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Minimum Wage Backwash from Republican Ideology

Want to create anarchy? Get rid of minimum wage laws. Pretend it is to create more jobs for youth when you’re real reason is to create more profit for businessmen.

 

On February 10th, 2011, Stan sent me an article with the following excerpt about minimum wage laws:

…Labor laws [minimum wage] bribe the generation of CURRENT voters. They raise the price of labor to the point where it no longer makes sense to hire young workers. Inexperienced workers just aren’t worth the money! Young people can’t get jobs because older workers have been co-opted. So, the government then tries to bribe the young with subsidies to the universities…the aforementioned food stamps…and other welfare schemes. But then, the feds run out of money. The young are trapped between a rigid labor market that is rigged against them and a welfare system that can’t afford to support them. “The older generations have eaten the future of the younger ones,” says a former Italian prime minister. The result? See for yourself:

“In each of these nations, an economy that can’t generate enough jobs to absorb its young people has created a lost generation of the disaffected, unemployed, or underemployed – including growing numbers of recent college graduates for whom the post-crash economy has little to offer. Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution was not the first time these alienated men and women have made themselves heard….”  (Bear Market Investments)

 

Anti-minimum wage baloney

The commentator (Bill Bonner) would have us believe that the problem is that labor laws are creating minimum wages, which drive jobs away from youth. That is utterly ridiculous and totally Republican spin. The report referenced is talking about college graduates, not unemployed high schoolers. NO ONE EVER goes to college for four years in order to come out looking for a minimum-wage job! No one who spends all that money or time to go to college is going to be willing to work for anything even close to the present minimum wage unless absolutely forced by austere circumstances to do so.

What both Bonner and the original article have failed to realize is where this could be headed, even though it is staring them in the eyes. The natural response of youth out of college who are forced to take even jobs slightly above minimum wage because that is all they can find is REBELLION! Bonner and the original article acknowledge this but then go nowhere with it.

 

Take away minimum wage and foment anarchy

The natural thing for youth to do may be to play soccer for a while, but sooner or later that Indian Summer ends and winter sets in. When the only response given by Republicans is to erase minimum wage so these students can have even LOWER-paying jobs than the ones that are available at minimum wage, they are NOT going to suck those jobs up and thank Republicans for their “free-market” ethics that made the jobs pay even less just so there would be more worthless jobs!

The direction youth takes when those are the best answers put forward by the power elites like Bonner, himself, who seek to protect big business interests by lower labor costs, is ANARCHY. Where Bonner fails to go — and where the original story most logically leads — is to see that the same uprisings that have happened in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt WILL also happen here if we don’t come up with MUCH better answers than eliminating minimum wage so that college graduates can have the honor of working for $5.00 per hour!

It is amazing to me how people like Bonner can accurately see some truths but still be blinded by their own ideology and think their trite answers of eliminating minimum wage so that people can have the opportunity to make even LESS will appease youth! There are NO college youth who will be appeased by having the opportunity to work for less than today’s minimum wage.

Instead, they will be as enraged (and OUGHT to be) by coming out of college to work for $5.00 an hour (or whatever rate jobs drop to without a minimum in place) as they are to come out and have no job at all. They OUGHT to be enraged if they go through four years of college and come out to Republican answers like, “We’re going to help you find a job by making it possible for companies to pay you a lot less than the minimum wage you could have EASILY gotten before you went to college.”

The graduated college youth do not need and would not want to accept any of the junk jobs Bonner proposes we “create” by removing medical benefits and removing minimum wage. Who wants to go to college for four years to wind up with a CRAPPY job like that?

It disgusts me to see people so trapped in their own ideologies and greed that they think something like this is going to quell the rage of college youth by providing them meaningful employment. That kind of limited free-market thinking is exactly the kind of Republican answer that certainly will lead to anarchy among today’s youth, who will demand far more than the privilege of working at Egyptian-level incomes.

 

Did minimum wage laws eliminate jobs in the Great Recession?

Jobs did not dry up in this recession due to minimum wage laws or even medical benefits (though the latter are a significant cost). Jobs dried up due to their having been created in the first place by a bubble economy in housing. The economy in housing would have been realistic if banks had maintained all their own loans as should have always been the case. They should never have become packaging companies for loans to resell.

The economy in housing would have been real if banks maintained all the safeguards (regulations) that the government had placed on them. Undoubtedly there was some unnecessary red tape and some unnecessary restrictions that could have been eliminated in the Reagan days; but it went FAR beyond a mere cleaning up of overregulation to stripping away all the basic regulation that had been created coming out of the Great Depression in order to avoid such a boondoggle again.

–David