Massive Pandemic Wage Theft Is The Result Of Actual Deregulation - The Enforcers Are Gone
Employers can pretty much steal wages at will because in most states and even in the federal government enforcers of labor law are now pretty much absent from the scene. The ones who are left are shackled by politics and lack of funds. You cannot enforce the law if you have no money and not enough enforcers.
The GOP has had years to place their moles in crucial positions in the agencies. Politicians can now intimidate public servants and force them to look the other way. And penalties are now weakly applied if at all. This predicament is the end game of the Reagan Revolution that will only now get worse over time.
Politicians who might run on a more regulative platform face millions of dollars in ads against them. And voters buy the kool aid and vote against them..