LETTERS: No labor shortage

The June 13 letter from Tomas Cantu spoke strong words about the fake “labor shortage” that is polluting the news media.

The root cause of systemic, baked in poverty of the working poor shamefully is rarely reported. In plain fact, much of our economy is deliberately designed to exploit slave wage poverty.

Many wealthy people make their money off low-paid labor of the poor. The wealthy raise the cost of living for all, hurting the poor the most. The wealthy exploit the tax code they created and pay, in some cases, nothing or less than the working poor. This tax avoidance raises taxes and reduces social benefits, falling most heavily on the poor.

The wealthy fight against paying the poor a living wage. Republicans in Congress just killed the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage. When the poor resist taking jobs that pay today’s equivalent of slave wages, the wealthy complain that “there’s a labor shortage,” or worse, “The poor don’t want to work.”

Business interests and politicians block regulations designed to protect public health during a COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens the poor the most. Then politicians like Gov. Abbott cut social benefits to literally starve the working poor back to slave-wage jobs that threaten their health.

It’s a vicious, potentially deadly, circle for the working poor. It’s more than that. Cantu had it right; it’s evil, pure and simple.

Ed Chaney, Laguna Vista