Feed on

Your politicians and the elites who move them think the American people are stupid. Policy has to be dumbed down to make it understandable and supportable by the masses. That, itself, is, to be frank, stupid. We have to pander on the minimum wage, when it is awful policy. And even if it wasn’t awful policy, we all understand that the $15 number is not sensible to apply uniformly across states. Costs vary dramatically across states, even within states, and therefore the beneficial effects of the mandated wage, and the costs of the mandated wage, will be wildly difference based on where it is being applied. For example, even here in the lower income portion of New York, our local Walmart is offering starting pay at $14 per hour WITH paid time off, job training, educational benefits, health benefits. My local McDonalds is offering $13.25 for entry level jobs, with benefits. So even here those mandated wages are nearly meaningless, at least for the large businesses. Tell that to a store in rural Appalachia, or Puerto Rico.

Plus the $15 number itself comes from whole cloth. It is not the result of any analysis that shows this to be the “best” number according to a particular policy preference. The national rhetoric doesn’t even dignify the steel man version, “I know these policies raise costs on businesses, I know they will encourage businesses to find ways to mitigate those cost increases, and I know it distorts the important information flow embedded in the system of market pricing which indicates where resources are needed and where they are not, nonetheless I think these costs are worth incurring because X, Y and Z.” We don’t get that. We get dangerous class rhetoric, disingenuous claims about living standards stagnating, ridiculous stories of obscene worker abuse by businesses and so on. I tell you, I’d support a policy, even a stupid one, if we had the capacity to have an open, intelligent and honest debate about it. But we seem terminally incapable of hauling that water. It’s sad.

They think we are stupid. They have to “dumb down” policy proposals and rhetoric to make it understandable to the masses. That is not how we run a democracy, or how we should run our classrooms. What does it say when the elites and politicians think you are stupid? Is it an indictment of their beloved “public” school system? After all, they had all of us captive for 13 years in that system. Maybe it’s because the radical libertarians who run the country had successfully defunded schools for all of those years and deprived them of the monetary and mental manpower to run things?

Is it an indictment of our filthy American culture? Something else?

Demand better. They think we are stupid.

One Response to “They Think We Are Stupid”

  1. john barry says:

    Brilliant summary. I have been posting about the inanity of a FEDERAL minimum wage (as well as the MW in general). I try to pose cogent arguments and facts. The detractors invariably respond with “but people are suffering.” As if only THEY are capable of compassion, let alone that my arguments specifically point out that lower income folks are likely to bear a good share of the cost. Among your possible explanations, I put governments schools K-12 front and center. It would be so easy to convey the inevitable trade offs from min wage, rent control, etc. But lets face it, a healthy discussion of such, pro and con, is verbotten. Speaking of K-12 education, from an unusual perspective, I highly recommend the book, “The Beautiful Tree: A personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves”

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