“Raise the Minimum Wage”

You know, I always thought that politicians pushed punishing economic polices because they were nauseatingly illiterate on the subject. I was wrong. Murray Rothbard, however, had it right decades ago – they know EXACTLY what they’re doing. Take Obama’s promise to raise the minimum wage to $9.00/hour. If Barack Obama and the rest of the Capital Critters truly believed that increasing the minimum wage had no adverse effects on employment then it stands to reason that they wouldn’t stop at $9.00/hour. No, they’d raise it to $10, $11, $20/hour, or even higher. So why don’t they propose such a thing? Because they know damn well that price floors set above market equilibrium, i.e. minimum wage laws, result in surpluses – in this case surplus labor – and that raising the minimum wage to any significant degree will result in that much more surplus labor, otherwise known as unemployment – and that to raise the floor too high would have severe political consequences. And the fact that they know this is what makes it so nefarious. What they’re banking on is that the people who will lose their jobs, or will be unable to find jobs, are the least skilled, the least educated, and most importantly, the least politically active. In other words, the people you’ll never see or hear about, who probably have no earthly idea what the real reasons are for their not being employed, and hence, unable to utter a word in protest. Raise the floor just high enough to placate the voting base (the unions, the progressive base, rich white folks, and so on). And the newly unemployed? Well, those people don’t matter anyway, at least not in terms of winning elections. But there’s a necessary condition for this whole farce to work – widespread, all-pervasive ignorance of all things economic – fortunately for Obama and his minions this condition has been firmly established among the greater American populace for at least a century, maybe longer, and only worsens with the passage of time. Only a Barack Obama, with the country still limping along under recession-level unemployment rates, would have the nerve, the arrogance, the callousness, and the outright carelessness, to propose such a thing. Even Shakespeare lacked the imagination to pen such tragedies.



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