People who oppose the minimum wage are some of the most detestable individuals in this country. When someone tries to tell me that having a minimum wage hurts job creation and worsens income inequality, I instantly feel my blood begin to boil. That argument, in my opinion, is stupidity in its purest form.
And it’s stupidity that Jeb Bush showed off when he put his support behind abolishing the federal minimum wage.
“We need to leave it to the private sector,” Bush said of the minimum wage. “I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this. The federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education.”
“We’re moving to a world that is sticky in the ends, where it’s harder for people in poverty to move up and where the rich are doing really well and the middle is getting squeezed,” he continued. “And any idea that makes, that perpetuates that is one that I would oppose, and I think this minimum wage idea is exactly one of those things.”
So, let me get this straight. The Republican economic theory of trickle-down economics is based upon the principle that the better the rich do, the better it is for the rest of us. Yet, here we have Jeb Bush admitting that the rich are doing great – but everyone else is falling further and further behind, especially the poor.
In other words, he just admitted that trickle-down economics doesn’t work.
Then, if I’m understanding his comments correctly (and I’d like to think that I am), he’s saying that the reason why people are having trouble getting out of poverty is because the minimum wage is too high? How exactly is lowering the minimum wage going to help poor people? By giving them less money so that they qualify for more government benefits?
Chris Rock once said during one of his standup specials – and I’m paraphrasing – that when a business is paying you minimum wage, what they’re saying is that they would love to pay you less, but they’re not legally allowed to.
It is comically absurd for anyone to claim that the poorest amongst us would benefit by eliminating the law that says a business can’t pay them less than a certain wage. Listen, if you run a business, but you can’t afford to pay your employees a living wage, then you shouldn’t operate a business. I’m sorry, but that’s just the truth.
And spare me this “eliminating the minimum wage would create jobs” nonsense. In what realm of reality does anyone think creating more lower paying jobs is a good thing? Sure, businesses could take one $7.25/hour job and cut the hourly wage in half to create two jobs – but what sane person sees that as a viable “job creation plan”?
Yes, by all means, let’s create a few million $3.63/hour part-time jobs, that’ll fix the economy!
I have absolutely no patience for this level of ignorance. For someone to legitimately try to argue that a way to help improve income inequality is by opening the door for businesses to pay employees less is unconscionable. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who actually believe that sort of nonsense.
Furthermore, Bush’s statement about “letting the states decide” is just more of the same rhetoric Republicans always squawk whenever they’re trying to screw over millions of Americans. Be it slavery, segregation or bans on same-sex marriage, “states’ rights” has almost always been the battle cry of those hanging from the lowest rungs of our society.
Either way, if part of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign is going to be built upon repealing the minimum wage, I’m all for it. All that will do is help ensure that he’ll never be elected president.
Watch his comments below: