Huckabee Addresses Wage Stagnation

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mike Huckabee addressed America’s key economic problem of a middle class squeezed by falling wage value.  From the Washington Post:

“I talked about [this economic message] eight years ago. I was being pilloried by the Wall Street Journal and other folks in your community [the mainstream media].” He says events have proved him right, and now everyone is talking about wage stagnation.  He asserted, “The bottom 90 percent in the past 40 years have had stagnant wages. In the 25 years before that, 90 percent saw an increase.”

This is an excellent summary of the problem facing most Americans, and one echoed by other presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, but Huckabee missed an opportunity to really separate himself from the rest of the presumptive presidential field when he named taxes as the cause:

He cites the tax code (it is “punishing people who work on their feet. If they take a second job, they are thrown into a new tax bracket); “cheap foreign labor that devalues American labor”; and “cheap products” from China.

While the tax system is clearly in need of a fix, it should be noted that the date range Huckabee cites matches perfectly with the U.S. departure from the Bretton Woods system and a defined Federal Reserve policy.  When there is no specific rule governing inflation, prices rise, and the average worker’s buying power stagnates.  Without a fix for our nation’s monetary policy that is eating away at Americans’ savings and economic opportunities, tax and wage adjustments are just temporary fixes.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action.