Minimum Wage Insanity

March 8, 2005

Rush was just discussing this and it reminded me about how disappointing this story is, describing how Rick Santorum and Ted Kennedy were arguing not over whether there should be an increase in the minimum wage, but how much it should be. On top of that, no less a bona fide conservative than Rick Santorum was in the thick of this. And we conservatives consider ourselves in control?

I simply do not understand why conservatives have a problem governing (excuse the paradox) like conservatives. Again, I’m deeply saddened by this :). I guess no one dares to speak out against the minimum wage for fear of confirming the conservative/uncompassionate stereotype. It’s sad. In the meantime, nothing could be more quixotic as Republicans trying to: a) curry favor with Democrats by trying to emulate them and meet them halfway, and b) insulate themselves from charges of callousness and insensitivity by such left-leaning gestures. As long as compassion is defined as how much the government does for people, conservatives might as well not even bother to compete. It would be gratifying if someday conservative politicians would just bite the bullet and stick to their principles, accepting the inevitability that they’ll be considered compassion-less ogres.

If you think I’m being facetious, just read the article. Republicans argued that Ted Kennedy’s suggested $2 increase would cripple the economy while Democrats argued that Santorum’s $1.10 increase “was a thinly-disguised giveaway to business.” First, Republicans don’t deserve a pass on this at all. How do they know that $2 will hurt the economy but $1.10 won’t? And how about the flawed theory behind the minimum wage anyway? How about the truism that all economists recognize that these programs increase unemployment — hardly a picture of compassion.

As for Democrats, lately they haven’t even been subtle with their demagoguery. Social Security privatization is a GOP sop to Wall Street. Now an INCREASE in the minimum wage is a GIVEAWAY to business. A giveaway. This is private money of employers. But just like Democrats saying that tax cuts are gifts from the government to the rich, an insufficiently obscene increase in the minimum wage is characterized as a giveaway to business. Sometimes you wonder just how gullible people have to be for Democrats to even talk this way. Surely no one is stupid enough to buy this nonsense. Think again.