Jonah Goldberg writes Martin O’Malley’s modern-day know-nothingness at AEI
The first minimum wage laws were advocated by progressive economists on the assumption that if you forced employers to pay a “white man’s wage,” they’d only hire white men. As the sociologist E.A. Ross put it in the context of Chinese immigrant workers, in the early 1900s, “the Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him.”
The Davis-Bacon Act, still cherished by Democrats and their labor union patrons, was passed in 1931 to prevent blacks and immigrants from competing with all-white unions for federal contracts during the Depression. And Jim Crow laws certainly locked millions of blacks out of the middle class.
Explicit racist justifications for regulations have disappeared, but the racial consequences of many regulations tragically endure.