RUSH: Now, let’s move on to something really exciting, shall we, like the minimum wage. George Will has a column today. This is the Democrats’ agenda. This is utopia, folks! There’s no poverty anymore today; we’re going to cure all these diseases with embryonic stem cell research; we’re going to bring Big Oil to its knees; we’re going to kick out all lobbyists, and we’re going to get everybody to college by lowering tuition tax deduction and lower interest rates for college loans — and minimum wage? I’m going to go through this anyway, even though it’s pointless. We have lost the argument when the president of the United States wants it and when Republicans in the House want it, it means we have lost the argument. It’s a bad idea.
As George Will points out here in this piece, which I will shortly excerpt for you, labor is a commodity. When the government starts setting prices on commodities, rather than letting the market do its natural work, then you end up with all kinds of problems. But the reason we’ve lost the argument is because we’ve become a nation of wimps and passive people that, you know, we just can’t deal with the thought that there might be pain, suffering anywhere in this country. So enough people have bought the lies about the minimum wage, that most people earning it are trying to support a family of four, that it’s inhumane, all these things. None of the suppositions about it are true, but if you’re pro-minimum wage in raising it, it’s much easier to convince people by tugging at their heart strings, than it is the way the conservatives have done it with these dry, intellectual economic arguments. They’re never going to stand a chance, especially when economic education in this country is so woefully inept.
If your main way to defeat an idea is to argue it intellectually and economically, when the libs and the Democrats are out there, ?Can you believe we’re letting these people starve out in the world?? ?Oh, I don’t want to do that! I don’t want anybody to starve.? Let me give you some statistics. Statistics, I know, are tough to keep track of on the radio. That’s why we will link today to the George Will column from which I now quote. ?Most of the working poor earn more than the minimum wage, and most of the 0.6 percent (479,000 in 2005) of America’s wage workers earning the minimum wage are not poor.? Get this, 0.6% of the workforce is earning minimum wage, and they are not poor. ?Only one in five workers earning the federal minimum lives in families with earnings below the poverty line.? Meaning 80% of people who earn the minimum wage live in families who earn more than the poverty line.
All of these statistics just put the lie to the myth that has been used, because the Democrats’ and the liberals’ version of America is soup line America. They believe that there are two groups of people: the super ridiculously filthy rich, and the poor and those that are just one paycheck away from losing everything and becoming homeless and so forth. So they’ve created three groups, the middle class, and then the minimum wage earners. They want people to believe that there are these millions and millions and millions of minimum wage earners. Here’s another thing. ?Forty percent of American workers are salaried. Of the 75.6 million paid by the hour, 1.9 million earn the federal minimum or less, and of these, more than half are under 25 and more than a quarter are between ages 16 and 19. Many are students or other part-time workers.? Something I have always pointed out with statistics to back it up.
Most of the people earning minimum wage are in their first jobs, they’re students, they’re teenagers, early twenties, they’re not supporting a family of four. It falls on deaf ears. ?The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 1997, so 29 states with 70 percent of the nation’s workforce have set minimum wages between $6.15 and $7.93 an hour. Because aging liberals, clinging to the moral clarities of their youth, also have Sixties Nostalgia, they are suspicious of states’ rights. But regarding minimum wages, many have become Brandeisians, invoking Justice Louis Brandeis’s thought about states being laboratories of democracy.?
Anyway, the thing goes on to describe how pointless raising the minimum wage is in terms of actually affecting anybody’s life other than raising prices and affecting small business who have to come up with new ways to pay these new required minimum wages, and not stated in this column by George Will is the real dirty little secret. The purpose of the minimum wage is to raise the threshold of union negotiations. If you raise the minimum wage significantly, federal minimum wage, union thugs in their next contract negotiations, can say, ?Look it, you just raised the wages of a bunch of unqualified schlubs to five seventy, whatever it is, we are qualified, we are the backbone of America, we are American labor! If you’re going to raise their wages, we need a compensatory raise on our next contract.? That’s the dirty little secret. It’s not being done out of compassion for the little guy, because there, frankly, aren’t that many little guys earning minimum wage and using it to fully and totally support their lifestyle as the left and the Drive-By Media would have you believe.