In announcing the Obama administration’s new overtime rule (for more on this news, see this explainer), Vice President Joe Biden says companies will “face a choice” to either pay their workers for the overtime that they work, or cap the hours that their salaried workers making below $47,500 at 40 hours each work week.
“Either way, the worker wins,” Biden said.
Biden has held political office for more than four decades, and yet he has still not learned one of the most basic and important concept in economic and political policy: consider that which is unseen.
As Frederick Bastiat explained 125 years before Biden first took office,
In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause—it is seen. The others unfold in succession–they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference—the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee.
If Biden, President Obama, and the others in the administration were better economists, they might have forseen the following five consequences of this disastrous policy: