U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Rising Wages Are Good for Politicians

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue speaks during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) July 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rising wages are good for politicians, for employees, and for the economy, Tom Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Breitbart News.

“Are rising wages good for national politics?” Breitbart News asked January 9 during the chamber’s annual State of American Business event. 

“You’re damn right they are,” Donohue responded, adding:

They are good for national politics if you’re a politician, for sure. And it’s good for national politics if you want people to feel more engaged in the healthy part of the economy and go out and vote to keep it that way. If you look the other side of your question: ‘Are decreasing wages good for national politics?’ Hell, no.

Donohue first argued that wages are tied to rising demand from employers. “It’s all demand,” he said. “I mean, right now you know what the job that is in most demand in this country is right now? Welders! You can’t get them, you can’t find them, and they can make a lot of money. So those wages are going up to meet the demand.”

But when asked if the supply of workers — including immigrant workers — also impacts wages, Donohue continued, “Absolutely. Absolutely. If you have ten people for every job, you’re not gonna have a drive [up] in wages. [But] if you have five people for every ten jobs, wages are going to go up.”

Blue-collar wages are rising faster than white-collar salaries because of different demand from employers, Donohue said. “White-collar wages have been moving up over time, a bit, and the demand there, because of technology and other things, is not as high as the demand [for blue-collar skiills]. … It’s a reality of the market.”

Donohue also argued that each person’s skill can drive up their wages. “Wages are also going to go up when you provide a unique service, like I gave you a single issue, like welders,” he said. 

Neil Bradley, the chamber’s policy chief, also argued that wages depend on the productivity of employees — for example, employees’ use of machinery, such as robots or automatic transcription software. “Remember, over the long term, wages are driven by productivity. The more productive the workforce is, the more value a worker adds, the more then their wages go up,” he said. 

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