Finally, but importantly, economic research reveals that employees — and women in particular — in countries where government has implemented such benefits face more discrimination, fewer advancement opportunities, fewer hours of employment and lower wages. These are the unseen costs of such programs that the act’s supporters ignore.
Gains in median household income have also been more impressive than the official statistics tell us. After adjusting for the more accurate PCEI deflator and shrinking household sizes, William Cline calculates that real median household income has risen 50 percent during the past 50 years, rather than the 21 percent reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. A closer look at the data also shows that the share of households with middle-class incomes of $35,000 to $100,000 (in real dollars) has indeed shrunk during that time, but only because more households have moved up to the $100,000-plus bracket while the number of households in the under-$35,000 bracket has gone down.
Beyond financial compensation, U.S. workers enjoy a safer and healthier environment than they did decades ago. From 1992 to 2017, the rate of workplace deaths dropped by 30 percent, and the rate of workplace injuries dropped by 69 percent. During that same period, crime rates have fallen sharply nationwide, while average life expectancy has increased from 75.2 to 78.5 years. (One prominent exception to the positive trends is drug overdoses, especially involving opioids, and the attendant “deaths of despair.”)
After Tom Steyer spent about $400 for each of his 61,048 South Carolina votes, Mike Bloomberg’s approximately $500 million bought this pearl beyond price: the affection of American Samoa. These redundant refutations of the theory that money can make vanity candidacies viable should calm those campaign “reformers” whose superstition is that the power of political money is such that government should regulate it (and by doing so stipulate the permissible quantity of political speech it can finance).