The minimum wage should be the easiest issue to understand for the economically savvy. If the government arbitrarily sets a floor for wages above that set by the market, jobs will be lost. Even the Congressional Budget Office admits that 500,000 jobs would be lost with a $10.10 federal minimum wage. Who knows how high the real number would be?
Yet here we go again with the “Raise the minimum wage” talk at a time when unemployment is still devastating much of the country. The number of Americans jobless for 27 weeks or more is still 3.37 million. And while that’s only half the 6.8 million that were long-term unemployed in 2010, most of the other half didn’t find work. Four-fifths of them just gave up.
So, good economics and better sense would say, “make employment cheaper.” More of anything is demanded if the price goes down. That would mean lowering the minimum wage and undoing a number of cumbersome employment regulations that drive up the cost of jobs.
But then as H.L. Mencken reminded us years ago, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Which means the illogical case made by Republican multimillionaire businessman Ron Unz is being taken seriously.
For some reason, I received an email this past Labor Day from the White House. I am not sure how theWhite House acquired my email address but, I guess I could ask the NSA. I was not alone as I'm sure this same email went out to millions of other Americans.
I decided to join in the fun and watch the video. As I expected, there were a lot of warm and fuzzy words and images of workers in factories. What came next, after 1 minute and 26 seconds really shocked me, the President of the United States said these words...
"reverse the forces that have conspired for decades against working Americans".