The Wage-Floor Roof of the Working-Class Ghetto
Helen Andrews’ review of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir, by J. D. Vance, in the August 15 issue summarizes Vance’s effort to explain the factors making it difficult for the Appalachian and midwest white underclass to escape “redneck” ghettos. Government is blamed for a number of factors, such as welfare-supported destructive lifestyles. However, the inability to get work is a key factor and one that deserves greater emphasis.
Licensing is one obstacle to employment. However, there are many others. A major element is the inability of wages and employment costs to decline for employers in such