American Consequences - August 2020

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Those roadways, Joe promises, will have 500,000 electric-vehicle charging stations. But you won’t need them because Joe promises “new highways that can charge electric cars while in transit” (and add a spark to the lives of America’s school-crossing guards). Unfortunately, the highways won’t work for Uber drivers... because there won’t be any Uber drivers. Joe promises “tough enforcement to end the misclassification of workers as independent contractors” and to make sure that “workers in the ‘gig economy’” receive “full benefit packages.” Plus Joe promises “decarbonizing the food and agriculture sector.” This is strange because I was under the impression that almost all the food we eat comes from carbon-based life forms. But that’s OK... With Joe as president, you won’t need to work in the gig economy. You can flip “fair-price” hamburgers (perhaps available with a ration card at the “fair market”). Joe promises to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and index the minimum wage to the local “median hourly wage” and eliminate the “tipped minimum wage” loophole that allows restaurants to hire cheap help. (Yet, somehow, Joe “will also support small businesses like restaurants during this economic crisis.”) Or, with Joe as president, you won’t need to work at all... You can go to college.

and agriculture sector.” This is strange because I was under the impression that almost all the food we eat comes from carbon-based life forms. If we have any food to eat... Joe comes very close to promising the nationalization of agriculture with a declaration that new agricultural technologies and seed stocks “should be developed and owned by the American people, not private companies who can use patents to expand profits.” And he comes close again in his proposal for “making sure small and medium-sized farms and producers have access to fair markets... and get fair prices.” Here come price controls. Joe promises to create 250,000 jobs plugging abandoned gas and oil wells and reclaiming abandoned mines, part of his promise for “conserving 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030.” Quit splashing in that mud puddle, Johnny, it’s a national park . Joe promises 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry, although he also promises to establish “ambitious fuel economy standards,” raise the gas tax, build the “cleanest, safest, fastest rail system in the world,” and provide public transit for every city with a population of more than 100,000. (Bend, Oregon gets light rail! To take you to – according to Wikipedia – the last remaining officially licensed Blockbuster video store in the world.) Also, I’m sure the 1 million new auto- industry workers will be interested to hear Joe’s lament that “families rely on cars, which can be a big financial burden [and] clog roadways.”

American Consequences

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