2016 Democratic National Committee Platform
Lisa Noël Babbage
Author, Teacher, Philanthropist
Oct. 7, 2018
“[Democrats] they planned to "break down barriers and restore the basic bargain that built America's mighty middle class."”
In 2016, the Democratic National Committee Platform ran with the mantra that they, in instances where they gain control, would promote the middle class by stabilizing their economic security. To achieve this outcome, they planned to “break down barriers and restore the basic bargain that built America’s mighty middle class.”
As per their released platform policy, Democrats proposed to (1) raising worker’s wages, (2) protect worker’s fundamental rights, (3) support working families, (4) helping more families share in near-record corporate profits, (5) expand access to affordable housing and home ownership, (6) protect and expand social security, (7) ensure and secure a dignified retirement, and (8)revitalize our nation’s postal service.
Each one of these outcomes is taken directly from the party platform, as is the following paragraph:
“Democrats believe we must break down all the barriers holding Americans back and restore the basic bargain that built America’s mighty middle class: If you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead and stay ahead. The system is not working when we have a rigged economy in which ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages, while most new income and wealth goes to the top one percent. Republican governors, legislatures, and their corporate allies have launched attack after attack on workers’ fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively. Too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and hallmarks of a middle class life—owning a home, having access to affordable and quality childcare, retiring with dignity—feel out of reach. It is no wonder so many Americans feel like the deck is stacked against them. The Democratic Party believes that supporting workers through higher wages, workplace protections, policies to balance work and family, and other investments will help rebuild the middle class for the 21st century.”
While the ideas and words expressed in this document are successful in stirring the hearts of those, especially those who have compromised economic security in their own households, to believe it is a lofty and sound doctrine, what is not so clearly revealed is the fact that the ‘outcomes’ the Democratic National Committee Platform is in direct contrast to the United States Constitution.
(1) Raising worker’s wages
The DNC Platform recommended a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour regardless of where the employment takes place. While this seems like a great idea on the surface, imagine yourself as a small business owner trying to make a difference in your community by hiring a few employees. An increase in the minimum wage takes away your autonomy, or ownership of the ability to decide how much you should pay your employees, as business owner. An increase in minimum wage to this degree (this increase would be a 200% pay increase compared to the national average and a 300% pay increase compared to some state minimums) as well as the ability to join unions in any job field would devastate local economies.
Think of it this way, how can a company with a $1 menu, or dollar store items afford to pay a clerk $15 an hour and not raise your costs as consumer?
Why should the government demand a 200% pay increase for every employee, whether good employee or bad employee, when the normal cost of living increase is only 3%?
If McDonald’s workers, and other lower paying jobs are unionized, how will this affect those families already struggling when their are strikes and other union-driven pay interruptions?
Since low-wage paying jobs like those in fast food and other retail industries were never designed to be able to support a family of four, why is it assumed that raising the minimum wage would not have a more negative effect on local and state level economies? When the government forces a company that is providing a wage for part-time or student work is forced to pay a wage for unskilled labor that supports a family of four, companies will go out of business.
How can you be sure? Because every major company offers profit sharing options, even fast food places like Waffle House Resturants. Profit sharing means that if the company does well economically (make money), then the employees get a bonus (more money). But if a company is forced to increase the amount of money they pay, then they give up control of their company to government regulation. This is actually a ‘big government’ strategy.
(2) Protect worker’s fundamental rights
Every politician will say they want to protect worker’s fundamental rights. In fact, the Department of Labor administers the 180 labor laws currently part of our federal documents. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides a guideline for youth employment, minimum wage, overtime, and other rules to make sure companies are not infringing on the rights of their employees. In the DNC Platform, “right to work” laws would be dismantled and a National Labor Relations Board would be put in place to oversee operations and advise the Department of Labor with regard to union-eligible jobs.
However, as the cartoon indicates, no single employer can stand up to organized labor unions, which are run primarily by the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) or the Change to Win Federation, and make it difficult for business owners to fire employees or implement policies that they feel support their corporate mission.
With regard to unions, the primary means by which the 2016 platform chooses to “protect worker’s fundamental rights” have little to do with fundamental rights at all. Worker’s fundamental rights are protected by 180 federal and state laws that are enforced by the Department of Labor. Instead, the 2016 platform would have gone beyond fundamental rights of employees by stripping business owners of the rights over their own companies. It is as if a head-of-household would be told where they must spend their money and not give them any input in the decision making. That is the power of corrupt labor unions.
(3) Support working families
Supporting working families is the beginning of serving citizens so that everyone wins. According to the 2016 platform, supporting working families in a Democratic-led government would mean raising income for securing equal pay for women, providing twelve weeks paid leave for maternity, and twelve weeks paid leave for taking care of an ill loved one. Additionally, Democratic support for working families would mean having seven days paid sick leave, paid vacation, paid family and medical leave, training on how to take care of sick family members, increasing and strengthening a paid caregiving (childcare, elder care, home care, indigent care, etc.) workforce, and decrease cost of child care.
As you can see, all of these costs are charged to the company, not the individual. In this scenario, every company would have to meet the same standard, regardless of how much profit the company earns, and regardless of the position an employee is in. Managers, upper level managers, entry level employees, part-time employees, employees with good job reviews and evaluations as well as those with poor job reviews and evaluations would all be equivocally eligible for the same exact benefits.
Having every one guaranteed to receive the same sounds great until you recognize that that includes people who do not work hard, arrive on time, perform at high levels, or take ownership in the work they do. Look around your workplace now. If you were the business owner, would you keep every employee working in your office or business now? Or are there some you would fire, lay-off, give a bonus or promotion to based on their performance? Wouldn’t you think that would be your right as the boss, or business owner? This plan puts limits on business owners by demanding equality without earning it by effort.
(4) helping more families share in near-record corporate profits
The DNC platform said “Corporate profits are at near-record highs, but workers have not shared through rising wages. Profit-sharing is linked to higher pay and productivity. That is why, working with business, labor, and other stakeholders, we will incentivize companies to share profits with their employees on top of wages and pay increases, while targeting the workers and businesses that need profit-sharing the most.”
Profit-sharing is linked to higher pay and productivity is the opposite of the plan proposed in #3 (above) with the support for working families plan.
(5) Expand access to affordable housing and home ownership
According the proposed 2016 platform plan, an “substantial” funding increase to the National Housing Trust Fund to construct, preserve, and rehabilitate rental housing units. One reason some believe this must be done is because the housing collapse and subsequent ballouts President Obama authorized were not successful at dealing with the predatory lending practices of the banks tax payers bailed out. A National Housing Trust is a savings account for another housing bailout at taxpayers expense.
“Democrats believe that we should provide more federal resources to the people struggling most with unaffordable housing: low-income families, people with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly.”
These are the same people who used to live in government assisted housing, also known as “the projects” or “ghetto.” Government projects, some still exist in cities like Chicago, New York City (Brooklyn), Los Angeles, Charleston-Boston, and Wilson Park-Philadelphia, are concentrated areas of crime and poverty.
(6) protect and expand social security and (7) ensure and secure a dignified retirement
Thanks to abortion, we have more people over the age of 60 than we do under the age of five. The abortion trend that has continued for more than 40 years cost American wage earners the income tax and contribution 60 million workers because they were never born. The income of those 60 million would have been able to contribute to public monies that support veterans and the disabled. However, expanding social security to try to make up for the lifetime income of 60,000,000 people when social security was never designed to cover all retirement income, would end up sending our economy into deeper debt that is not only avoidable and unnecessary, it goes against why the Social Security Administration was created in the first place.
The Social Security Administration says that their payouts are meant to be commensurate, or equal to, a claimant’s (employee’s) benefits are based on the wage earner’s (employee’s) contributions. Yet inflating the expansion of Social Security budgets without more people paying into the system by their wage earning means that other tax payers and the government itself must carry the debt for those drawing SSI (Social Security) benefits.
To make the government responsible for people’s retirement is against the idea the nation was founded on. King George III of England, our former monarch, took the position of the government being responsible to deal with people who could not afford to maintain retirement - it was called debtor’s prison. Other governments who expand social programs to go beyond what is the governments responsibility do so under a program called socialization. Socialism limits the freedom to have limitless achievements in hopes that people will be satisfied with the same limited hand out given with no regard to have a for the people, by the people government.
(8) revitalize our nation’s postal service
The United States Postal Service is an independent entity of the federal government. In recent years, the USPS partnered with companies like DHL and UPS to deliver packages by the local mail carriers as a way to deal with the decline in postage sales since people do not mail letters like they once did. Yet, USPS revenue in 2017 was over 69 billion dollars, more than the total income (GDP per the International Monetary Fund statistics) of over 100 nations that same year. Based on these figures alone, it is surprising that a party would choose to revitalize the postal system as a way of stabilizing the middle class economically.
When Democratic policies and platforms say “… America is and has always been great—but not because it has been perfect. What makes America great is our unerring belief that we can make it better. We can and we will build a more just economy, a more equal society, and a more perfect union—because we are stronger together,” one cannot help but wonder if they have considered the devastating effect their policies would have on the country that was made great by hard work and capitalism, not mass “reforms” that put every person at the same low level.
To read the full plan of the Democratic National Committee, visit America Stands at http://www.americastands.us/get-prepared-to-vote-watch-these-special-faith-for-our-nation-broadcasts/