

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says “Socialist Democrats” are advocating a $15 minimum wage while supporting a “tsunami of illegal alien labor” that crushes the wages of American workers.

During a speech on the House floor, Brooks blasted Democrat proponents of a $15 minimum wage for their support of wage suppression via the country’s mass illegal and legal immigration policy that brings more than 1.5 million mostly low-skilled foreign nationals to the U.S. every year to compete for jobs and lower wages for America’s working and middle class.
Brooks said:
Socialist Democrats support open borders. Open borders mean a literal tsunami of illegal alien labor that artificially inflates the labor supply and suppresses American wages. This is Economics 101. [Emphasis added]
If the supply goes up, everything else being constant, the price goes down. The way to raise wages is simple. America must stop importing cheap foreign labor that takes American jobs from American workers and suppresses the wages of hard-working Americans who need that money for their families. [Emphasis added]
The question is, do we care enough about American family incomes to secure our borders and stop the flood of illegal alien labor that suppresses American wages? Of course not. Instead, there are those who seek an imperial decree for a $15/hour minimum wage. [Emphasis added]
Brooks noted Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis which estimates that nearly four million American workers will lose their jobs due to an increase of the minimum wage to $15.
“The policies being advocated today really are advocating the firing of as many as 3.7 million American workers from their jobs,” Brooks said. “That’s like firing the entire population of the State of Oklahoma … If the advocates of this legislation really cared about American workers, they would not fire them.”
Extensive research by economists like George Borjas and analyst Steven Camarota reveals that the country’s current mass legal immigration system burdens U.S. taxpayers and America’s working and middle class while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth every year to major employers and newly arrived immigrants. Similarly, research has revealed how Americans’ wages are crushed by the country’s high immigration levels.
For every one-percent increase in the immigrant portion of American workers’ occupations, their weekly wages are cut by about 0.5 percent, Camarota finds. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.75 percent.
Today, about 17.5 percent of the American workforce is made up of foreign born workers. About 7.8 million of these foreign born workers are illegal aliens living in the U.S., according to the latest analysis by Pew Research Center.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

Report: California’s Middle-Class Wages Rise by 1 Percent in 40 Years

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
3 Sep 2019172

Middle-class wages in progressive California have risen by 1 percent in the last 40 years, says a study by the establishment California Budget and Policy Center.

“Earnings for California’s workers at the low end and middle of the wage scale have generally declined or stagnated for decades,” says the report, titled “California’s Workers Are Increasingly Locked Out of the State’s Prosperity.” The report continued:
In 2018, the median hourly earnings for workers ages 25 to 64 was $21.79, just 1% higher than in 1979, after adjusting for inflation ($21.50, in 2018 dollars) (Figure 1). Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for low-wage workers, those at the 10th percentile, increased only slightly more, by 4%, from $10.71 in 1979 to $11.12 in 2018.
The report admits that the state’s progressive economy is delivering more to investors and less to wage-earners. “Since 2001, the share of state private-sector [annual new income] that has gone to worker compensation has fallen by 5.6 percentage points — from 52.9% to 47.3%.”
In 2016, California’s Gross Domestic Product was $2.6 trillion, so the 5.6 percent drop shifted $146 billion away from wages. That is roughly $3,625 per person in 2016.
The report notes that wages finally exceeded 1979 levels around 2017, and it splits the credit between the Democrats’ minimum-wage boosts and President Donald Trump’s go-go economy.
The 40 years of flat wages are partly hidden by a wave of new products and services. They include almost-free entertainment and information on the Internet, cheap imported coffee in supermarkets, and reliable, low-pollution autos in garages.
But the impact of California’s flat wages is made worse by California’s rising housing costs, the report says, even though it also ignores the rent-spiking impact of the establishment’s pro-immigration policies:
 In just the last decade alone, the increase in the typical household’s rent far outpaced the rise in the typical full-time worker’s annual earnings, suggesting that working families and individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. In fact, the basic cost of living in many parts of the state is more than many single individuals or families can expect to earn, even if all adults are working full-time.
Specifically, inflation-adjusted median household rent rose by 16% between 2006 and 2017, while inflation-adjusted median annual earnings for individuals working at least 35 hours per week and 50 weeks per year rose by just 2%, according to a Budget Center analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data.
The wage and housing problems are made worse — especially for families — by the loss of employment benefits as companies and investors spike stock prices by cutting costs. The report says:
Many workers are being paid little more today than workers were in 1979 even as worker productivity has risen. Fewer employees have access to retirement plans sponsored by their employers, leaving individual workers on their own to stretch limited dollars and resources to plan how they’ll spend their later years affording the high cost of living and health care in California. And as union representation has declined, most workers today cannot negotiate collectively for better working conditions, higher pay, and benefits, such as retirement and health care, like their parents and grandparents did. On top of all this, workers who take on contingent and independent work (often referred to as “gig work”), which in many cases appears to be motivated by the need to supplement their primary job or fill gaps in their employment, are rarely granted the same rights and legal protections as traditional employees.
The center’s report tries to blame the four-decade stretch of flat wages on the declining clout of unions. But unions’ decline was impacted by the bipartisan elites’ policy of mass-migration and imposed diversity.
In 2018, Breitbart reported how Progressives for Immigration Reform interviewed Blaine Taylor, a union carpenter, about the economic impact of migration:
TAYLOR: If I hired a framer to do a small addition [in 1988], his wage would have been $45 an hour. That was the minimum for a framing contractor, a good carpenter. For a helper, it was about $25 an hour, for a master who could run a complete job, it was about $45 an hour. That was the going wage for plumbers as well. His helpers typically got $25 an hour.
Now, the average wage in Los Angeles for construction workers is less than $11 an hour. They can’t go lower than the minimum wage. And much of that, if they’re not being paid by the hour at less than $11 an hour, they’re being paid per piece — per piece of plywood that’s installed, per piece of drywall that’s installed. Now, the subcontractor can circumvent paying them as an hourly wage and are now being paid by 1099, which means that no taxes are being taken out. [Emphasis added]
Diversity also damaged the unions by shredding California’s civic solidarity. In 2007, the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center posted a report with the title “Latino Gang Members in Southern California are Terrorizing and Killing Blacks.” In the same year, an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times described another murder by Latino gangs as “a manifestation of an increasingly common trend: Latino ethnic cleansing of African Americans from multiracial neighborhoods.”
The center’s board members include the executive director of the state’s SEIU union, a professor from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the research director at the “Program for Environmental and Regional Equity” at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Outside California, President Donald Trump’s low-immigration policies are pressuring employers to raise Americans’ wages in a hot economy. The Wall Street Journal reportedAugust 29:
Overall, median weekly earnings rose 5% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the same quarter in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For workers between the ages of 25 and 34, that increase was 7.6%.

The New York Times laments that reduced immigration does force wages upwards and also does force companies to buy labor-saving, wage-boosting machinery. Instead, NYT prioritizes "ideas about America’s identity and culture.” 

NYT Admits Fewer Immigrants Means Higher Wages, More Labor-Saving Machines

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"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."

Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. BEN SHAPIRO




How the Quest For Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren

I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, "The Two-Income Trap." There's no doubt she was politically liberal -- our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh -- but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker.
That creative thinking is obvious in "The Two-Income Trap," which discusses the rising number of bankruptcies among middle-class parents, particularly women with children. The book posits that women entered the workforce figuring that by doing so, they could have double household income. But so many women entered the workforce that they actually inflated prices for basic goods like housing, thus driving debt skyward and leading to bankruptcies for two-income families. The book argued that families with one income might actually be better off, since families with two incomes spent nearly the full combined income and then fell behind if one spouse lost a job. Families with one income, by contrast, spent to the limit for one income, and if a spouse was fired, the unemployed spouse would then look for work to replace that single income.
Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. But her policy recommendations were even more fascinating. She explicitly argued against "more government regulation of the housing market," slamming "complex regulations," since they "might actually worsen the situation by diminishing the incentive to build new houses or improve older ones." Instead, she argued in favor of school choice, since pressure on housing prices came largely from families seeking to escape badly run government school districts: "A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly."
Her heterodox policy proposals didn't stop there. She refused to "join the chorus calling for taxpayer-funded day care" on its own, calling it a "sacred cow." At the very least, she suggested that "government-subsidized day care would add one more indirect pressure on mothers to join the workforce." She instead sought a more comprehensive educational solution that would include "tax credits for stay-at-home parents."
She ardently opposed additional taxpayer subsidization of college loans, too, or more taxpayer spending on higher education directly. Instead, she called for a tuition freeze from state schools. She recommended tax incentives for families to save rather than spend. She opposed radical solutions wholesale: "We haven't suggested a complete overhaul of the tax structure, and we haven't demanded that businesses cease and desist from ever closing another plant or firing another worker. Nor have we suggested that the United States should build a quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model."
So, what happened to Warren?
The other half of iconoclastic Warren was typical progressive, anti-financial industry Warren. In "The Two-Income Trap," she proposes reinstating state usury laws, cutting off access to payday lenders and heavily regulating the banking industry -- all in the name of protecting Americans from themselves. While her position castigating the credit industry for deliberate obfuscation of clients was praiseworthy, her quest to "protect consumers" quickly morphed into a quest to create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau -- an independent agency without any serious checks or balances. But despite her best efforts, she never became head of the CFPB, failing to woo Republican senators. The result: an emboldened Warren who saw her popularity as tied to her Big Government agenda. No more reaching across the aisle; no more iconoclastic policies. Instead, she would be Ralph Nader II, with a feminist narrative to boot.
And so, she's gaining ground in the 2020 presidential race as a Bernie Sanders knockoff. Ironically, her great failing could be her lack of moderation -- the moderation she abandoned in her quest for progressive power. If Elizabeth Warren circa 2003 were running, she'd be the odds-on favorite for president. But Warren circa 2019 would hate Warren circa 2003.
Ben Shapiro, 35, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "The Right Side Of History." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.