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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Democrat Policies Help the Rich, Hurt the Poor

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

We are told the Democrats are for the poor, and the Republicans are for the rich.  The justification for that line of reasoning, according to the Democrats, is because the Republicans always vote in favor of the big corporations, and for tax cuts on the rich, and the Democrats offer programs to help the poor like unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other "safety net" entitlements.  However, the consequences of Democrat and Republican policies paint an entirely different picture.

I used to drive big rigs in the construction industry.  I hauled sand and gravel.  In the industry the kind of truck I drove is called a "transfer".  It's like a dump truck with a box on the trailer that can be transferred into the box on the truck so that you can carry two loads at a time.  We used to get paid by the load, making the industry a performance driven environment.  The Democrats in California disallowed that and now drivers are required by law to be paid by the hour.  Now, under the new system of hourly pay, the slow and lazy drivers get paid the same, even if they don't haul as much material.  As a result, smaller trucking operations, unable to pay the higher wages, went out of business.  The larger companies, with less competition, did better, and lined their pockets with more profit - though they do have to worry about an epidemic of drivers no longer pushing themselves, because even the hardest working drivers are beginning to take their time.  Why work hard?  The pay is the same no matter what.  The employees of the smaller companies who now can no longer work either have to find jobs with the larger corporations, making those corporations bigger, move into a new State where they can make money under rules less influenced by liberal left policies, or change their vocation - which includes retraining, and costs to the government to cover unemployment, and education expenses if they apply for assistance.  For the remainder of drivers, if they are unable to do any of those things, they wind up on the government dole.

Then, the Democrats in California decided to also hit the trucking industry with tougher exhaust standards, calling for big rigs in California to meet clean-air standards similar to what automobiles in the State must meet.  The result is a filtration system not unlike a catalytic converter, with a lighted alarm to advise the driver when the pollutants his truck is putting out is reaching an unsatisfactory limit.  The refitting cost the industry about $25,000 per truck.  Larger corporations made the changes without even a wink of an eye, while the cost to upgrade trucks, especially older trucks, was too high for smaller companies, and owner/operators.  The result either put the smaller companies and owner/operators either out of business, or forced them to only engage in operations outside of the State, again rewarding the big corporations with less competition and a larger pool of drivers to choose from which enabled them to reduce what they were willing to pay per hour.

The pollutants alarm, which was fairly new when I left the industry, often triggered when one was hauling a full load on an incline.  If the alarm reached a certain limit, the trucker was required to shut down, and the alarm could only be reset by a State approved official or mechanic.  Because of the workload, the truck may be off the road for weeks until a State-approved individual could arrive to reset the alarm, setting back the company in costs, and forcing them to fall behind in their workload.

A friend of mine went through one of those situations where on an uphill haul the alarm triggered and he was forced to shut down (or continue driving illegally).  After a couple weeks, the State-worker who was assigned to reset the alarm scolded the driver for running the truck in such a manner that it caused the alarm to light up.  The driver commented that he was just doing his job.  The State official asked if the driver had driven the truck on an incline with a full load.  The driver replied to the affirmative, again expressing that such activity was a necessary part of the job.

"Well," said the government-approved mechanic, "don't do that."

How many Democrat tax policies, or heavy regulatory rules have chased businesses out of the country, or put companies out of business?  Those are lost jobs, jobs their constituents would love to be able to hold on to, if possible.  But, the Democrats drove away their jobs with anti-business policies, and then blamed the Republicans for the fact that the company went overseas seeking cheaper labor, taxation, and production costs.

Higher taxes and heavy regulatory control hurts business, and kills economies. . . hurting the poor because less employment is available, while driving the cost of goods up to a point where only the more wealthy can afford those goods.

Be it higher minimum wages which drives up the cost of doing business, to illegal immigration which increases the number of persons battling for jobs, to toll roads that rewards the wealthy for having the affordability to drive those roads, Democrat Party policies hurt the little guy, are steeped in hypocrisy, and rewards the big corporations, wealthier citizens, and of course the politically well-connected. . . exactly the opposite of what they claim.

So, when the Democrats are claiming they are for the little guy, and the Republicans are for the rich, think about two things.  First of all, has anyone other than a rich person ever given you a job?  Second, at what point does bigger government policies like the ones the Democrats support break the backs of businesses, and the ability for economies to grow?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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