Minimum Wage is a Winner for Democrats

Bruce BartlettBruce Bartlett is one of those Republicans who stood still. But he is still a Republican and still has a real conservative bent. But I’m the first to admit that not all conservative ideas are bad; I just think that all Republican ideas are bad (in as much as they have ideas). Today, in The Fiscal Times, Bartlett writes, The Minimum Wage: A No-Lose Issue for Democrats. Most of the article is some really vile strategizing about how the Republicans might win the fight over the minimum wage.

Basically, he offers the Winner-Take-All Politics approach to defeating popular legislation that you hate. “I am totally in favor of raising the minimum wage. If we were raising it to $8.99 per hour, I would vote for it. But I just cannot support $9 per hour!” Actually, Bartlett has some great ideas. He notes a couple of ways that the Republicans could kill a minimum wage bill by adding poison amendments like applying it to unpaid interns. (Actually, I kind of like that idea. I think the whole unpaid intern thing is totally out of hand.)

The first part of the article discusses why the minimum wage is such a great issue for Democrats. Even Republican women overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage. And Republican men (“You know: morons!”) are against it, but not overwhelmingly so. What’s more, he notes that if raising the minimum wage hurts jobs (and he certainly believes so), it doesn’t hurt the currently employed; it just hurts people who would have gotten a minimum wage job at the lower rate:

It is almost unheard of for employers to fire workers rather than pay them a higher minimum wage. They may not fill vacancies, they may adjust hours, they may move toward automation, they may scale back benefits and many other things. But firing workers is not one of them.

Of course, we should care about this. But even still, Bartlett makes no argument that this will happen. As noted before, the increased wages of the poor will increase demand economy wide. And what this economy desperately needs is more demand.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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