Minimum Wage

What if the Minimum Wage Increase Is a Fraud?

Politicians ignore the economic consequences of central planning and hope voters will reward them for it.

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What if the latest craze among the big-government

Fight for $15 minimum wage.
Owsspawg/Dreamstime.com

crowd in both major political parties is to use the power of government to force employers to pay some of their employees more than their services are worth to the employers?

What if this represents an intrusion by government into the employer-employee relationship? What if this consists of the government's effectively saying that it knows the financial worth of employees' services better than the employers and the employees do?

What if the minimum wage, now on the verge of being raised to $15 per hour everywhere in the land, is really the government's using threats of ruin and force to transfer wealth? What if the $15-per-hour figure is based on a political compromise rather than on free market forces or economic realities?

What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences and will negatively affect everyone?   

What if one of the politically intended consequences is that the employees whose salaries will rise will show gratitude not to their employers, but to the politicians who will have forced the employers to pay them more by voting for those politicians?   

What if the right of an employee to sell labor by going to work and the right of an employer to purchase that labor by paying a salary are part of the natural right to exchange goods and services, which the Constitution was written to protect? What if during America's most prosperous periods, that right was protected by the courts?

What if there are clauses in the Constitution that protect that right but the modern courts have ignored them? What if the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with freely entered-into contracts but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have approved this?

What if the Constitution prohibits the government from taking property from people without charging them with wrongdoing and proving the charge to a jury but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have declined to interfere with all this theft?

What if it is none of the government's business how an employer and an employee decide on salary? What if the employer and the employee know far more about the worth of the employee's services and the needs of the employer than the politicians in the government do?

What if the government has fundamental misunderstandings of the way businesses earn money, create wealth and pay salaries? What if the government's mindset is stuck on the governmental economic model? What if that model has no competition, guaranteed revenue and no creation of wealth?

What if that governmental mindset is one of control and central planning rather than appealing to the needs of consumers by providing goods and services better, faster and more cheaply than the competition? What if the government has no need to be better, faster and cheaper because taxpayers are forced to pay it for services they often don't use and the government has no competition?

What if forcing employers to pay employees more than their services are worth results in higher prices for the goods and services the employers produce? What if the effect of the minimum wage rise is to transfer wealth not from employers to employees but from consumers to employees? What if the rising prices of goods and services, caused by the forced increase in wages, put some of those goods and services beyond the reach of some folks who rely upon them?

What if the folks who can no longer afford some goods and services on which they have come to rely are the very same people whom the politicians have boasted they are helping by the increase in the minimum wage? What if the politicians who have done this do not know what they are talking about? What if they believe they can use minimum wage increases to bribe the poor for votes—just as they bribe the wealthy with bailouts and the middle class with tax cuts?

What if there are other unintended consequences to the governmental imposition of a minimum wage? What if, rather than pay employees more than they are worth, employers stop employing some of them? What if this results in higher unemployment? What if the rise in the minimum wage has the unintended consequence of harming the folks it is supposed to help?

What if the poor are better off being gainfully employed and earning less than $15 an hour, with an opportunity for advancement, than not working, earning nothing and relying on welfare? What if that welfare burden adds to already overtaxed state budgets?

What if states raise taxes to care for the newly unemployed? What if the newly unemployed lose the self-esteem they once enjoyed when they were gainfully employed?

What if all this came about not because of market forces, such as supply and demand, and not because people worked harder and produced more but because of lawless, greedy politicians—heedless of basic economics—who think they can write any law, regulate any behavior and tax any event without adverse consequences?

What if the politicians who caused this did so just to win the votes of those they promised to help? What if these politicians only helped themselves? What if the minimum wage increase is a fraud? What do we do about it?

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315 responses to “What if the Minimum Wage Increase Is a Fraud?

  1. I saw the government using a blackberry! Most sensitive material under the sun! Obligation under oath! Under the shadow of a felony! Delegation of reading assignment to subordinates! Software security key contemplated outside federal boundaries! More FBI agents must investigate this outrage for many more months!

    1. OMG! Hooray! This guy gets it! I like it! Maybe all the comments on a Nap post should end in exclamation points! Even if it does detract from the subtance of the comment!

      1. Halifax’s sister city is Dartmouth, and it’s city emotion is excessive surprise.
        Oh look, a puppy.

  2. Violate the unconstitutional laws of course.

  3. What if Andrew Napolitano stopped asking rhetorical questions?

    1. Damn, this is his best one yet. It even spread to the title!

    2. When he literally never stops asking questions, it looks like he doesn’t actually have a point.

      1. He doesn’t, and he knows that by only asking questions we’ll fixate on his tendency to do whole articles of questions.

      2. “The medium is the message.”

        1. So the message is “I’m confused”?

        2. I understand the message. I find the medium tedious.

          1. Yes. It is not that hard to understand what he is getting at, but, frankly, as much as I love the judge, the medium gets in the way of the substance.

    3. What if he didn’t?

    4. What if he doesn’t? Then what? Anarchy?

    5. Do you know who else asked lots of rhetorical questions about Government policy?

    6. “What if Andrew Napolitano stopped asking rhetorical questions?”

      He would cease to exist. The forces holding together his body’s atomic structure would lose cohesion and Andrew would instantly disintegrate.

      His books are fairly well written but his “What if?” articles just plain suck.

    7. What if your right?!?

    8. Actually, sometimes, in certain situations, one needs to resort to this. For example, a libertarian at a nice “liberal” ivy league school making a direct statement could easily wind up being crucified. By making his point by phrasing it as a hypothetical, he may only run the risk of being tarred and feathered.

  4. If an increased minimum wage leads to increased unemployment and more expensive goods and services, will voters punish or reward the politicans who made it happen?

    Apparently not, since the politicians do all sorts of horrible economic shit and don’t seem to pay an electoral price for it. If the things politicians do are not crystal clearly connectable to some negative consequences–and politicians are good at distancing themselves enough to be safe–then the dumbass voters won’t connect them and won’t vote them out. Plus the fact that partisans are by definition incredibly stupid and will vote TEAM no matter what.

    “Representative democracy” is a sham, and as the government grows in scope and power, that becomes clearer every day.

    1. It can hardly be said often enough: Representational Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

      1. While the sheep complains about carnivore/omnivore inequality.

      2. Sorry, I do not understand how you call representational democracy something it is not. Democracy is the situation you represent with two wolves and a sheep. A republic (representational democracy) is supposed to protect us from mob rule, is it not?!!

    2. It always was a sham. As the government gets larger it gets more absurd. The average person couldn’t name 3 government agencies yet we expect them to weigh the politicians voting pattern and cast an intelligent vote based on a government they don’t understand .0001% of. At the same time we have politicians who vote on bills as big as a phone book without reading them.

      Can you imagine any other system of allocating resources working like that? Imagine venture capitalists investing their money based on what they saw in 17 minutes of TV commercials and then the company they invested in choosing how to spend that invested money based on the title of a power point presentation.

      That is democracy as it exists today. The only way it can work is if you have a diligent citizenry and a government small enough for the average person to understand. We have neither.

      1. “The average person couldn’t name 3 government agencies ”

        +1 Rick Perry

        Are you allowed to +1 yourself?

        1. Are you allowed to +1 yourself?

          No.

          State: DoT, DoE, DoB, DoS, DoH, DCS, DMV, DOCCS, OMRDD, OGS

          Fed: DoT(ransportation), DoJ, DoT(reasury), DoE(ducation), DoE(nergy), DoI, DoD

          I’m past three agencies and I didn’t even get to EPA, DHS, etc…

          1. There is always one smart ass in every class who fucks up the curve.

            1. The correct smartass reply is “Being a bureaucrat, you don’t reflect the average person”.

              1. Oh, and a few more came to mind:

                Labor (state and Fed), Ag and Markets (state)

                1. I just realized, if I wanted to cheat, I could just run the Agency Listing report for the state of New York and dump the output here…

                  1. Yeah sure if you want to crash Reason’s servers.

          2. B-I-G P-O-P-P-A
            No info for the DEA

          3. You can just put any three letters of the alphabet together and you’d probably be right.

            1. The smart money starts with a D then follows with an E or O and then a random consonant.

      2. And the $&@(ing bureaucracy.

        We had a power substation blow up here, power went out for a day. Had a tidy yet fierce fire and everything. So my pediatrician wife and I went to get all the gov’t vaccines out of the fridge at the office, put ’em in a cooler with a couple of cold packs, carry it over to the hospital where they have a generator. Check the thermometer on the door, all good. We were doing this years ago, mostly for hurricanes; didn’t have to, it’s not our money, but vaccines are valuable, and no need to make the government replace them when it doesn’t need to, right?

        Well, now, we go back the next morning, log the temp, carry them back, log the excursion as required, now, by the gov’t agency. They ask for some more papers, and, before noon, we are threatened with being charged for the replacement of $13,000 of vaccines. Why? Because we transferred them to a fridge with a second thermometer, that was logged, and audible alarms, in a 24-hour manned facility, but the calibration certificate had expired on the thermometer. There was no reason to believe that the temp was off, the zone was tighter than required for the vaccines, there was no option to check the current calibration of the thermometer. The state vaccine drone went straight to threats and fines. —

        1. My wife pushed a few patients, battled her way up in the department until she found a human, who said (but wouldn’t put it in writing) that they wouldn’t sweat this, we did the right thing, she’ll take care of it. So we dodged the bullet. But how did we get to this place, where every thing we do is under the control of petty administrators whose first thought is to punish us for breaking the new rules they make up every month? Why are we quietly going along, as they build this society where we spend more time making sure we are following the rules, than doing our actual productive jobs?

          That afternoon, I got the network at the office back up, using a spare $250 Netgear router to replace the $2000 Cisco dinosaur the ‘consultant’ had talked the lead doc into buying. Great, right? Except now I have to write up a document explaining all of my changes, and get the stamp of approval of the local HIPAA inspector, whose knowledge on the subject probably ends with a last millennium CCNA. And then prepare for the next electrical catastrophe (fueled partly by the fact the easy-to-turn-off UPS is required to be locked inside the cabinet with the computer, as if someone can suck the data out of a computer by wiring up the prongs to the power cord).

          Then again, I better not think too hard about protecting the network system up there. I’d probably be required to document it.

          1. We’ll figure out how to be in the fourth standard deviation above the mean in everything some day. Eventually, when everyone is doing a “write up” at the same time, The Singularity will be achieved.

          2. “But how did we get to this place, where every thing we do is under the control of petty administrators whose first thought is to punish us for breaking the new rules they make up every month? Why are we quietly going along, as they build this society where we spend more time making sure we are following the rules, than doing our actual productive jobs?”

            “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted?and you create a nation of lawbreakers?and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
            –Dr. Floyd Ferris to Hank Rearden, Atlas Shrugged

        2. People like that should be strangled on general principal.

  5. Argue/discuss the “left-wing trap” of a minimum wage if you want, but NEVER forget to tell supporters that it is also a state-mandated wage/association

    Mandating a wage for employment associations is no different than mandating the sexes for marriage associations.

    1. Nuh uh, cause *something something* LOVE WINS.

      1. They’ll just pay for it out of their profits. Didn’t you know that?

        Slightly OT: Yesterday, I pointed out that the left’s argument against anything can be summed up at “nuh uh!” Glad someone else sees it too.

        1. They’ll just pay for it out of their profits.

          Profits from government subsidies.

        2. I for one applaud the governemtn for figuring out that, just by making it super expensive and obtuse to implement, you can get the citizenry to not only accept but actually cheer on the government in raising their income taxes… thus corporate income taxes. federal government….

    2. It’s a whole different group of bureaucrats – thus, a whole different thing.

  6. Jerry Brown said it himself. They understand it’s dumb as shit, but it’s only the intentions that matter, particularly when it comes to votes.

    1. So what you’re saying is… real life is starting to parody hyperbole?

  7. Andrew NapolitaNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I refuse to read this horseshit. Bring back she-who-shall-not-be-named and quit paying to print this clown.

      1. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SAY!!!!

        1. How am I supposed to know who not to talk about if we can’t talk about them?

          1. Voldemort. There. I said it. Well, “She” is indicated above, so I guess Voldemort in Drag. So, that’s cool…

    1. tough to read logical views that destroy your vision and political faith ? 🙂

      1. I stopped at ‘tough to read.’

    2. Didn’t she have an article featured here this week?

  8. Yeah, we lost. Perhaps we can manage to keep the national minimum wage from becoming insane and over the next few years everyone will see what happens in California and New York and they’ll come around on what a bad idea it’s been, just like nobody has much stomach for wage and price controls anymore, although given the complete economic illiteracy evidenced on both sides of the aisle, and Trump, who knows?

    1. It will depend on inflation. If inflation kicks in, the minimum wage increase will seem reasonable. If deflation happens, CA and NY are well and truly screwed.

    2. No they wont’t. Low wage workers who lose their jobs will have to move to other states and out of the hair of “the right people”. The effects won’t really be noticed much. Even if they are, they’ll be quickly forgotten.

  9. Over the mountain and through the woods.

    http://www.Web-Privacy.tk

  10. 36. Oh this isn’t one of those pictures where you count the question marks?

    1. Changing my answer to 37 in case we’re counting the title.

  11. $15/ hour will lift millions out of working poverty? Why be pikers about it?
    Lift those workers solidly into the middle class with a $50 / hour minimum wage.
    Government can right every wrong, dry every tear, turn evil into good. .

    1. Clever Republicans would amend any minimum wage bill to that. Then see the Dems shoot it down with most of them knowing minimum wage helps a select few and damages many with even more damage from a larger increase. And then those campaigning against Dems would be able to rightfully claim how they didn’t support the “comfortable living” wage.

      1. They actually know that ?

        1. It is about controlling others that do not need them thus increasing their power through the auspices of helping societal victims. I think many do know.

      2. “Clever Republicans would amend any minimum wage bill to that.”

        No, $50 / hour would actually make the Left say that Republicans were just being ridiculous. They should push for something like $24.96, which is the current average wage in CA. That would be harder for the Left to fight as obviously ridiculous, but it would absolutely break the system. So, Democrats in CA would be forced to shoot it down.

    2. And any day now the government will mandate that pi = 3.0.

      1. To keep the status quo would be irrational.

  12. What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences and will negatively affect everyone?

    This is why conservatives lose.

    There are no grounds to call “unintended” economic consequences that are *entirely foreseeable*, and indeed are shouted from the rooftops,

    It is a much simpler explanation to say that the consequences are *intended*, particularly when the intent is so obvious and so pervasive – to create a permanent dependent underclass to vote for Progressive Power.

    1. The right has made the 1% dependent on govt welfare but seems to want the poor, as Michael Strain has said, to shut up and die

      1. Huh??? You do realize the 1% pays the highest effective tax rates right? And 36% of the tax income while their income is only 18%

      2. What government welfare are they on?

        1. The massive tax cutting welfare pushed by the right for “job creators”

          1. What was this welfare exactly?

            1. Tax cuts for the rich…trickle down socialism for mythical job creators

              1. That isn’t welfare. That was their money to begin with. So they don’t create jobs? Who creates the jobs then?

                1. President Obama!

              2. “Tax cuts for the rich…trickle down socialism for mythical job creators”

                Sure, not taking their money is exactly the same as welfare. /sarcasm

  13. I had a harder time than usual taking this rhetorical question gimmick seriously.

  14. The judge is back! We were worried, your last article was severely lacking in the inquisitives department.

  15. What if Andrew Napolitano woke up one morning and realized he was about to miss a submission deadline again? What if Andrew Napolitano decided to phone in an article he’d flunk one of his Brooklyn Law students for submitting? What if Reason stopped threw it back in his face and told him to do it right because they’re not publishing that crap?

    1. I’d run Hizzoner the Judge for president, but he’d ask so many questions that nothing would ever get done in his administration.

      Come to think of it…

    2. “What if Reason stopped threw it back in his face and told him to do it right because they’re not publishing that crap?”

      The Judge would just point to the last Shika Dalmia article and laugh.

  16. Alexander Fraser Tytler “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

    1. And yet it was Wall Street, not middle clas entitlements, that collapsed the economy in 2007. A warning shot about the massive welfare programs the right bestows on the wealthy

      1. What are the massive welfare programs exactly?

        1. The massive tax cuts for the wealthy that had Paul Volcker warning the financial sector was accumulating too much of the nation’s income

          1. The taxes have gone up on the wealthy fyi

            1. And yet inequality has increased

              1. The right’s war in the middle class was a success. Congrats. You tripled the income of the rich and stagnated the income of the middle class in the name of “job creators” while costing 9 m jobs

                1. And it has continued under obama yet he is a good president and did a good job?

                2. So obama didn’t recover the middle class and left it destroyed?

                  1. Seeing how you said the war was a success i am not sure how you give obama credit for the “good” economy especially considering the pubs wont let him heal the economy.

            2. Tornado, stop confusing him with the obvious facts. You not allowed to complicate the narrative with annoying Truth.

  17. Judge Napolitano is right again but politicians are not ignorant of the basics of economics. They know full well that raising minimum wage will ensure votes from the poor and also harm the poor. Only a cursory review of history tells us all so. We get to $20 trillion national debt not by looking for the best solutions but by being intoxicated with the power of politics. This once noble American Experiment has been long since hijacked by career pols. Americans will learn this the hard way once the bond market retracts, hyperinflation ensues, rolling brown-outs occur with frequency, police and fire stations close, and worst of all, grocery store shelves lined with the toxic goodies that enabled our sloth-like allegiance to politicians will be empty.

    1. When the right was spending like drunken sailors on 2 endless wars, and massive tax cuts for the rich, they didn’t seem worried about debt

      1. What were these massive tax cuts for the rich? And how much?

        1. Cutting capital gains tax rates to their lowest rates in 60 years

          1. Capital gains increased under reagan, went down under clinton bush and now are back up. What are you talking about?

          2. How is allowing to keep more of their earned gains a welfare program? What should the rates be and how did you determine this? In other words that it isn’t a welfare program.

            1. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            2. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            3. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            4. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            5. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            6. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

            7. Because they pay taxes out of discretionary income while the middle class pays them out of disposable income. Thus the burden on the middle class is higher. Yet the right says we’re unfair to the rich

              1. No it isn’t higher…the middle class pays lower tax rates. You are confusing two separate things.

                The rich just have higher incomes. You are being greedy for wanting more of their money. Why do you feel entitled to what they have earned?

          3. Reagan ws at 28% went down to 15% and Obama is now at 20% + 3.8% ACA

            Reagan had a higher cap gains rate than obama and clinton did.

            1. And Bush had lower than either…along with the deepest recession in 8 decades

              1. That’s nice. But it goes against your claim that capital gains tax rates are lower than anytime of 40 years which they clearly are not.

                What does capital gain tax rates have to do with the recession?

                1. Excuse me 60 years.

                2. Seeing how reagan started the trickle down for the rich per your claim as being a welfare program….why did he increase them to 28%?

                  1. Well after he tripled the debt…the largest increase in debt in peacetime history, even he had to raise taxes…as he did 11 times

                    1. I thought you said he did trickle down economics for the rich? But he raised capital gain taxes?

                3. What I said was that the right’s insistence that tax cuts for the wealthy caused economic growth is wrong. Bush cut capital gains tax rates to the lowest in 60 years and we had the deepest recession in 80 years. Yet the right insists we must cut taxes on the rich. How much money do we give them?

                  1. How did cap gains tax rates lead to the recession?

                    What do you mean give them? How is not taxing more = giving?

                    Wouldn’t that mean all the money you earn that isn’t tax is giving you money?

                    1. Capital gains tax cuts, as Paul Volcker pointed out, gave SO much money to the wealthy that productive uses dried up. They then found unproductive uses such as credit default swaps. That market increased 20,000% in 10 years.

                      The right cut taxes on the wealthy to their lowest rate in 60 years. So the wealthy gambled with the massive wealth the right gave them and blew up the economy. Instead of protecting middle class income and disposable income, the right protected the wealthy and discretionary income. The right’s flawed view of economics and worship of the rich blew out the economy

                    2. Yea i don’t think it had to do with cutting capital gains by 5% percentage points from 20 to 15.That isn’t massive wealth given to them (considering it was their money in the first place) It was the housing bubble and speculation on it.

                      Capital gains and taxes have gone up on wealthy since then yet they continue to get more money now in other words inequality has risen.

                      You aren’t very convincing.

                    3. And yet when the right us cutting taxes on the rich would bring prosperity but we had the deepest recession in 80 years, the right’s argument fell apart. Yet the right continues to say this

                      You aren’t very convincing

                    4. And yet when the right us cutting taxes on the rich would bring prosperity but we had the deepest recession in 80 years, the right’s argument fell apart. Yet the right continues to say this

                      You aren’t very convincing

                    5. You seem to think this tax cutting has been going on for 8 years, not 40. Kind of refutes your argument

                    6. I am not us sure the tax rates have given them all this money seeing how they continue to make more money now after taxes have been increased. Kind of refutes your point it was due to tax cuts.

                    7. *stands… hat off… golf clap.*
                      I’d gladly buy you a beer, sir.

                    8. Ever taken a course in calculus? The total welfare check the right gave the rich is the volume under the tax rate curve for 4o years…ALot Of money

                    9. What tax rate curve? What should they be paying and how did you determine this? Seeing how they contribute 36% of the tax revenue and paying the higher effective rates. Seems like a fair proposition to me

                      What does calculus have to do with tax curves? Why is that relevant? Why do you want it so bad? Are you bitter and jealous?

  18. uptil I looked at the bank draft saying $8885 , I didn’t believe that my mother in law woz like they say truly taking home money in there spare time at their laptop. . there great aunt haz done this less than 17 months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there home and bourt a great Renault 4 . see

    Copy This Link inYour Browser

    http://www.MaxPost30.com

  19. Will someone at Reason PLEASE tell Napolitano to stop using this stupid “string of rhetorical questions pretending to be the Socratic method” style of writing? It was cute the first time, but no longer. Napolitano often has useful things to say, but I CANNOT READ HIS ARTICLES when he writes this way. I rarely get past the first three or four faux questions. Enough already!

    1. Here, here! I made a javascript bookmarklet to remove the “What if”s and it actually reads pretty well after that, which makes me suspect that the Judge writes these pieces and then adds the “What if”s afterwards.

  20. What if there’s no proof the US has a market economy? What if we have an oligopoly where wages are set by employers? What if the middle class hasn’t had a real wage increase in 4 decades due to Reagan’s trickle down socialism for the rich? What if the entire edifice of right wing economics is based on myth and fantasy? What if this destabilizes the country and wrecks the middle class? What if we saw this in the right’s destruction of the economy in 2007?

    1. Is this a serious post?

    2. Is this a serious post?

    3. What is a “real” wage increase? What is this trickle down socialism for the rich?

      How did a middle class exist (which still exists) in the first place if RW economics destabilizes the country and wrecks it? What?

      1. A “real” wage increase is standard economic jargon. It is not a neologism. The middle class was created by people fighting for their rights against oligopolies…a fact the right has always regretted

        1. What is it? Are you saying the middle class of the 1980s is the same folks as now?

          1. I’m saying real wages haven’t increased in 4 decades. As Greg Mankiw pointed out, the greates increase in inequality happened 1980-1990

            1. What does that mean? What does 40 years ago have to do with now? There have been different players

              The inequal people in 80 thru 90 are not the same today. You make no sense.

              1. And yet such statements make sense to economists because they are the ones making the claim

                1. Please tell me what a real wage increase would be. Please define

                  1. Well let’s see. In the last 30 years middle class wages have been stagnant while the income of the top 1% tripled.

                    Prove that the richest 1% are really worth 300% more than 30 years ago. That alone should cause even conservatives to question their assumptions

                    1. I thought it was last 40 years? Can you cite some figures for these claims? You are making them so i think you should prove them.

                      What do you mean by stagnant? What do you define as middle class?

                    2. I’m not going to bother to educate you. If you’re unaware of middle class wage stagnation then that defines you as part of the problem. I’m using an IPad which is user hostile for posting references

                    3. But you were able to make all these other posts? Sounds like an excuse to me.

                    4. The chart i saw had the top 1% share of tax income at 20% in 1980 and about 38% now.

                      The top 1% income now is 18%

                      Reads to me like their share of taxes has increased while the bottom 90 decreased

                    5. Rich was 22% income. Meaning the 99% has 78% of the income. in 2012
                      Rich was 36% tax income meaning the 99% only had 64% of tax income in 2012.

                    6. In the past 30 years the income of the top 1% tripled. Their taxes doubled. According to the Tax Policy Foundation. Thus their tax rate dropped 20%. Again you failed to tell us why the 1% are worth 300% more than they were 30 years ago if markets are efficient

                    7. Show me some numbers. How did their tax rate drop 20%? Their share of income taxes has risen since the 1980s.

                    8. If you triple income but double taxes, the rate can not go up, by definition. That’s pure math. They have SO MUCH money that their absolute taxes went up but their rate went down as even you admit…Bush dropped capital gains rate to 15%

                    9. And it is now back up to 20% yet inequality keeps increasing. Normal income tax rate top went from 35 to 40….yet you said inequality keeps increasing.

                      And they pay the highest effective tax rates currently.

                    10. The right has waged a 40 year war against the middle class. Congratulations. You won

                    11. From the noted communist paper the Wall Street Journal…the 1% income tripled

                      http://blogs.wsj.com/economics…..st-of-u-s/

                    12. Your link says the poorest received most of the government aid. I thought it was the rich?

                    13. I didn’t say the rich got the most aid. Is this how right wingers argue…make up arguments since Thet can’t defend their own? I said the right wants to confine welfare to the rich…big difference. And the lower tax rates for the rich give them a $134B welfare check each year

                    14. According to your chart the % of income in 1977 for the 1 pct was about 10% and now it is 20% in 2007. The chart doesn’t match the number.

                      You do understand the top 1 percenter in 1979 and 2007 was a completely different set of people? I imagine most of the 1 percenters in 1979 are about to croak.

                    15. And yet the US has the lowest rate of social mobility in the western world save Italy. You seem not to understand inter generational social mobility

                    16. Based on what? What is social mobility exactly and how are you defining it? How did you determine this?

                    17. Again the concept is standard economics, not a neologism. Elementary economics. Look it up

                    18. Ok it is standard economics fine. What metric are you using to assess levels of social mobility? What factors?

                    19. Wouldn’t this mean that countries that are more equal have less mobility by definition?

                    20. Please name the 1% by name. Tell me how much they spend on lobbyists. Tell me how much they spend on campaign contributions. Tell me if there are any laws or regulations that favor those individuals (their companies) and protect them from competition. Tell me what it would take to compete with those individuals (their companies).

                      I can tell you, some of those 1% came upon their wealth honestly and deserve to keep as much as possible, as do we all. But some are wealthy because of their unholy alliance with government.

                      So your better question is, do the people here at Reason condone crony capitalism or not?

    4. “What if we have an oligopoly where wages are set by employers?”

      If employers just set wages wherever they want, why does anyone at all make more than the minimum wage? Aren’t they just throwing money away? Why do doctors, engineers, and lawyers get paid six figures a year by the private companies that employ them? Hell, even the much-maligned Wal-Mart and McDonalds jobs include a raise after a certain period of showing up and following instructions. Why would these companies waste money like this?

      1. Yea it is mind blowing. Employers only set wages in terms of what they offer to employee.

        I always found it funny there is a race to the bottom yet most folks over 90 pct make above the min wage or bottom

    5. Oh brother….

  21. It sure would be nice if the right, entranced with the magic of unregulated markets, could provide actual evidence that they even can exist, or can solve every problem

    1. Wait a minute aren’t you contradicting yourself just above?

      So the right has set up this: “What if there’s no proof the US has a market economy? What if we have an oligopoly where wages are set by employers? What if the middle class hasn’t had a real wage increase in 4 decades due to Reagan’s trickle down socialism for the rich? What if the entire edifice of right wing economics is based on myth and fantasy? What if this destabilizes the country and wrecks the middle class? What if we saw this in the right’s destruction of the economy in 2007?”

      But yet go on to say this: “It sure would be nice if the right, entranced with the magic of unregulated markets, could provide actual evidence that they even can exist, or can solve every problem”

      Which is it?

      1. The right says unregulated markets are infallibility blue in providing social benefits. Prove it. Regulated markets, as Adam Smith pointed out, work. Unregulated markets don’t for reasons that are obvious to everyone except the marketists who have the same view of markets 19th century believers in scientism had in science

        1. In what ways do they not work? What ways do regulated markets work? Do regulated markets solve every problem?

          I thought you just got done saying the right has installed a market (oligopoly) seeing how there is regulations in the market currently, wouldn’t this mean regulated markets don’t work based on what you said above regarding middle class destruction?

          Which is it?

          1. A regulated market works. The right keeps telling us unregulated markets work perfectly. Where’s the evidence? What regulations does the right support. The right produces market distortions today and claims they are free market reforms. What they really do is transfer wealth from the middle class to the rich and set up permanent moral hazard

            1. How does it work? By what metric? What is perfect?

              Didn’t the destruction of middle class (YOUR CLAIM) happen under regulated markets? Since unregulated doesn’t exist. But yet the justification for them working is they have to solve every problem…which clearly didn’t happen in your regulated market

              How does one transfer wealth from the middle class to rich when the middle class has been destroyed and they haven’t had a real wage increase in 40 years?

              1. You tell me. I’ve never seen a conservative argue FOR govt regulations. Napolitano sure doesn’t. Markets were regulated by the right to protect the wealthy and destroy the power of the middle class. And as many economists including Robert reich And Greg Mankiw pointed out, if we had the same income distribution 1975-2005 as we did 1950-1975, median income in the US would not be $50k, but $90k. That difference was transferred to the 1%

                1. Bush and reagan both had installed regulations. What are you talking about?

                  Robert Reich seriously?

                  The 1% in 1980 is not the same as the 1% today…it is actually pretty fluid. So how was it transferred?

                  1. Bush and Reagan deregulated markets as well as such protections as those protecting the environment…another form of socialism for the rich. And the US has the worst social mobility of any western country except Italy

                    1. Which markets did they deregulate? What are you basing this social mobility on and how? Source?

                      I thought below you said they regulated markets for the rich? But you are saying they deregulated for the rich?

                      What does the environment have to do with the rich?

                    2. They deregulated environmental protection which then provided a subsidy…welfare…to polluters. The regulations limiting people’s recourse in law was regulation to protect the wealthy…welfare for the rich

                    3. Who are the polluters? Just 1 percenters? The EPA has not been deregulated. Their regulations have increased.

                      I thought you said they deregulated those markets?

                    4. Obama isn’t Reagan, thank god. We were talking Reagan

                    5. What?

                      Under reagan we had higher capital gains tax rates? Hasn’t income inequality gone up under obama?

                    6. The regular income tax rate went back up to 40% and cap gains went to 20% but yet inequality keeps going up under Obama. Yet obama is good? Did he deregulate the market with regulations?

                    7. Obama can not cure ALL the screw ups of the right. He ended 2 wars. Ended the recession and got 16m people health insurance. The right tried to block him at every turn

                    8. Pretty sure the war in afghanistan is still going on. And i thought he blamed bush for ending iraq on a timetable and it wasnt his call?

                      Haven’t there been more US troops killed in afghanistan during obama than there was during bush?

                      And there are still 30 million without health insurance. How is forcing them to really helping them? What if i liked my plan? Why couldnt i keep it?

                    9. How does obama accomplish all those things if the right is in charge and blocking him? Wouldn’t the right get credit for the recovery since they have been in charge since early 2011?

                    10. He got the ACA in the 7 months he had a super majority. Some were by executive order. Some were by presidential authority as CinC. And the right made thing s worse…they always do

                    11. How did the right make the ACA worse? what?

                    12. They tried to kill it

                    13. Oh you mean the right has made the economy worse? Wait i thought you were just praising the job obama has done with the economy?

                      Which is it? You are contradicting yourself again

                    14. So the economy has gotten worse since 2011 due to the right (obama was president)

                      But the economy has improved out of the recession under obama (even though house was red)?

                    15. Obama became pres in 2009. And the right tried to block any effort to heal the economy. If I contrdicted myself I’d be right wing

                    16. So they blocked him yet he is responsible for the recovering economy? They blocked efforts to heal the economy but yet it is doing great since he became president?

                      How does he heal the economy (your claim) when the pubs have blocked everything (your claim)

                      How is the cognitive dissonance?

                    17. So they blocked him yet he is responsible for the recovering economy? They blocked efforts to heal the economy but yet it is doing great since he became president?

                      How does he heal the economy (your claim) when the pubs have blocked everything (your claim)

                      How is the cognitive dissonance?

                    18. He did what he could…a miracle worker. I know you find it hard to believe your dogma failed but there it is

                    19. What did he do exactly?

                      Dogma failed how? The regulated market you mean? masked as deregulated?. By your own admission unregulated markets have never existed thus have never failed

                      The economy improved and is good now (your claim) for which the republicans have had power since 2011 and haven’t allowed obama to do anything. So how did it fail here since they are in charge?

    2. Can you provide evidence regulated markets can solve every problem? What does that even mean “solve every problem?” What do you propose that would solve every problem?

      1. What problem is there that the right says can not be solved by the mythical free market?

        1. The current markets are regulated and you are yammering on about all the destruction. How can you say unregulated markets dont work (by what metric i am not sure) when there aren’t any non regulated markets?

          Fwiw the markets have been regulated for quite some time.

          1. If current markets were regulated we would not have had a 20,000% run up in credit default swaps between 1997-2006. Markets are “regulated” only insofar as they protect the wealthy and restrain the influence of the middle class.

            1. So markets aren’t regulated but they are regulated? Can you be consistent? And unregulated markets don’t work even though they never existed but somehow these markets were unregulated?

              I am so confused.

              1. They are regulated to protect the wealthy, by the right. Even Adam Smith spoke of regulated markets to protect society from the greed of businessmen. Our right pushed regulation to maximize greed. smith spoke of regulation to limit it

                1. What regulation might that be? So wouldn’t this mean regulated markets are bad and don’t solve problems? Rather they create problems?

                  1. The right regulates markets to limit exposure of the 1% to the damage they cause. Adam Smith recommended regulation to restrict greed

                    1. I thought you said the markets were deregulated by bush and reagan?

                    2. Regulated to protect the wealthy under the guise of “deregulation”

                    3. So it wasn’t really deregulated then? So how can you say deregulation is bad?

                    4. Ever hear of Adam Smith? You know the guy who founded modern economics? He recommended govt regulation to protect society, not greed. Big difference

                    5. You told me it was deregulated which is bad and that regulated markets were good. But here you are saying the regulated market is bad.

                    6. See above on Adam Smith

                    7. Protect society? What does that even mean?

                    8. You seem to be an obama fan…not sure he is about Adam smith

                    9. And yet the economy recovered under him vs the right wing govt that preceded him

                    10. But the middle class has been destroyed and inequality keeps increasing? Why is the 1% worth 300% more now under obama?

                    11. Did you know obama made the bush tax cuts permanent for 99%? And those tax cuts for the 99% was the biggest government revenue hit. The tax raising on rich was more symbolic and less than 80 billion a year additional revenue.

                    12. The government spends 4 trillion a year fyi.

                    13. 80 billion is A LOT of money. And as a scientist I approve of the tax cut for R&D. Carried interest deduction? Welfare for the rich pushed by the right

                    14. It is 2 pct of spending. So you approve of the tax cut now? Why is being a scientist relevant here?

                    15. So is obama a friend of the rich since it is only at 20% capital gains? Which is less than reagan in 1986

                    16. Actually it’s 23% as you previously pointed out due to the Aaca. And it was the best deal he could get from a right wing congress. Lest you forget he’s 1/3 of the govt

                    17. But i thought you said the right wing only cuts those tax rates? Seems they raised it.

                    18. Weren’t you bashing reagan for tax cuts when he had higher capital gains rates than obama does now? Yet you like obama why? Afterall reagan is only 1/3 of government. The house under reagan was democrat

                    19. Democrats worked with Reagan. The right wing congress set a record in US history for filibusters, against Obama. You keep blaming Obama for success against the obstruction of the right

                    20. So how did obama recover the economy due to republicans obstructing him? What policies did he implement that improved the economy? Considering right wont let him do anything.

                      What does filibusters have to do with the president? Aren’t filibusters in congress? Why would they bring a bill to the floor they didn’t want to pass and filibuster? That makes no sense. Can you cite a source

                    21. The stimulus was instrumental. A survey done by the U of Chicago found that 80% of economists thought the stimulus worked to revive the economy. And filibusters are a measure of obstruction. 50% of all filibusters in US history were against Obama. The Dems used to control the senate. Filibusters are used by the minority party, which the right used to be

                    22. The unemployment was worse than the projections without the stimulus. Where were all the shovel ready jobs? Wasn’t half of the stimulus tax cuts?

                      I believe Harry Reid was the actual obstructionist in the senate

                    23. Economies on their own recover and typically the deeper the recession, the quicker turn around. This recovery was a bit slow. The stimulus did not really do all that much because it trickled in a few bucks at a time via tax cuts. And there was no shovel ready projects

    3. Where are all these unregulated markets you speak of now?

      1. That’s the point. It’s a myth yet the right says they are infallible

        1. But your destruction of the middle class has occurred in REGULATED MARKETS. So how can you say unregulated is bad when they are a myth? That doesn’t make sense. Especially considering you said regulated markets are good when they were there for the destruction of the middle class

          1. Uh no. Markets in America project the wealthy, at the behest of the right. The right has created a myth that the existence of a wealthy class is, in and of itself, evidence of the efficiency of markets, regardless of how many middle class jobs it costs

            1. What?

              You just said unregulated markets have never existed. By definition that means the markets have been regulated which they are. This is proof regulated markets work when the destruction of the middle class happened under them?

              1. See above regarding Adam Smith

                1. That’s nice. So clearly regulated markets don’t work then per your own definition of what works? Since it led to middle class destruction.

                  In what ways is it regulated for the wealthy? Seeing how the current crop of 1 pcters is different than the 1 pcters of 40 years ago.

                  1. So you think a regulation protecting greed is the same as a regulation against bank robbery?

                    1. What does this have to do with anything? A regulation against bank robbery…what?

                      I thought you said it was deregulated?

                    2. See abocve regarding Adam Smith

                    3. That’s nice. What does that have to do with you contradicting yourself?

                    4. Contradiction? The right calls regulation to protect the rich deregulation And The call regulation to protect the rich is also called deregulation. THAT is a contradiction

                    5. So it really isn’t deregulation then and is in fact regulation? Do i have that correct? So how are regulated markets good and unregulated markets bad?

                    6. See Adam Smith

                    7. What about him? Sounds like you are arguing for deregulated markets for which i agree. Actual deregulation and not the conspiracy right wing deregulation

                    8. Deregulated markets are a fiction. Properly regulated markets work. The right regulates markets for the rich, as Adam Smith predicted

                    9. So how do you know deregulated markets don’t work? I agree we should actually deregulate those markets you speak of

                    10. Prove they do. They didn’t in 2097 when we deregulated the shadow banking market. Yet the right continues to insist deregulated market work no matter how often they fail

                    11. How have deregulated markets fail when you said they dont exist and have not? What?

                      Werent you saying the described deregulated markets were really regulated?

                      You told me that deregulation actually equals regulation. Can you be consistent?

                    12. Do regulations get substantially changed (switched from admin to admin) by the president?

                      So when team blue is president all regulations are good while red all the regulations are for the 1 percenters?

                    13. Yeah they do. Bush gave welfare to polluters by gutting EPA regulations. And the right thinks the job of America is to show how God loves the rich while viewing the middle class as expendable

                    14. Which EPA regulations did he gut and who are these polluters? Your last sentence makes no sentence.

    4. Where are all these unregulated markets you speak of now?

      1. That’s the point. They do n’t exist though the right says they’re perfect

        1. They don’t exist ok got it. So regulated markets existed under the destruction of the middle class? Do i have that right? How are regulated markets the way to go then? Since they don’t solve every problem?

          1. The right r gullies markets to limit the power of the middle class and maximize the power of the 1%. That’s why their income tripled in 30 years. Proper regulation, as Smith said, limits greed. Our right maximizes it

            1. Where are you getting this tripled number? They currently only take 22% of the income. And yet pay 36% share of the taxes

            2. But if the regulation is being used properly, doesn’t this suggest regulated markets don’t work per your own definition?

              You keep saying conservatives want no regulation only to contradict yourself and saying they are heavily regulating the market

              Which is it?

              1. That’s the issue…proper regulation. The right say any regulation is in and of itself evil

                1. But yet they put regulations on for 1 pcter greed?

                  1. Yep. Orwellian use of language. A propaganda game to serve ideology of protecting the wealthy

                    1. So it really isn’t unregulated then? What you are telling me is regulated markets = bad.

                    2. Get a dictionary. Open it to the P section. Look up PROPERLY.

                    3. What would a properly regulated market consist of? what kind of regulations are proper and which are improper?

                      Are you calling for a deregulated market then? Ie. less regulation? If so i agree

                    4. Since you continue to ignore the market failure of 2007, you prove my point that conservatives are dogma, not data driven. Thanks. Proper market regulation protects the middle class. The right, as Jeb Bush said, thinks the middle class is lazy

                    5. What would constitute proper market regulation? Are you saying it is there for dem presidents but then dissappears?

                      I thought you said deregulation really means regulation?

                    6. What I said was…for the 10th time…both regulation and deregulation to protect the rich are called deregulation by the right when it protects the rich. Read that line 19 times because you keep ignoring it.

                      Proper regulation protects America’s most precious possession, the middle class

                      And it’s been fun but the IPad is collapsing so I’ll say goodnight

                    7. That makes no sense sorry. How are regulation and deregulation both regulation to protect the rich? Can you define what is proper regulation?

                      Middle class is not a possession. And didn’t you say they were dead? Which would have also happened under blue and red presidents.

  22. Does bpharic make sense to anyone else???

    Apparently the rich have deregulated the markets for rich socialism (ignoring the actual rich are fluid and not some nefarious club)

    But at the same time heavily those same markets for the rich (the nefarious club)

    1. How are the 1 percenters chosen?

    2. The argument made sense to Adam Smith. But what did he know? The right regulates markets to protect the wealthy then they call that DEREGULATION. Any regulation that protects the middle class is wrong since regulation is always evil.

      It’s a word game. If it protects the wealthy, by definition it’s deregulation and is good. If it protects the middle class it’s wrong. Setting Adam Smith on his head

      1. That makes no sense. How do you deregulate it by putting regulation on it?

        If regulation is always evil, why did they put regulation on the markets? Wouldn’t this suggest regulations are evil since they are being used to help 1 percenter.

        1. You tell me. It’s a right wing argument. Regulation to protect the rich AND deregulation to protect the rich are called deregulation. The common factor is protecting the rich

          1. I agree regulated markets are bad. Glad we could clear that up. I am thinking they should actually be deregulated (real deregulation) based on what you said…that it was a con job of language

            1. Deregulation gave us the deepest recession in 80 years. Your idea was tried. It’s a failure. Not that the facts will stop the mythology of the right

              1. You said above it was really regulation. Why did you keep saying it was deregulated? When that was just word play.

                So were these markets actually deregulated or not?

                1. What I said was that the right regulates or deregulated markets to protect the rich but calls both “deregulation “. It’s dogma, not logic

                  1. Your claim is inherently contradictory. Who are these rich that are being protected and how? The 1 pcters are fluid

  23. Do 2 percenters not pollute?

  24. I am sorry but you either are trolling me for parody or you are into some real deep conspiracy shit

  25. bpuharic…can i have talk some of your money since it really isn’t yours? It really must be welfare since you arent taxed at 100%…or does this standard only apply to the arbitrarily defined “rich”

    1. I’ll give you the money that represents the excess the rich pay in taxes vs the middle class…oh wait there isn’t any!

      1. The rich pay more than the middle class does in terms of effective rates. They only take in 22 pct of the income while contributing 38 pct in tax revenue. Every other bracket takes in more income than contributes in income tax share

        1. Actually they take in 20% of income and pay 22% of federal taxes. Their income tripled while their taxes doubled. They have so much money that they actually do have to pay taxes. But the right wants to eliminate their taxes…welfare

          1. They take in 20% of income and pay 38% of the total income tax revenue.

            22% is the average effective tax rate.

            Not the same

            1. They pay 22% of federal taxes. They tripled their income in 30 years…a fact you have yet to address

              http://blogs.wsj.com/economics…..st-of-u-s/

              1. They pay 36% of income tax revenue currently with an average 22% as the effective rate…not the same

                That graph shows INCOME percent..not income tax revenue. That went from 10% to 20%

                1. 1% income percent share = 20%
                  1% income tax revenue share = 38%
                  1% effective tax rate average = 22%

  26. this judge is a Fox news, con con pushing fraud!!

  27. Wow! I just realized that if those rich one percenters were to try to use their wealth to influence the government, they might, in an imperfect world, actually co-opt the power of government to do their bidding. Possibly even try to line their own pockets.
    Hope that never happens and I hope that regulations are being written right now to make sure it never happens.

  28. What if Napolitano found another column gimmick? This gimmick was old the first or second time he used it.

  29. What if the wages have been allowed to stagnate to the point that actual wages are less than they were twenty or thirty years ago? What if the same has happened, with the social security payments, to people, having also been suppressed? What used to be teenager’s jobs, are now used for a family’s subsistence? And, what if that happened because of poor economic policies of the elitists in government? I think someone should also be looking into this, too.

  30. The reflexive, far-right economics of Reason has become a bad, bad joke. “Central planning”? Why not just give in to your basest impulses and call the idea of a livable minimum wage, which “the market” has never been able to provide, “Stalinist.”

    Other than the occasional, intelligent article exposing the fraud of contemporary feminism, you’ve lost it, guys. Go home.

    1. The minimum wage is zero, and this cannot be changed by laws. You might as well submit legislation to change the rotation speed of the Earth.

      The market does provide high wages for those who offer skills that are in high demand. It even offers high wages for those who provide unskilled labor IF there are more employers trying to hire workers than there are workers looking for jobs. That’s the law of supply and demand in action. So, all the government can really do about wages is provide the conditions under which businesses can flourish and hire more people – which is basically limited to preventing crime and enforcing contracts.

      And if a “living wage” is required for nine-to-five jobs, shouldn’t it be required for any transaction whatsoever? Should the homeless guy cleaning windshields be forced to charge $15 per hour so that he’s not “exploited”? If I stood on the street corner and played my accordion, I wouldn’t make enough money to live… Shouldn’t passers-by be forced to pay me a “living wage”? Of course, you’d say no, because the service I’m providing is not considered valuable. Yet, when it comes to regular W-2 jobs, there’s this notion that a government mandate is perfectly reasonable.

      1. Never thought about expanding the argument to street workers like window washers. Excellent point!

        That compliment will cost you $15. I don’t take checks.

  31. What else can you call forcing someone to pay their employees more than the market can sustain?
    Whatever you call it, I call it wrong. The consequences can only be negative.
    Riddle me this Batman: How much does Suzzy make at $15/hr when she works zero hours?
    People who have no skills can only work at places that require no skills.
    How much can a no-skill job possibly pay and still make money?
    Unless we are turning into a Communist State here, businesses that can’t make money, will fold.
    If you like athecommunist way of living, find a communist state and move there.
    I hear Cuba is looking for you.

  32. Unlike Capitalism, Globalization is a global Pyramid scheme and Zero-sum WITHOUT https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

  33. The federal, and states, government left the U.S. Constitution behind long ago and the courts, including the U.S. Supreme court, has gone along with it. Frederic Bastiat said it a long time ago: Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.

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  39. The Minimum Wage is a Subsistence Wage not a Living Wage. It can’t be anything else. In 1964 the Minimum Wage was $1.25, or 5 silver quarters. Today the melt value of those 5 quarters is about $15. So what people are seeking with a Minimum Wage of $15 is Parity. But they can never achieve that parity because in 1964, after working at $1.25 and having been trained, the employer would not want to lose his investment in that employee so he would immediately give that employee a raise to FOUR TIMES the minimum wage, or $5.00 an hour, PLUS Medical and Dental and sometime Vision Benefits. This would put that employee in the bottom rungs of the Middle Class from which he could continue to climb higher.

    It takes at least a multiple of 4 times the minimum wage to enter into the Living Wage of the Middle Class. The California Labor Commission requires that Exempt employees must earn at least twice minimum. With a minimum wage of $15, twice minimum is $30 and 4 times minimum is $60. Anything less than twice minimum is still a subsistence wage. What options does a small businesses have? Either raise prices to compensate (one reason the benefit never lasts); reduce the number of employees (or their hours); automate if possible; or go out of business.

    The problem was created in 1913 when a group of international bankers persuaded Congress and the President to violate Article 1 Section 10 of the US Constitution.

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  41. One of my coworkers earns 15 dollars an hour (8 hour shift). She lives by herself in an apartment. No student loans, no family to support. She INSISTS that she’s not even middle class. The company pays for her insurance, but for obvious ACA related reasons her account is drained every time she’s sick.

    The math seems simple to me. A 15 dollar minimum wage will not bust anyone out of poverty in most states, even if you work full time. You’ll make something like 26 thou a year, and as soon as you’re kicked out of medicaid, welfare, and or food stamps because you earn too much, your account will be drained.

    If I lived by myself and earned more than 16 thou a year, I might not be eligible for medi-cal in California. If I get lucky maybe I pay 100 bucks for insurance after subsidy. If I get really sick I might have to reckon with deductibles. Game over.

    If I made over 20 thou a year my student deferment would end and I might be out another 100-200 dollars per month. I don’t know what these people are thinking at the moment. The threshold for profit just got insanely higher for some states. If a restaurant raised the prices by only 50 cents on all items for suffer even a 2 percent drop in sales, they’ll be deader way sooner.

  42. What is it with Napolitano and these barrages of rhetorical questions? Why doesn’t the guy just get to the point?

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