The Next Time a Republican Says They Oppose a Hike to the Minimum Wage, Just Show Them This

minimum-wage“The minimum wage kills jobs!”

I’m sure you’ve heard this rallying cry from many conservatives.  It’s a line that might sound like it makes sense to gullible Republican voters—except it doesn’t.

Make no mistake about it, our minimum wage and the amount of people on welfare at deeply intertwined.  Welfare, of course, being another issue Republicans endlessly attack, while opposing an increase in the minimum wage.

Let’s just think about that for a moment.  We have a minimum wage that’s so low, many people working full-time at the wage still qualify (and often require) assistance from the government to survive.  Therefore, our minimum wage being at such low levels is forcing millions of Americans to rely on help from the government just to get by.

Now enter the Republican nonsense that the minimum wage kills jobs and that we must make cuts to our welfare programs because there are too many people relying on the government instead of “taking personal responsibility for themselves.”

So basically Republicans oppose any hike in the minimum wage — a hike which would help millions of people no longer require help (or at least as much help) from the government — all while claiming that there are far too many Americans relying on help from the government.

What next?  Are they going to oppose sex education in our schools and access to contraceptives, then complain about the rate of abortions due to unplanned pregnancies?  Oh wait, never mind.

Their ignorant stance on the minimum wage just baffles me.  Sure, a hike would have a negative impact on some areas of our economy.  But here’s a news flash — nothing we ever pass will completely please everyone.  If we cured cancer, think of all the jobs that would be eliminated.  Does that mean curing cancer is a bad thing?

I just love their premise that if we eliminated the minimum wage, suddenly job growth would skyrocket.  How exactly?  By creating a bunch of jobs that pay even less than our current minimum wage?  How exactly is that going to help our economy or the American worker?  Do these conservatives really believe that by paying some lower skilled workers less, that businesses are going to pass these savings on to other workers?

Please.  They’ll do what they always do — keep it for themselves.

So how exactly does it make any sense to oppose a hike in minimum wage all while complaining about the amount of people relying on government assistance?  It’s our ridiculously low minimum wage that’s causing many Americans to rely on government assistance.

This is honestly one of the most ignorant arguments I deal with when talking to Republicans.  They literally will complain about people being on welfare while opposing a plan that would help millions of people get off welfare.

It makes absolutely no sense.

If we raised the minimum wage to a more respectable level, millions of people would make a decent enough living to where not only would they not require government assistance, they wouldn’t even qualify for it.

And don’t give me this nonsense that a raise in our minimum wage would be a “job killer.”  I’m so sick and tired of that damn phrase I could scream.  Everything is a “job killer” according to Republicans.

Tax hikes, “Obamacare,” raising our minimum wage—whenever Republicans need a “go to” talking point, they just throw out the term “job killer.”

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, demand creates jobs—period.  If there’s consumer demand for a product or service, there will be businesses fighting among themselves to provide it.  These businesses will then hire according to what demand dictates.

Sure, many businesses will initially fight against a hike in the minimum wage.  Heck, it might even temporarily cost our economy jobs.  But in the long run, demand will always win out.  These businesses might let go of a few people in a knee-jerk reaction to a raise in the minimum wage, but if they can’t keep up with demand, they’ll be forced to hire more employees.

“Oh, but then prices will go up!”  Excuse me, are prices going down?  Demand often dictates prices as well.  Nobody wants VHS tapes because it’s a dead technology, while Blu-ray and streaming services are the bigger ticket items right now.  How much are VHS tapes compared to Blu-ray or streaming?  Because demand for VHS tapes are next to nothing, prices for these items as a whole are next to nothing.  However, for Blu-ray or streaming services you’ll pay more considering demand for these products is greater.

Well, as long as their prices remain at a price point that consumers find acceptable.  This is just basic economics.  But it’s something Republicans simply seem unable to grasp.

Take a hypothetical VHS vendor.  Then let’s exempt them from “Obamacare,” give them a tax rate of zero and allow them to pay workers $1.00 an hour.  Know how much money they’re going to make?  Probably next to nothing.  Know how many jobs they’ll create?  Most likely zero. And if they did, it would be one job paying $1.00 an hour.

Consumer demand is the driving force behind our economy.  Consumer demand would also increase if we raised the minimum wage as more Americans would have more spending money.  Consumers with more money to spend create more demand, which then creates more profits for businesses which then creates more jobs.

Or we can do it the Republican way — cut taxes, cut benefits, reduce regulations and see all that savings go into the pockets of the rich executives (as they have for the last 30+ years).  Then as consumer spending falls due to the greed of these corporations trying to squeeze every last drop of revenue from every last worker, they’ll continue to eliminate jobs as consumer demand plummets due to low wages and fewer Americans having jobs.

Then, to “create jobs,” these businesses will lobby Washington for more tax cuts with the promise that this time, they’ll actually create jobs.  But what happens when their tax rates are reduced to zero?  How will they create jobs then?  That’s a question Republicans will never answer.

As this all goes on, and millions of Americans continue to rely on our government for help due to a minimum wage that’s simply too low for Americans to get by on, these same Republicans will stand there and push for cuts to those programs as well.

And that’s just how asinine many conservatives truly are.  They claim there are too many Americans overburdening our welfare system, costing taxpayers billions, yet they oppose a hike in the minimum wage which would help millions of Americans get off government programs and become fully self sufficient.

But then again, these are the people who claim their party represents “freedom” while trying to ban homosexuals from having the right to marry whomever they love.

So common sense obviously isn’t a quality most conservatives value.

Image via AP

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Michelle Fusco

    Another great article!

  • John Clark

    You lost me at VHS. Bluray is like a laser disk from back in the videotape days: great quality but doesn’t sell. I pulled a quote last night for my minimum wage increase piece: basically, the 1.25 in ’63 that the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was calling to raise to 2 was higher in today’s dollars than 10.10. 2 was double today’s 7.25.

  • Tamara Lewis Griffith

    Well reasoned and presented again. It makes my head hurt to even try to have a conversation with family on the right because of their endless, irrational circular parroting of the talking points fed to them by Rush, Beck, Fox and (oh god) Cruz.

    • pbfrank13

      According to Keynesian argument like those hinted at above, giving people more money through a government mandated artificial wage increase, will stimulate the economy by giving them more money to spend on consumer goods. I have to ask, if you or the author know how wealth is created, if either of you are familiar with the broken window fallacy and the unseen in the market, or if you understand the subjective value prices have on goods and labor?

      • charleo1

        There are only two ways wealth is created. People working,
        or money working. And right at this time, neither are working
        very well. Either for the investor, or a good portion of the work force. The reason of course is, the extraordinary depth, and breadth of the recent recession. While the financial system was recapitalized, and credit was restored. The longer lasting legacy of this close call with global financial disaster, has been it’s negative effect on our Middle Income Classes, and Lower Middle income Class. Generally referred to as the working poor. Not only did these two groups suffer the greatest loss in terms of total net worth, with the collapse of the housing bubble. But also suffered the greatest losses in jobs, wages, and overall confidence
        in their financial security going forward. This giant, Middle sector of our economy, composed of roughly 2/3 of the population, is the economic engine, on which our economy depends. It is by their financial health our economy, either grows, or contracts. Succeeds, or fails. Produces jobs, or falls into stagnation. And frankly, they are the only sector
        that hasn’t received substantial help to cope, and heal
        from the direct body blow, of a world class financial upheaval. This on the heels of a long, and persistent, downward spiral of decreasing wages, and steady rises in
        core goods, and services. Such as food, clothing, fuel, and
        transportation, housing, and healthcare. There is no mystery
        here, as to why there are sometimes 10, 20, or 100 applicants for each job. Our capacity to produce goods, and services, and the labor required to do so, far exceeds the demand for enough of these products, to make jobs available for all who must have them. And while idled workers look for that job, eager investors also wait for that
        investment that puts their money to work. But like the millions of still unneeded workers, their money sits idly by, along with the other billions, even trillions the corporations
        have piled to the ceiling in some vault perhaps off shore
        somewhere. Their tax breaks in hand. Waiting for that one
        thing that must happen before any fortunes are built,
        militaries are armed, or economies recover. Someone must
        walk in, telephone, mail order, use the internet, or by some
        means buy something. And it’s pretty obvious they need
        a raise!

      • pbfrank13

        Your premise is incorrect, People working doesn’t create wealth. If the government decided to put people to work to dig ditches and fill them back in, society as a whole is not wealthier, if people rebuild after a natural disaster, society is not wealthier, they are worse off then before the disaster because they had to spend scarce resources and labor rebuilding to get back to previous living standards.

        The government via the fed reserve back stops bad loans and debt rather than letting the assets be liquidated and real value via voluntary action pricing said assets. It’s destined to boom and bust so long as we have an artificial control of the supply of money and credit.

        I suggest you watch this video that shows a visual of how living standards increase and what wealth is as well as how it is created. It’s a short video < 3 mins, I read your response through, please return the mutual respect and watch before responding and if you happen to have a critique.

      • Pat

        so where’s the video?

      • pbfrank13

        Wouldn’t let me post a link youtube title ”

        “Trade Is Made of Win,” Part 1: Wealth Creation” channel is LearnLiberty.

      • pbfrank13

        Link is not allowed or something. Youtube “how is wealth created” by the channel LearnLiberty

  • Cemetery Girl

    Several years back I worked at a Walmart store, and I still shop there. I quit, went back to college. A few years later I got pregnant (and had my child mid-semester and still pulled a 4.0 GPA, thank you very much!) My child needed a certain formula, higher in cost than the regular, so we applied for WIC. For those that don’t know, WIC allows for much high income levels than food stamps or welfare, so while my husband’s income is enough to meet our needs, we still qualified. I went to the Walmart where I had worked to get some formula using WIC. I went to a cashier that I had worked with and had always been on friendly terms. She saw that I had WIC and told me, “it must be nice to be able to quit your job and live off is tax payers.” I was shocked, yet still had the ability to reply, “well, as little as they pay here, even if I was working here full time we’d still qualify for this.” She was livid, glaring at me for my comment. She still works there, and I will wait in a long line just to avoid her and her judgmental attitude.

    • shopper

      Maybe her husband had a high paying job and she worked there just for something to do. Maybe she doesn’t realize how many Walmart workers are on welfare. Maybe she is just dumb. Many are.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        and maybe she has small tits and hates the large breasted cemetery girl

      • Mbagrad02

        The government incentivizes poverty by giving tax breaks to employers who hire people on welfare then keeps their hours and wages low enough so that they will never be able to get off the dole so employers can continue to get a generous per employee tax credit

  • 2Smart2bGOP

    I’ve said this for years, though perhaps not as eloquently. It’s Economics 101: You have to spend money to make money. An economy will NOT grow on cuts, cuts, cuts.

    • regressive rightwing trash

      wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, wrong!!! just ask rush Limbaugh/glenn beck/ sean “fatassss” Hannity and michelle “no tits & hates her life ” malkin

    • pbfrank13

      How is wealth created? Spending money doesn’t automatically make money or create wealth. I could spend $1000s of dollars on fireworks and not be any more wealthy after I light them off. Your explanation is naive and simplistic if you truly believe that mantra.

      If that were the case than the government spending endlessly on foreign wars would have made us all better off, except the opposite happens to be true that for every dollar wasted on war (since people in companies that actually make the war materials need to pay for supplies and salaries) not to mention the salaries of the military personnel, we aren’t better off nor our our living standards better as a result of war spending unless you happen to be a politically connected company getting government contracts or invested in said companies.

      GDP during WW2 may have been higher but in reality the economy didn’t grow until immediately after the war ended, government spending was slashed around 70% and tax rates were cut, despite cries from Keynesian saying the government had to continue spending at war rates otherwise we would have another depression. It didn’t happen.

      • charleo1

        What are you talking about fireworks for? If you spend a
        thousand dollars on them, and they go up in smoke, you
        will be a thousand lighter. But the company that hired the
        workers to make them, will make a profit, the workers will
        have made their pay, so now can feed their families, pay
        on their car, eat out, buy a home. Not only on your dime,
        but you contributed. If you went to Vegas, and blew a
        grand, you may not be richer, but they aren’t building
        those fancy tourist fleecing operations for their health.
        The fact is, 70% of our economy depends on consumers.
        It’s called, Consumerism. It’s demand drives our economy.
        WWII, was a giant economic stimulus program. As bad
        as that war was, The pure demand, was very good for the economy. With tens of thousands otherwise employed by
        the military. Thousands more were busily engaged here at
        home, feeding the voracious appetite of the war effort.
        There has been a political attempt to rewrite that era, in
        this hyper anti-government era of the Right. The statement,
        for example, the government cannot create jobs, is a
        political one, not an economic, or true one. The economic
        boom proceeding the end of the war, was not accompanied
        as you claim by slashing government spending by 70%.
        Remember the Marshall Plan? And the Federal tax rates
        for the top incomes remained as high as 90%, well into
        the second term of the Eisenhower Administration. The boom was also fuel by the pent up demand created by the
        war, on our domestic economy, for almost everything.
        The American suburb was created as thousands of homes
        were built, and sold, And, Americans needed automobiles which had been out of production during the war years,
        And with that money saved from the Army, and the long hours in the factories, building the war machine, that defeated Fascism in Europe, they had the money to buy.
        And buy they did. The unprecedented debt created by the
        war, was not the drag on the economy, some economists of the day predicted. In fact the majority of it was retired by the middle of the 1950s. But this, the broadest expansion of
        individual wealth, that created the single largest, and most
        profitable consumer market the world had ever seen. Was
        not created by cutting taxes, outlawing trade unions, or
        driving wages thru the floor, to reach a quota increase in
        profit for the next quarter, after spending a ton of money
        buying market share from the next largest competitor.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        If I believed your fireworks theory, now THAT would truly be naive and simplistic, not to mention completely nonsensical. Either you are truly ignorant as to how economics works, or you are being deliberately obtuse. I refer to spending money on things like unemployment benefits, SNAP benefits, etc. When people have money in their pockets, they will spend it, creating demand. More demand means that more people need to be hired to produce/manufacture materials to meet that demand. Sounds as if you are getting your economics education from FOX “News.” Sorry ’bout that; kinda renders you unqualified to engage in this discussion. But please, do continue to enlighten us as to how intelligent is your position.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        So explain why Eisenhower borrowed a boatload of money, built bridges, highways, schools and hospitals, and retired the debt?

      • pbfrank13

        First of all he knew what he was doing was unconstitutional and declared it to be a matter of national security to build an interstate, to get around the unconstitutionality of it. The argument given was to quickly move supplies and allow enough miles of straight road to land aircraft as well as evacuate in case of attack. I’m not going to argue there was nothing good about it, clearly there was, but the trade off was that it subsidized communities and businesses that lived outside of urban areas.

        If someone wants to live or create a business remotely, that’s fine but the tradeoff is having to pay your way for the lifestyle you choose. If there was enough demand for specific roads and networks, they would have been built long ago as that is the point of a voluntary market.

        Interstates have tolls in some states, in NJ, the tolls were supposed to be taken down after I-95 was paid for, and gas taxes would pick up the rest. instead the state decided its a good source of revenue and uses the funds on other things that don’t pertain to the road service at all. So essentially the people using and actually paying for the roads are subsidizing and redistributing wealth to other parts of the budget completely irrelevant to their user fees.

        I will tell you that new hospitals have a hard time being permitted in areas for various reasons, including the near monopoly that established hospitals/clinics have and lobby local government to keep competition out, prices high and quality low. Same goes for competing schools via unions and the DoE.

        And once again, if there is a strong enough demand for a good or service an entrepreneur WILL find a means to provide the good or service, unless there are unnecessary hurdles and protectionism preventing it. The market and laws of economics apply to every resource that is scarce, labor is scarce, medical supplies and availability is scarce, it really bothers me when people otherwise support markets and competition to some extent, go against logic and consistency and claim “well education, healthcare, roads, etc.. are different!” How so?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        1. Uh, the part about landing aircraft is a myth. And how was it unconstitutional?

        2. I see new hospitals going up all the time. I’m working in a town that is building a new one as we speak.

        3. The private sector is only interested in profit. Government often acts in the interest of the public good. A lot of research gets done in universities with federal dollars because the private sector doesn’t want to be bothered.

        4. You might want to check out this website about Eisenhower and the highway system: http://www DOT fhwa DOT dot DOT gov/interstate/interstatemyths.htm

        “The Interstate System was first described in a Bureau of Public Roads report to Congress, Toll Roads and Free Roads, in 1939. It was authorized for designation by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, with the initial designations in 1947 and completed in 1955 under the 40,000-mile limitation imposed by the 1944 Act. President Eisenhower didn’t conceive the Interstate System, but his support led to enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which established the program for funding and building it.”

      • pbfrank13

        1) Not sure on that, not really an important point I was getting at

        2) Nit pick some more, I didn’t say everywhere or anywhere in particular I said in some areas for the reasons I stated, local ordinances/laws, and federal regulations/restrictions. You comment is anecdotal, so why bother mentioning it?

        3) Profit is a reward for providing a good or service that people demand, typically improving living standards. Prices are subjective to individuals and reflect supply and demand of scarce resources. If you aren’t making a profit, the market is signaling the producer they aren’t doing something right/the demand changed etc.. When a service or public good is over consumed, as is the case with roads, you get a commons dilemma (see tragedy of the commons) where everyone thinks they own something but since there is not market mechanism to reflect use and prices, quality goes down.

        You act as though companies never research or invest in R and D which is clearly not the case. You also ignore that philanthropy and charity/donations exists for research/arts/public goods. By suggesting what you do, you are saying you believe something needs to be invested in and want to use the force of government to ‘invest’ in something you believe in without lifting a finger yourself, because clearly you can’t be bothered to volunteer or donate yourself or raise awareness for others to pool resources and donate.

        I can name many examples where companies in the US have invested in things that may or may not have resulted in profitable research or demonetization.

        4) Right, a .gov website is going to be totally honest and unbiased about its own exaggerated importance. Just like how education in school is controlled by the government, based on the Prussian Obedient citizen education model. The US government is never ever wrong and teaches people to be dependent and grateful for the government, despite the the long history of abuses and destruction specifically because an entity called government has a monopoly on the use of force.

        Your quoted snippet is pointless in this discussion of so called “public goods” that was originally about minimum wage.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        My experience is in health care and the pharmaceutical industry. The latter relies on government funded research because they want to make profits, not invest. Most of the “new” drugs aren’t new; they are slight molecular variations on old drugs. And prices are purely arbitrary, which is why birth control pills, which have been around for 50 years, now run $80-100/pack in the US.

        Philanthropy and charity are insufficient. That is why we no longer have charity hospitals. And I donate my tax dollars. What sort of volunteering and donating do YOU do??? Government does what individuals cannot.

        What’s your beef with the public school system? I’m a product of it and I’m a rather productive member of society because of it. And we didn’t learn anything about being grateful for government. Au contraire. I was in high school during the Vietnam War.

        I quote the “snippet” because you said what Eisenhower did was illegal. I pointed out Congress passed the funding, like it usually does. It’s up to you to prove what’s posted isn’t true.

    • Matthew Reece

      Why do people believe that if government does not spend money, that money will not be spent? It will remain in private hands to be spent in more efficient ways. Money will also retain more of its value without the Federal Reserve debasing it to prop up institutions that should be allowed to fail.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        Ah yes, the “trickle-down” theory; that has worked SO well for us so far, hasn’t it? Money is private hands tends to remain in private hands. Funny how that concept is so difficult for the right to grasp.

      • pbfrank13

        In a free market, yes it does, in our system of crony capitalism, which is supported by both major parties, not so much.

        Under consuming in the present allows for more wealth creation and consumption in the future. Rich people aren’t stuffing their millions in a mattress, they keep it in banks and invest it to try and return more than inflation will. That capital is loaned out with interest which is used to expand, develop, or otherwise investments which grow the economy. Government throwing money at politically connected institutions only enriches the special interests and groups that have their hands out for free stolen money.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        So – the rich are investing in jobs overseas, making even more obscene profits, and then, through their benevolence and generosity, they will return it to us in the form of “loans?” Now I know you believe in fairy tales. The government isn’t supposed to be the enemy; the government is supposed to be us. We are supposed to be intelligent enough to vote out the corrupt, but all those “loans” you refer to are used to buy more corrupt politicians who will allow them bigger tax breaks, and store all that money in offshore accounts for the benefit of their own. (Those “mattresses you spoke of.) Go ahead and waste your time being a troll on these threads. No minds are being changed by you; you are farting in the wind. 2014 will see the fall of even more tea partiers, who are now about as popular as venereal disease. Go away now, grown ups are trying to talk. I think FOX “News” has something on right now that you can be poisoning your mind with.

      • pbfrank13

        Like it or not, those tax shelters are there for a reason and because of current policy it is more worthwhile to keep money offshore than invest here. And what do you expect people to do when in becomes more lucrative to lobby government for personal gain? Every corporation and special interest does it because the government is nothing more than an auctioneer of rights, privileges, loopholes, and tax breaks to the politically connected and they have the monopoly on the use for force to execute laws and collect money.

        The only fantasy here is people like you who insist the government needs more power, needs to elect more people that are somehow immune to corruption. I hate to break it to you, democrats are just as guilty with Cronyism in government. Charlie Rangel – GE donation for tax benefits, Elizabeth Warren, flipping houses during cheap loans and artificial demand, same as Pelosi. Feinstein’s husband is making massive commissions on USPS offices being sold off in her home state of CA.

        Continue with the fox news meme, teabagger ‘insults’ and other ad hominem garbage that you resort to because you can’t articulate an argument that addresses any economic principles.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        Bottom line, you advocate for an economic policy that has been proven, over the last thirty years, not to work. It is responsible for the shit hole that we are currently in. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing, over and over again, and expect different results. Take from that what you will, I am finished pissing in the wind with you. But that’s what trolls do. Do go ahead and have the last word; I’m sure it means a lot to you, means nothing to me. Proceed.

      • charleo1

        It’s incredible, and I suppose a testament to the corrupting influence of big money. That Republicans
        could still be singing the praises of an economy theory
        that has decreased the net worth of 3/4 of the Middle
        Class by 1/2. And doubled the number living in poverty.
        I’m guessing, it’s not that it has been such a failure for
        the vast majority. But, that it’s been such a smashing
        success for the top 1%.

      • Charles Vincent

        I suggest you read the wealth of nations by Adam Smith.

        “And doubled the number living in poverty.
        I’m guessing, it’s not that it has been such a failure for
        the vast majority. But, that it’s been such a smashing
        success for the top 1%.”

        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=Js5TvZD6Uzo

      • charleo1

        Who hasn’t read, Smith’s, “The Wealth of Nations?”However the competitive, market based economy that Smith envisioned, is not, by anyone’s account, the economy we have today. For one thing, Smith makes much of his principals work on paper, because, his invisible hand, assumed much more competition for quality,
        price, and labor, than we see today. His contentions about labor, as essentially being a commodity. Where the competition among
        the many, and diverse businesses, supports wages, is one of his most glaring errors. And by
        erring there, on labor. He also went wide of the
        mark, that a market based economy, consumers would consistently have the money that would create the demand, at sufficient levels for business expansion to accommodate a growing workforce, without effecting the overall wage. Smith also
        envisioned an economy that was continually
        churning capital throughout a broader economy.
        As increased profits led to expansions, that led
        to more jobs, and better pay. Smith did not see
        a global economy, with an inexhaustible supply
        of exploited third world labor. Or automation,
        and, monopolies cornering the market, where they,
        eliminate the competition, and set both the price, and the wage. Or the debilitating condition of an
        economy, when only 400 of the largest companies,
        and wealthiest individuals control fully half of an
        economy’s finite supply of capital. And what that
        does to the larger economy. Just the simple fact
        alone, that 95% of the economic gains since the
        recession officially ended, in terms of standard
        qualifiers, has benefited the top 1/2 of 1%. Thus,
        my comment. The current system, by any criteria
        you want to use, works wonderfully for the wealthy. But is an unmitigated failure for everyone

      • Charles Vincent

        I suggest you read the wealth of nations by Adam Smith.

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        As with a great many books that are over two hundred years old, it’s open to interpretation: “There are two important features of Smith’s concept of the “invisible hand” that are often overlooked, however. Firstly, Smith was not advocating a social policy (that people should act in their own self interest), but rather was describing an observed economic reality (that people do act in their own interest). Secondly, Smith was not claiming that all self-interest has beneficial effects on the community. He did not argue that self-interest is always good; he merely argued against the view that self-interest is necessarily bad. Indeed, he often harshly criticizes those who act purely out of self-interest and greed, and warns that, “[a]ll for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” He also left much of his personal fortune to charity after his death.

        “Smith himself, however, would not necessarily have been in favor of laissez faire; he makes no claims to the effect that the free market can always solve economic problems. For example, with regard to regulations, he says, “Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.” (Book 1, Chapter 10). ”

        With all due respect to your suggestion, I have a very full plate right now, training for a job after almost two and a half years unemployed. I have no plans for any other reading “suggestions.”

      • Charles Vincent

        No he was talking economic but economic and social welfare are interrelated.

        “As with a great many books that are over two hundred years old, it’s open to interpretation:”

        This doesn’t make them irrelevant either.

        “With all due respect to your suggestion, I have a very full plate right now, training for a job after almost two and a half years unemployed. I have no plans for any other reading “suggestions.”
        I didn’t say right this moment and hello they make audio books you can put on an ipod and listen to for a half hour while you work out.

        Secondly the situation we are in now is a direct result of Corporate welfare which I believe both Bastiat and Smith thought were unhealthy to a market.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Because rich people do not spend money. They hoard it. Their basic needs (and then some) have been met.

      • Matthew Reece

        Let us not confuse saving with hoarding. Saving is really just another form of spending, as Henry Hazlitt explains in Economics in One Lesson. But even if rich people do hoard money, it doesn’t matter. When they die, their hoards will be dispersed, and while they are alive, that money is out of circulation, making everyone else’s money, which is in circulation, more valuable.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Nice rationalization but wrong. Hoarding money in the Caymans doesn’t create demand which creates jobs.

      • Matthew Reece

        Jobs are not created by demand alone. If a demand is impossible to satisfy (whether momentarily or absolutely), then production will not occur and jobs will not be created.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah, but demand is a big part in manufacturing and service.

  • pbfrank13

    Keynesian Multiplier fallacy, no evidence to support anything other than emotionally driven garbage. Why not make everyone millionaires and increase min wage to $1million/hr because it makes ZERO economic sense to artificially price and wage control. Ignorance of the broken window fallacy and the unseen explained by Frederich Bastiat. Why even write an article like this other than drum up hysteria and partisan hackery and shilling?

    • regressive rightwing trash

      hey gerbil droppings————-how about NOT crying and stating something which will help poor hard working people?

    • Matt

      The problem with you is that your entire argument keeps higher-up salaries a constant. Companies like Walmart CAN afford to pay their workers more than welfare wages; currently they use taxpayers to help their employees get by. Nobody is suggesting that we raise the minimum wage by 500%, because we’re not idiots. We just want corporate responsibility for employees.

      • pbfrank13

        Here lies the fatal flaw. People of your political persuasion insist that the government use force to redistribute wealth to those deemed needy. You insist the government needs to take from some to help others rather than encourage people to take care of each other themselves, with out using a gun to extract taxes to do it and pat yourselves on the back for being ever so ‘compassionate’. When a corporation is able to take advantage of this by not paying a living wage, you declare the government needs to force the companies to do so. You ignore the massive amounts of government intervention in the market, the monopoly on force, the monopoly on the money supply which literally steals wealth and purchasing power from the very poor you think you are helping.

        And to be blunt, you are idiotiotic for suggesting that the government should artificially set prices and wages considering that no group of people in government could possibly know whats best for anyone else. The government is not made up of saints, it is made up of people with flaws is entirely susceptible to corruption. Believing the government has infinite knowledge and wisdom to be able to accurately allocate resources and control an economy made up entirely of individuals making trillions of voluntary interactions every day is arrogant and indeed idiotic.

  • regressive rightwing trash

    I told U b4 and I will tell U again.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, VOTE REGRESSIVE WHITE TRASH REPUBLICAN SCUMBAAAAG!! we need their love” of our country!! we can love America again ( take back America) by getting into some more small dicked rightwing wars,,,,killing our brave soldiers so wealthy OLD impotent white Christians can make MORE MONEY!!! VOTE REPUBLICAN

    • Hilarious Guy Above Me

      you are too funny – but you have a good point.

  • FathertIME

    This was an awesome article but except the part were you repeatedly blame the Replublican Party for complaining about this and that. Well the Democrats do it too and try to force their will on folks just as much as the Republicans do.. I am a very staunch Republican but that doesn’t mean I don’t agree entirely with a Democratic view..heck I am all for bettering our country and its citizens..the only way we are going to get better as a country is to get along and reach a common thread..which is to take care of our homeland..whether we are Republican or Democrat…

    • FlSam

      I’ll believe both parties equally force their will on people when democrats try to change laws to force me to have a vaginal probe against my will.

  • TwoPartyPrison

    Raising the minimum wage won’t do much as long as the purchasing power of the dollar remains in it’s current state and/or continues to weaken. Raising the minimum wage isn’t a solution, it’s a temporary fix that won’t mean much if we don’t get our finances in order.

  • Matthew Reece

    In 1964, the minimum wage was 5 silver quarters per hour. Today, their melt value would be around $20. The minimum wage does not need fixing; the money itself does. If you want the rich to stop getting richer and the poor to stop getting poorer, then you need to advocate for the end of central banking.

  • DeeDee

    Say what you will about the political nature of this article, the raw economics is spot-on. In our type of economy, the health of the middle class dictates the health of the economy. Business exist to make money, and if they don’t have to spend money, they won’t. It’s the nature of the beast. It doesn’t mean that can’t afford to, though. Raising the minimum wage to a liveable wage would substantively improve our economy in short order because, unlike their wealthy counterparts, the lower and middle classes will spend the extra money they receive. And companies will hire more people because there will be a need. And the economic engine starts humming once again.

  • MLR

    Don’t you know by now that republicans don’t make sense? And don’t blame the lawmakers, blame their ignorant constituents, the so-called “base” of the R party that demand this shit. They are on assistance just as much or more as anybody else (we all know that red states are the welfare states) but they have this “me” mentality and think everyone else is getting a free ride and they are the only ones that work hard. They rail against abortion but also want to outlaw contraception and what will be the result? More babies being born that need to eat, the larger a family gets the more assistance they will need and so on. They rail against contraception getting covered by a health plan and bitch about why should they pay for maternity leave (which everyone forgets women pay taxes too) but it’s ok for my tax dollars to cover Viagra which I don’t need because I’m a single woman. This is a party that doesn’t make sense. They contradict themselves and are too stupid to realize it. What baffles me more than anything is why anyone gives them any credibility.

  • MLR

    Don’t you know by now that republicans don’t make sense? And
    don’t blame the lawmakers, blame their ignorant constituents, the so-called
    “base” of the R party that demand this shit (it’s called throwing the
    base “red meat”). They are on assistance just as much or more as anybody else
    (we all know that red states are the welfare states) but they have this
    “me” mentality and think everyone else is getting a free ride and
    they are the only ones who work hard. They rail against abortion but also want
    to outlaw contraception and what will be the result? More babies being born
    that need to eat, the larger a family gets the more assistance they will need
    and so on. They rail against contraception getting covered by a health plan and
    bitch about why should they pay for maternity leave (which everyone forgets
    women pay taxes too and maternity benefits the father as well) but it’s ok for
    my tax dollars to cover Viagra which I don’t need because I’m a single woman.
    This is a party that doesn’t make sense. They contradict themselves and are too
    stupid to realize it. What baffles me more than anything is why anyone gives
    them any credibility.

  • USA in distress

    We have become a country who does not make anything anymore. Many companies are closing up and moving to China for cheaper labor to compete in world markets. Practically everything in Walmart is made in China. Try finding an electronic anything made in the US. Our minimum wage needs to stay down just so that we can be somewhat competitive in the world market, China uses slave labor to make their products, paying there workers less than $10 a day. Raising the US minimum wage will only force more companies to move to China removing more jobs. China is not operating on a fair business playing field. As long as we continue to support China’s awful business practices our minimum wage will never go up. Before the minimum wage can be raised maybe everyone here needs to think about stopping the purchasing China made products and bring our jobs and r&d back home. If you don’t believe me do your own research.

    • FlSam

      China is not the only nation being exploited by corporations for their cheap labor. If everyone focuses on China and not the other places, corporations will simply move on.

  • JimEye

    Let’s see – how about we take the most recent Republican Presidential nominee as an example.

    Mitt Romney is worth an estimated $250 million and is for all intents and purposes retired, with the exception of having joined the board of directors at Marriott, as I recall. He may have fingers in other pies that I’m not fully aware of, but that’s really irrelevant to this example.

    I would like to know just “how many jobs” the wealthy Mitt Romney has created with all of that wealth. Let’s see … ummm … I know of NO, none, zilch, zero, jobs he has created after his failed Presidential bid.

    Such is the case with most independently wealthy retirees. That “cut taxes on job creators” line is just so much horse shit.

  • Randall Kramm

    The willfully blind will not see, even if you remove their blindfold and show them the light.

  • DJ

    I live and work in Sea-Tac Washington, where there was just a vote to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. Seattle is taking about doing the same.

    While I agree that the minimum wage needs to be raised, here is something that I have never heard addressed when it comes to raising the minimum wage…

    I currently make $15 an hour as a skilled worker — a facilities engineer. Raising the minimum wage to $15 has just now automatically made MY job a “minimum wage job”, right next to that telemarketer, high school grocery bagger, and Micky-D counter person.

    Historically, (at least since the Reagan years) when the minimum wage has gone up, adjacent wages have NOT. In other words, every time the minimum wage has been raised, it only succeeded in raising the number of minimum wage JOBS. There is no incentive for employers to raise everyone else’s wage by the same percentage points, so while more people are given the illusion of making more money, the reality is that the cost of living simply goes up and more people become less able to cope with it.

    Instead of simply raising the minimum wage, we should be talking about COLA raises instead. As the cost of living goes up, so should ALL wages by the same percentage.

    • Shawn Franchi

      Raising wages tends to increase the cost-of-living by an amount at least as much as the wage increase. In particular, the price of any commodity is related to the supply/demand curve for that commodity. For a consumer good, increasing everyone’s wages by a given amount will give all the consumers more money to spend, and will thus be willing to pay a higher price for the same good. In addition, since the producer has to pay additional costs as the wages (in effect, the cost of labor) go up, they have to charge even more to bring the system back into Nash equilibrium. For example, imagine if the country had 10 people, all of whom earn $1 per year. If each person wants a brownie from a company that has a marginal cost of $0.05 per brownie, but no consumer is willing to spend more than 10% of their salary on a brownie, the brownie company will manufacture 10 brownies at a cost of $0.50, charge $0.10 per brownie, and completely sell out, making $0.50 in net income. Now suppose everyone gets a 100% raise to $2 per year, except that 5 people lose their job. Each person is still willing to pay 10% of their income on brownies, but that now becomes $0.20 per person.The manufacturer would only make 5 brownies, raise their price to $0.20 per brownie, sell all of them brownies, and make $1.00 net income. This income has approximately the same purchasing power as $0.50 before the wage increase. This is an inefficient outcome, as the five people who kept their jobs can afford fewer brownies than before, five people who had brownies the previous year could not afford them, and the company has the same income in terms of purchasing power as before.

  • Shawn Franchi

    That sounds great, but what about the people who have a job that makes less than the proposed new minimum wage or don’t have a job at all? My girlfriend makes something like $9 an hour. If the minimum wage is raised to $10 an hour without extra subsidies for her employer to make up the cost, she likely won’t have a job anymore. Her employer already has probably an inefficiently high number of workers as it is, and I doubt they are going to give her a raise just because she’s no longer allowed to work for $9 an hour. I already can’t get a job because my labor is only worth around $4 an hour, but under minimum wage laws I’m not allowed to work for that price. If I were able to work for that price, I’d likely be able to actually get some experience that I would need to get a job where my labor can actually produce $7.25 an hour. I understand that people think I should be paid more, but by setting a minimum above the value of my labor, it’s effectively setting my wages to $0 since I can’t get a job. Four dollars at hour at 40 hours a week would be $640 per month, more than the approximately $500 I get as disability. People argue for minimum wage hikes as “giving America a raise”, but all it does for me is keep me unhireable.