Right Hooks

Man Who's Never Had a Real Job Makes Rules for Businesses

Nate Jackson · Jun. 30, 2015

With a wave of his magic wand, Barack Obama just gave five million workers a raise — or so he’d like you to believe. In an op-ed explaining his new regulations on overtime pay for salaried workers, Obama wrote, “We’ve got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That’s partly because we’ve failed to update overtime regulations for years — and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year — no matter how many hours they work. … [M]y plan [is] to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year.” And who doesn’t want a raise? Naturally, his proposal will be popular with those who think they stand to benefit, as well as those in need of an Economics 101 refresher. The real-world results will be that employers hire fewer workers, pay lower base wages, cut hours and nix benefits like work-from-home scenarios for employees who now have to scrupulously track their hours. Just mandating higher wages doesn’t mean businesses can afford to pay them. The conservative approach is to actually grow the economy — which, notably, Obama has not done. As John F. Kennedy once said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Not just the ones Obama points to with his wand.

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