Everything old and sucky is new and sucky again
So let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here in our response to the latest iteration of leftist populism.
Instead, let’s discuss the unassailable logic redounding against mandatory minimum wage hikes — that forcing companies to pay more for what are supposed to be entry level jobs means they are less likely to hire entry level employees to take those jobs; and that the more money a company is forced to pay per employee (by something other than market forces and something much closer to mandatory price controls), the less money it has, overall, for its employee pull, causing 1) either a net decrease in jobs, or 2) an increase to the cost of the consumer on the back end of the mandatory increase.
In every instance, the young, inexperienced, lesser-educated, and — statistically speaking, minority populations — suffer most. While labor unions, pretending to push for the little guy, continue to price out the competition — the young, those looking for first time jobs — while increasing their own wages, which are tied oftentimes to the contracts that increase union wages by percentage equal to minimum wage increases.
So it’s not only that raising the minimum wage isn’t about compassion, caring, “living wages,” or employment in the first place, but worse still, it’s a boon to the left’s big labor army, and a net killer of jobs and the experience required to get jobs, then move up with pluck and hard work, that has increasingly become less the ideal than described as a kind of sickness of capitalism cured only by the compassion of a nannystate, cradle-to-grave entitlement culture and wealth redistribution schemes that, for politicians, at least, only seem to go one way: toward their power, influence, and financial security.
Which is why there’s no reason the GOP needs to fight this fight — save for the fact that today’s GOP is convinced it has to disguise itself as Democrat populists in order to win support from those who, out of sheer exhaustion, are beginning to resign themselves to their roles as dependents on the state.
The answer to this populist propaganda push by the left is to note how many people Obama has already put out of work; how many of the “jobs created” under this administration are of the part-time variety (with more to come), and that — with a minimum wage increase forced upon already struggling businesses — even that number will necessarily take a hit right in the shorts. Because if minimum wage increases actual did help with jobs and families, why in the hell are we constantly told the situation is so dire that we need new ones? If the last fix didn’t take, why would the new fix finally put things “right”?
And we all know the answer to that, because we aren’t economic illiterates of the type who vote for people who tell you you can have free stuff, your costs will go down, and your choices will go up, all because a racist country has finally done the courageous thing and elected what one liberal writer called “the Magic Negro.”
Unfortunately, though, too many of our fellow citizens are of that type. At least, they were. I guess it remains to be seen if they can be taught, or if the Pavlovian conditioning of liberal treat dispensers has proven too permanent, and Skinner’s Walden II is our fate.
Here, then, again, is Milton Friedman, on the minimum wage: