At the end of 2017, the Economic Policy Institute published a report that said there’s $50 billion dollars in wage theft per year.
This information is important, because it shows that employers are not only in a dominant economic relationship to the workers, but they exploit that position beyond what the law allows. This is an issue that liberals, as well as leftists, should be concerned about, because even though liberals are pro-capitalist, they also want to preserve the labor laws we currently have.
It seems that liberals usually talk about social issues, and are often criticized for undermining labor rights through social issue-based rhetoric. For example, when Hillary Clinton said, in one speech:
“Not everything is about an economic theory, right?”
“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow—and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will—would that end racism?”
“Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”
Of course, I’m of the position that breaking up any financial institution is beneficial to all oppressed groups. But I’m assuming liberals take a similar position to Hillary Clinton, who is pro-finance capitalism, anti-racism, sexism etc.
If people take that position, then they must make it a priority for capitalist exploitation to at least be within the realm of the law. This is one of the biggest reasons I don’t think people trust the Democratic Party: both them and Republicans are in favor of enforcing laws against the poor, but don’t emphasize enforcing laws against the rich.
Only occasionally, we hear about a hyper-wealthy person being convicted of an economic crime. But why doesn’t the government acknowledge off-shore bank accounts more? And we have learned from the Trump presidency that rich people dodge taxes in numerous ways.
But, if asking liberals to get upset about that too much, what about the fact that $50 billion is stolen from workers in wage theft every year? This is a non-politicized issue. It should be stopped, and it would be a worthwhile thing for leftists and liberals to emphasize.
And on top of all that, this would be a useful economic issue to pursue, specifically for oppressed groups. In another EPI report, they wrote:
Young workers, women, people of color, and immigrant workers are more likely than other workers to report being paid less than the minimum wage, but this is primarily because they are also more likely than other workers to be in low-wage jobs. In general, low-wage workers experience minimum wage violations at high rates across demographic categories. In fact, the majority of workers with reported wages below the minimum wage are over 25 and are native-born U.S. citizens, nearly half are white, more than a quarter have children, and just over half work full time.