Biden, AOC Push $15/Hour Minimum Wage, But Biden’s 'Climate Corps' Pays…$12

P. Gardner Goldsmith | June 11, 2024
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Each week for the past two, I have written stories reporting on the grave arrogance and disastrous consequences of government “minimum wage” mandates.

Now, thanks to the wits and research of Kevin Killough at Just The News, we get to explore another revelation about the politicians and their love of telling others how they can engage in private market transactions.

He notes that caterwauling collectivists Joe Biden and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez both have made a lot of headlines by decrying employers for not paying employees at least $15 per hour, and by pushing the idea that government should mandate such a wage on all employers, workers, and, of course, consumers (who are the final employers).

Damn the economic realities and dark ethics of such posturing and compulsion - they want to look like they care about “the little guy,” even as they eliminate employment opportunities for that same little guy and make things more expensive for everyone.

Killough reports that there appears to be a problem, a “conflict” between the Biden-AOC thirst to push the Climate Change canard, and their grandstanding about wage rates:

“President Joe Biden and New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have loudly advocated for a minimum-wage increase and for addressing what they say is a ‘climate crisis.’ Based on wages offered for the positions listed under Biden’s taxpayer-funded American Climate Corp (ACC) program — many of which pay under $12 per hour — when the two goals conflict, climate change is the priority.”

Or, at least, appearing to populate their “Climate Corps” is a priority – simultaneously allowing the politician and their pop media acolytes to push the meaningless “Climate” canard and allowing them to promote the idea that Biden is “acting” on it, by hiring a lot of lemmings to fill slots in his “Corps.”

Killough also notes that Biden’s “Climate Corps” is promoted as a contemporary analogue to the also wasteful and unconstitutional FDR boondoggle of the “Civilian Conservation Corps” that saw the government take tax money and borrow on the backs of future taxpayers in order to pay men to dig ditches and fill them up again, among many centrally-planned schemes.

He cites a White House “Fact Sheet” on the corps, which claimed:

“It aims to put ‘more than 20,000 young Americans to work fighting the impacts of climate change today while gaining the skills they need to join the growing clean energy and climate-resilience workforce of tomorrow.’”

But the “Climate Corps” agenda is running into the Biden-AOC-leftist rhetoric pushing the “fight for fifteen” – their pandering on a $15-per-hour minimum wage mandate.

“At the same time, Biden and Ocasio-Cortez have been advocates for increases in the federal minimum wage. Shortly after taking office, Biden issued an executive order to give federal employees and employees of federal contractors a $15 per hour minimum wage. 

‘A job is about more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. When I was running for president, I said it was past time to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,’ Biden said in a statement.”

And AOC has spoken with great X vigor about the same.

Related: California Healthcare Crisis: Newsom Delays Wage Hike Amid Worker Shortage

Sadly, tragically, Killough reveals their vaunted “Climate Corps” isn’t toeing their rhetorical line.

“So far, however, Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t had any objections about positions in the ACC program she helped create paying far less than the $15 per hour minimum wage she believes shouldn’t be up for debate. 

For example, a position in Barnstable, Massachusetts, pays $11.67 per hour. The median household income in Barnstable is $91,438, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s 20% higher than the national median household income of $74,580

In Denver, Colorado, where the median household income sits at $88,213 per year, the ACC lists an ‘energy and water climate action corpsmember’ post that pays $14 per hour.” 

And, close to D.C.:

“In Fairfax, Virginia, where the median household income is $145,164, the ACC advertises a position with the Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA program that pays $14.81 per hour. 

Out of 308 listings, 96 paid less than the $15 per hour that Ocasio-Cortez has said is ‘enough to live.’”

This sure is shocking. A “rules for thee, not for me” situation that one never, EVER, would expect to see from posturing politicians and their own bureaucratic creations.

It’s not as if politicians previously have been caught engaging in this wage-based double-standard with their own DC underlings. 

Writes Killough:

“The program’s memorandum of understanding between federal agencies states that ACC members will be paid enough ‘to ensure that ACC members are provided financial compensation and benefits sufficient to meet their basic needs.’”

Of course, basic needs are subjectively determined, but central planners seem to think they can force their concepts of valuation onto others.

And now, they are being exposed for their hypocrisy.

Of course, the government doesn’t answer to the same “bottom lines” of expenses and income that private businesses handle every hour of every day. Politicians can force people to pay for their pie-in-the-sky ideas, and, despite those ideas not having to answer to consumer preferences and the impossibility of government programs showing that they have any value (since the funding of them is forced, the ability of valuation to be part of the system is negated), the government will promote the programs and never let them die.

Meanwhile, they tell us, in the private market, that we MUST pay minimum amounts for things or services that might not be worth that much. They force us to waste money on wages that are higher than they should be – money that we could save and invest in other products and services, which could employ more people in fruitful endeavors.

This report from Mr. Killough is revealing, and, though the politicians won’t like it, we who suffer the political criminality of their mandates can remember this new example of the government hypocrites.

And we can recall the lessons of minimum wage mandates: they destroy market valuation, they smother job creation, and they steal our opportunities to decide for ourselves how to spend our money.

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