The people of Sydney who can speak of my work [on flying-machine models] without a smile are very scarce; it is doubtless the same with American workers. I know that success is dead sure to come, and therefore do not waste time and words in trying to convince unbelievers.
Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.
Getting fired can produce a particularly bountiful payday for a CEO. Indeed, he can 'earn' more in that single day, while cleaning out his desk, than an American worker earns in a lifetime of cleaning toilets. Forget the old maxim about nothing succeeding like success: Today, in the executive suite, the all-too-prevalent rule is that nothing succeeds like failure.
To fix Social Security, we should first stop using the Consumer Price Index to adjust benefits for inflation. Using the C.P.I. overstates the impact of inflation and has also led to larger increases in benefits for Social Security recipients than the income gains of typical American workers.
NAFTA, supported by the Secretary cost, us 800,000 jobs nationwide, tens of thousands of jobs in the Midwest. Permanent normal trade relations with China cost us millions of jobs. Look, I was on a picket line in early 1990's against NFATA because you didn't need a PhD in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete against people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour.
Apparently, union bosses are so distraught about declining enrollments they will stoop to exploiting illegal workers. There is no doubt that this would hurt American workers, who would suddenly face a flooded job market full of cheap foreign labor. It would depress the wages of the American workers and cost them jobs.
If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.
Many of my students assume that government protection is the only thing ensuring decent wages for most American workers. But basic economics shows that competition between employers for workers can be very effective at preventing businesses from misbehaving.