Last week, Hillary Clinton became the first major presidential candidate to ever recommend paying all disabled workers the minimum wage. While its seems like a reasonable proposal, I explained why the effect would be to put workers with severe disabilities, such as those with Down syndrome, out of work.
Clinton isn’t the only one pushing such measures, though. As Anne Schieber of the Mackinac Center notes, government regulators at the Department of Labor are also considering mandating “integrated work settings,” which means work centers for the disabled would have to employ more higher-priced, nondisabled workers to work with those who are disabled.
“That just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Charles Markey, the president of the Arnold Center, a nonprofit in Midland, Michigan that provides jobs for the disabled by contracting with companies for a variety of tasks such as recycling and kit assembly. This video report on the Arnold Center by the Mackinac Center shows why for many disabled workers, the dignity that comes from being able to serve one’s neighbors is even more important than a paycheck.