Are low-wage workers a threat?


Experts have discussed the topic of low-wage workers in a variety of contexts, often addressing concerns about economic impact rather than framing them as a direct threat. Here are some insights from different discussions:

  1. Minimum Wage and Employment:

    • In an episode of , and discuss the unintended consequences of minimum wage laws. They highlight that while intentions may be to ensure a decent living for low-skilled workers, evidence suggests that minimum wage can sometimes result in unintended negative outcomes, such as employers replacing workers with automation 1.
  2. Historical Views on Low-Wage Workers:

    • Another episode featured , who explored historical attitudes towards low-wage and "unemployable" workers. He noted that in the early 20th century, some reformers viewed low-wage workers as a threat to the economic standards of more "competent" workers, a view rooted in economic and sometimes racial biases 2.
  3. Automation and Low-Wage Jobs:

    • Discussions around the impact of automation on low-wage jobs stress that these workers face significant risks. on mentioned how automation could potentially increase inequality by either making high-skilled workers more productive or reducing the necessity for certain low-wage jobs like factory line workers or short-order cooks 3.

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  4. Economic Impact of Immigration:

    • on The Ben Shapiro Show acknowledged that low-wage immigration can lead to job substitution, where low-wage immigrants might undercut domestic workers. However, he also argued that in the medium to long term, the economic impact is more complex and not as detrimental as some might claim 4.
  5. Globalization and Inequality:

    • on highlighted that globalization, while increasing competition for low-skill workers, has not necessarily driven significant inequality in recent decades. Instead, issues like the inadequacy of the educational system play a more critical role in how these workers are affected 5.

Overall, while low-wage workers can be affected by various policies and economic changes, framing them as a "threat" is more reflective of certain historical and societal biases than an objective economic reality. Experts generally focus on systemic impacts and policy outcomes rather than considering low-wage workers themselves as a threat.