Feed on

Former Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and Daniel Mitchell proposed in a New York Times letter on Wednesday to increase the minimum wage.

Same old stuff from the liberal supporters, right? Well, sort of. In their letter, Dukakis and Mitchell surprisingly demonstrate that they are two of the most honest and understanding people around. They rightfully assert that increasing the minimum wage will result in unemployment and reduced opportunities for low-skilled workers.   However, m ost liberals who support living wage and minimum wage campaigns refuse to believe that increasing the price of labor causes entrepreneurs to find ways to substitute away from it – thereby hurting the very people the laws are trying to help.   What it confusing is that when I discuss related issues with these people they understand full well the consequences of the law of demand.  In other words, they realize that if the price of the things they buy regularly increased, they’d find a way to buy less of them.

This irony is interesting in and of itself, but it is not nearly the scariest part of the position taken by Dukakis and Mitchell. You see, Dukakis and Mitchell are supporting minimum wage increases because they think it will create more unemployment among immigrants than among American natives – and they are probably right.   In fact, the letter explicitly is written as a policy proposal to reduce immigration of low-skilled workers to this country.

How can liberals advocate minimum wage increases both under the premise that they will increase unemployment and will not increase unemployment? In good conscience they must understand the real impact of the minimum wage legislation — their support for such legislation is merely to curry favor with entrenched interest groups and care only nominally about the low-income and low-skilled people of America.

If you are scoffing at this, go and study the history of the progressive movement in America. These idealists first pushed for minimum wages and regulations on working conditions at the turn of the 20th century and advocated them for women only. Why? To keep women from being in the workforce and get them back in their homes, where presumably the “progressives” felt women belonged. Have liberals really changed much in a century? Just check out how the teachers unions run most local governments, or how policies are currently enacted to favor the few at the expense of the many. Yet millions continue to belly up to the bar for a swig of this delicious Kool-Aid. It befuddles me.

3 Responses to “Chilling Liberal Progressivism”

  1. The Befuddler says:

    Hey wintercow,

    Just a question.

    The minimum wage is Ontario just rose to a befuddling 10.50/hour. The lifeguards at my cottage were only getting paid, and they told their boss that since the minimum wage had increased, they were not being paid enough relatively speaking. They got their raise.

    This got me a thinkin, to what extent does the minimum wage affect the salary of skilled workers, does it force a wage increase across all skill levels, thus forcing companies to cut back even further? Or does it it affect skill levels only to a point? I doubt the CFO of a company gets a raise because the minimum wage increased. I’m just wondering if you’ve done any reading on the affect of a minimum wage on the entire spectrum of skill level, rather than just low skilled workers.

  2. The Befuddler says:

    Upon re-reading my question, let me clarify: The lifeguards at my cottage were only getting paid 12 DOLLARS AN HOUR.

  3. Rod says:

    Before we sold the cows in 1983, my family operated a dairy farm (we had wintercows in the winter, even!) and I hired many kids between the age of 13 and 16 to do farm work in the summer and on winter weekends. While this probably violated the letter of child labor laws, I set the starting wage at a dollar, and then I’d tell the prospective employee that I’d give him a raise to three bucks (higher than the minimum wage then) as soon as they could do any job — ANYTHING — without having to be told every move to make.

    Only one kid ever did not earn that raise in an hour. Everyone else learned a skill immediately and then proceeded to learn more about the care and feeding of cattle, safety and efficiency in bale throwing, and all the other things to do on a dairy farm. I tried to get the ignoramus kid to learn something, but after a week I told him I did not have a job for him. The final straw (we had plenty of straw!) was his asking whether a third of a quart of water was greater or less than a cup. He was in food tech at the public technical school. Math was not his forte.

    The ignoramus kid also reproduced before any of my other kid employees, I learned a couple of years later. The offspring of that union is now eligible to vote.

Leave a Reply