TODD: The minimum wage, without what you would consider, you know, the equal and opposite insistence upon a minimum effort… Notice that never enters the equilibrium of the discussion? It’s been… The minimum wage has been discussed forever on Rush’s show, and lots of lessons about that. Rush has said many times that what the Democrats want to do is raise the minimum wage as an assault on small business.
They’ve said as much this week. A Democrat congressman from California said, we don’t want small businesses. So a Democrat, yeah, he’s let that out of the bag. He’s admitted it. So here’s an example perfectly laid out in a See, I Told You So moment. This is over the weekend on CNN, which used to be a news America, Inside Politics. The host is Abby Phillip, and she’s talking to this Democrat, Ro Khanna, Democrat from California. And she says, “Is now the right time to increase the minimum wage to 15 bucks?”
KHANNA: Abby, it’s absolutely the right time to give working Americans a raise. But look at the facts. Amazon raised their wage to 15 nationally, not regionally. They have more jobs today. It didn’t hurt job creation or business. Target followed. They also did it nationally. More jobs.
PHILLIP: Well, of course large businesses like Amazon and McDonald’s, for example, can and perhaps should pay more. But I’m wondering, what is your plan for smaller businesses? How does this, in your view, effect mom-and-pop businesses, who are just struggling to keep their doors open, keep workers on payroll right now?
KHANNA: Well, they shouldn’t be doing it by paying people low wages. We don’t want low-wage businesses.
TODD: What? Let me translate that. We don’t want starter businesses. We don’t… You know who gets zero minimum wage? Business owners when they start up. I’ve done it six times, not paid myself a dime — one time, for a year. Remarkable. So here’s Rush. Now, this is less than a month ago, you guys.
January 29th. And this is El Rushbo explaining the Democrats’ true desire is to attack these small businesses, like, you know, Amazon and Target, they didn’t get locked down. Right? Rush said that they want to eliminate them because the truth is that the Democrats have become the party of Big Business.
RUSH: A question, ladies and gentlemen. How many millions of jobs will be lost if the Democrats raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour? The national, a federal minimum wage. Not state. Not neighborhood. Not city. Not local. Federal minimum wage. Because back on Tuesday, the Democrats introduced a bill that would raise the minimum wage nationally to $15 an hour over five years.
It would more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. It’s called the Raise the Wage Act. Oh, it’s so simple. “Rage the Ways Act.” It would increase pay from $9.50 an hour in 2021 to $11 in 2022, and in 2023 it would rise to $12.50 an hour. It would hit 14 bucks an hour in ’24.
It wouldn’t be until 2025 that it hits 15 bucks an hour. Do you know how many jobs would be lost? This is guaranteed to be true, by the way. This is not speculation. It’s not conservative theory. We have enough data with the imposition of the minimum wage in various states and cities, various local levels. We know what happens with the implementation of a minimum wage.
The number of jobs that will be lost would be at least 1.3 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Which means that members of Congress are okay with it! They’re gonna move ahead with the legislation anyway, even though their own budget office says you’re gonna cost the country 1.3 million jobs. The truth is it’s gonna be higher than that.
Most economists who are not socialists think the number will be much higher. Now, I have attempted over the 30 years of this program to explain the minimum wage and why it’s a bogus proposition countless times, and I’m going to do it again. I have found over the course of my hosting the program that the minimum wage is something that a lot of people are just sympathetic to, the way it’s presented to them.
“Well, you can’t feed a family of four on $15 an hour! (sputtering)” Well, why isn’t it higher than that? This is the question I always ask. What is the minimum wage? The minimum wage is an arbitrary amount of money that business owners, the majority of whom are small business owners, will be required by federal law that they have to pay, whether the people they hire are worth it or not.
The reason the minimum wage costs jobs is because if the business — small business — currently is paying people entry-level at eight bucks an hour, and all of a sudden they’re told they have to pay ’em 10, well, they don’t have the money laying around in a vault that they’re not using. But a lot of people think that if you are a business, that you’re a millionaire.
(sniveling) “If you’re a business, you’ve got all kinds of money that you’re not spending. You’re hoarding it, and you’re keeping it for yourself rather than giving it to other people and your employees because you’re a cheat, because you’re selfish.” Such is the damage to the image and reputation of businesspeople that the left has succeeded in creating.
So what has to happen in the real world? Business owners have to let employees go, they have to fire them, because they don’t have an endless pile of money that they could be paying people with but aren’t. Most small businesses have very small margins. They’re not just barely getting by, but it’s not… They’re not a bunch of hedge funders. Let’s put it this way.
But the real problem is it’s an arbitrary number that is mandated on them. It has no relationship to the business that they’re in. It has no relationship to their profit and loss. It has no relationship whatsoever to the business they’re in, what the costs of doing business are, what the current profit margins are. They just slap on an arbitrary figure that has nothing to do with market conditions.
And the arbitrary figure is one that is created by politicians that they can get behind as compassionate and understanding and they care about people. People end up losing their jobs because of the minimum wage. It’s much easier to trim your workforce than it is to go out and somehow make people more productive — and making people more productive is how you end up being able to pay them more.
It’s your business growing!
But the arbitrary minimum wage is a direct assault on small business growth, which is the primary bottom line to why it’s just a guaranteed failure. It’s been tried. It’s been proven over and over again. It doesn’t matter. This is the Democrats using their power when they have it, and the purpose of this is to create failures in small businesses, to run them out of business, to make sure that they have all kinds of trouble making their ends meet.
You might ask, “Well, why would anybody want to do that?” Because it will turn them into dependents on the government, folks. It always circles back to that. In addition, the nationalization of a $15 an hour minimum wage — which, again, will not hit until 2025. If $15 an hour is what’s needed, why not do it this year? Why have to wait ’til 2025? And if $15 an hour is good, why not $20?
You know, try an experiment with somebody. This always works. Talk to somebody who’s in favor of the minimum wage. You won’t have any trouble finding people. They’ve been brainwashed on this for a number of years. And keep asking them, “Okay, well, if 15 bucks an hour is good, why not 20?” And they’ll agree with you. “Oh, yeah, I could go for that,” and just keep bumping it up.
“Okay, you like $20. What about $25 an hour?” and they’ll agree with you. At some point when you keep bumping up the number, you’ll reach a number where they will say, “No, no, no, no, no. We can’t do that.” It may be 35 an hour, it may be 25, it may be whatever. But you’ll reach a point where the person you’re talking to who loves the minimum wage will tell you, “No, no, no, that’s too much.”
At that point, you pounce, and you say, “Why? Why is 35 too much when 30 isn’t? Why is $35 too much when $25 isn’t?” and they will not have an answer for you. Some will, actually, and the answer they have will make your point. “Well, I mean that’s just too much to mandate that somebody be paid for that before you know whether they’re worth.”
“Well, why did it take $35 to get you to realize that? Why didn’t you realize that at $25? Why didn’t you realize that at $15 or $20?” The point is, you’re not really arguing with them about a specific number. The reason you’re doing this exercise is to get them to finally react at whatever number, that it’s not right to put that kind of a burden on businesses.
At that point, you’ve won the argument. Here’s what else it does, though. It destroys youth and minority employment, because the minimum wage is not designed to support a family of four. (chuckling) There is no way. It never has been. It’s entry-level. It’s designed to pay people that don’t have any experience doing the job. What it does, is it wipes out entry-level jobs, and that’s what people that have never done work before need.
They need entry-level jobs to learn how to survive in the work culture. They need to learn how to show up and to show up on time. They need to learn how to follow directions. They need to learn how to engage in productive behavior. They need to learn the satisfaction of doing a job well.
That’s what the whole point of entry-level work is. Entry-level work is not designed to support a family. You weren’t ready to support a family when you were 16 or 17. You left home; you wanted to go get a job. You weren’t capable of it. You had to learn the work culture. That’s what entry-level work is all about.
But of course, wiping out entry-level positions, destroying minority employment? That’s kind of the plan, isn’t it? It just forces businesses to move to automation. That’s what’s gonna happen. Businesses are eventually gonna say, “You know what? I can’t deal with this hassle. I can’t deal with you people telling me how much I have to pay people when you don’t even know what the work is.
“You don’t even understand what I do in my business, and I’m not gonna put up with that. I’m gonna try to automate as much of this work as I can.” Andrew Yang, of all people, has laid this all out. They want to destroy jobs. Why would they want to do that? “That’s a tough thing to say, Rush.” No, it’s not. They want to destroy jobs by replacing as many as they can with automation. Why?
Well, that’s how Andrew Yang believes that he can get his universal basic income of a thousand dollars a month passed into the law. When people do not have any job, when they don’t have work to do, when they don’t have a job to go to, they still need money. They still need food. They still need to pay the bills.
“Hey, I got an idea. How about a guaranteed universal income, $1,000 a mont — universal, basic income.” Not to mention this will wipe out a lot of restaurants who managed to make it through 2020 still alive. And they’re gonna raise taxes in the midst of this? They’re a gonna raise taxes while they are raising the minimum wage? I don’t know, folks.
TODD: That’s our friend, Rush, taking the complex, not just making it understandable, but giving us hints on how we can help our fence-leaning friends understand it.
TODD: Let’s talk to Doug in Cleveland, Ohio. Doug, you’re on the Rush Limbaugh program. It’s Todd Herman on the EIB Network. Hi, Doug.
CALLER: Hey, Todd, how you doing?
TODD: Doing great.
CALLER: Hey, I wanted to piggyback to Rush’s comment about minimum wage. So now we’re gonna start paying people that work at Wendy’s $15 an hour.
CALLER: I own my own business. I do photography for real estate. Now, what do I have to pay my employees so that they don’t go work at McDonald’s — you know, at fast food. Do I have to pay them $25 an hour? Now it drives the price of what I have to pay up. It also drives the price of hamburgers up. And now what happens to me is I can’t hire somebody at $25 an hour starting.
They might get there, but the point being is, now I have to be something above that. So what is it…? What do you pay the person that works at the bank that takes care of my money? Do you pay ’em $22 an hour now? Do you pay the mechanic $35 or $50 an hour? ‘Cause everything else has to be up accordingly, otherwise I’m not gonna use my brain for anything.
I’m never gonna excel, and I’m gonna sit there and I’m going to flip burgers for $15 an hour instead of actually, you know, doing something positive, more positive than working at minimum wage. It just doesn’t make any sense because it effects everyone. It affects the bank.
CALLER: It affects the photographer. It affects, you know, people that work in radio. It affects every person, every business.
CALLER: And business does not take — and if they want to — a 50% margin. They don’t. They add 50% to that. It doesn’t go up just 50 cents. It doesn’t go up just a little bit.
TODD: Right. What you’re saying —
CALLER: It goes up two- or threefold.
TODD: No, but Doug let me expand what you’re saying, I just want to make sure I understand this. Because there are people who don’t work with margins. They hear “margin,” and they don’t understand that piece is the part the business owner gets to keep; right? I once had a relative of mine who is a truly brilliant woman. You can’t say she’s not. She’s got, you know, a couple of Ph.D.
She’s a joy to talk to and debate with, and she once asked me, “Why do businesses even need to earn a profit?” and I was dumbfounded. I thought, “Well, that’s what the business owner keeps.” But then she’s saying, “But why so much?” “Well, why would I risk my capital?” This is what people who don’t start businesses don’t understand.
We put our capital at risk, our sweat at risk, and we gamble on it. So when we take on an employee, we’re gambling on them, and your explanation of the person cooking hamburgers… By the way, that’s an honorable job. Never look past that. Any legal work is honorable work, and please be proud of it. Please, I beg you, to be proud of the paycheck you earn, if you earn it and it’s legal.
I beg you to be proud of it. And you gave a great explanation. And it’s almost, although we don’t get to the level of the Maha, it’s very Rushian. It’s just taking this complex thing and saying, “We’re going to make everybody more expensive.” Right? I appreciate that phone call, Doug. That’s perfect. That’s a perfect way to put it, and if more people would think of it this way as Doug from Cleveland did.
He’s a photographer. There’s people who deliver him from a place film or cameras, people who work on his cameras, those people who work on cameras or photography gear, they’re skilled. But someone below that is inserting screws into the stands for the lighting, and someone below that is assembling the boxes that the stands go in if they’re gonna be sold, right?
They need to be in boxes. Someone is pumping gas into the car, if you’re in a state like Oregon where you’re forced to use full-service gas. Someone’s doing that. At every single level these costs go up, and to the point that Doug made about making people too expensive, so he has to pay people more, except for automation.
I tell you the truth when I tell you that Big Tech — who so benefited from the selective, medically useless, deadly, politically motivated lockdowns. They pay people money to create mathematical models on when your job is over and when their software takes over your job. They have the number nailed, and they know exactly what it’s gonna be, and it might be a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage.
It’s Todd Herman in for Rush Limbaugh on the EIB Network.