Home / General / Republican Responses to the Minimum Wage

Republican Responses to the Minimum Wage


As always, Roy Edroso ventures deep into crazyland to get the latest writings from rightbloggers. And they were very happy about Obama’s proposed minimum wage hike, as you can imagine:

One real hair-raiser for rightbloggers was Obama’s proposed raising of the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, which would lift the annual income of low-end workers to a princely $18,000. “The largest percentage of minimum wage earners have ‘less than a high school’ education,” reported Warren Beatty at American Thinker. “…The last time I checked, public schooling included high school. And public schooling did/does not directly cost (except for ‘cool’ clothes) those being educated. Dropping out of school is a conscious choice. Yet we consumers are expected to pay higher prices to support what is a bad decision. Some economists suggest that increasing the minimum wages may actually encourage some students to drop out of high school.” So Obama was not only costing businessmen money, he was also contributing to juvenile delinquency.

“There are people who would like to work for $4 an hour,” said Ron Ross at the American Spectator, “and there are employers who would like to hire them for that wage. However, for them to enter into such a transaction is a criminal act. Some far-away clueless politician has arbitrarily decided that $4 an hour is not fair and not enough to live on.” Well, it’s good to see Republicans already working on their 2016 campaign pitch.

Like Roy, I strongly support the Republicans running on this platform in 2016.

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  • efgoldman

    “There are people who would like to work for $4 an hour,” said Ron Ross at the American Spectator, “and there are employers who would like to hire them for that wage.

    And there are employers who would like to hire them for 35 cents an hour, and pay them a quarter for every shoe or shirt they finish in their ten hour workday (but only six hours on Saturdays…)
    These people are beyond horrible.

    • efgoldman

      And by the way, the “them” in question are 8-12 year-old kids.
      These folks used to be outliers. How did they become the center of one of our major political parties? [Rhetorical question]

      • efgoldman, you beat me to the punch: i was going to say that i have every confidence that my 8-year-old would be happy to work for $4/hour!

    • Warren Terra

      Why am I guessing that Mr. Ross doesn’t actually know any of these people who want o work for $4/hour?

    • Bill Murray

      isn’t it really that there are people who would work for $4 an hour, not that they would like to. I think most everyone would prefer to work for $9 an hour compared to $4 an hour. Except maybe that kid from the Jimmy7 Fallon commercial

      • JoyfulA

        You’d have to be able to walk to work, or transportation costs would take you way under $4.

    • Cody

      I want to work for $20,000/hour, and I don’t see why I can’t. I demand justice.

    • Gone2Ground

      Yeah. Just the complete lack of emotional “IQ” to realize that anyone with the words “….at the XXX big time publication” after their intro really, really shouldn’t even say the words “there are people who would like to work for $4 a hour.” Because it is akin to them saying “I know that angels exist” It is delusional and ridiculous.

  • DocAmazing

    While we’re fixing the minimum wage, how about shitcanning the exemption for waitstaff? Having to rely on tips (that the IRS is going to get stinky about later on) really sucks.

    By the way, Roy get maximum laffs by citing Adam Carolla complaining about people being overpaid and irresponsible. Pot, kettle, etc.

    • djw

      That was amusing. Following the Dennis Miller career path for painfully unfunny comedians, apparently.

      • Halloween Jack

        Miller, at least, had a few good years (if you could ever stand his shtick–I know that lots of people couldn’t) on SNL. Carolla has an inexplicably popular podcast, but hasn’t made much of a dent in traditional media.

    • The exemption isn’t ended, but Obama’s proposal does include an increase in the tipped wage as well.

      • Have they proposed how much to raise it?

    • mpowell

      AFAICT, there is no exemption for waitstaff, really. The employer is supposed to make up the difference between normal wages + tips and minimum wages for waitstaff. I guess they don’t frequently do this. I would hardly be upset if they just eliminated the concept of regular waitstaff wages, bumped everybody up to regular minimum wage and let restaurants explain to their customers that tipping is no longer recommended (because food prices are noticeably higher). Tipping is a scourge on our society anyways.

  • Some economists suggest that increasing the minimum wages may actually encourage some students to drop out of high school.

    How does that square with the common claim that raising the minimum wage will force high school students out of the job market by increasing competition for minimum-wage jobs? Like this claim, for instance:

    10.6 percent minimum wage increase in 2009 resulted in the loss of 600,000 teen jobs in six months

    I’d sure like to see these two hash out their differences!

    Oh, wait… those quotes are from the same piece. Funny, that.

    • Also: first of all, it’s pretty rich to attribute losses in marginal jobs to increasing the minimum wage in the same year the US economy had its biggest slump in decades.

      Second of all, I don’t see why it’s such a disaster for teen jobs to decline. Is flipping burgers really the ideal way for a 16, 17, 18-year-old student to use their free time? Wouldn’t we rather they spend their time on sports, community service, volunteer work, internships, educational opportunities, and sneaking in past curfew to have sex?

      • Warren Terra

        For social reasons other than taxes or minimum wages, how about if we get rid of tipping entirely?

        • I fervently agree. I’m lucky enough to live in a state (OR) which doesn’t permit tip deduction and which has a decent minimum wage. Maybe if that was the case nationwide we could make the transition to just paying wait staff and kitchen staff what they’re worth and getting rid of the kind of creepy tipping system.

          I always tip the same scale, because I don’t like the idea that it’s my job to somehow punish or reward the staff for their job performance. If there were problems with my meal or whatever, I’ll inform the waiter and hope it was just a fluke. If I keep on having problems, I might not go there anymore. I’ve never had this happen, but if a waiter treated me badly I might complain. This is our standard for most types of service, and it seems reasonable to me.

          • TBP

            Yes. One of things I like about Japan is that you don’t tip anybody for anything ever. Some fancier restaurants have a “service charge,” but it’s clearly stated on the menu and included in the bill. People in service professions are paid a relatively decent living wage. Of course this is part of why things are expensive, but at least you know the total you see on the restaurant bill or on the taxi meter is actually what you’re going to pay. You also know that the people providing your services are paid a reasonable wage. And in two visits there, totaling maybe 5 weeks, with one exception, I had excellent service everywhere (heck, the cabbies practically demand to carry your luggage into the hotel lobby for you).

            • Malaclypse

              If memory serves, somewhere in Twain, he writes about a European who, in coming to America, tips someone – I think a hotel doorman – and is rebuked for acting like an aristocrat.

      • rea

        sneaking in past curfew to have sex?
        You had a more intreesting adolescence than mine–I had to sneak out to have sex.

        • LeeEsq

          In truth, the skills he learned in breaking and entry were much more valuable later in life than the sex.

      • JL

        Yeah, I have never understood the “teenagers” argument against the minimum wage.

        If they’re working to help support themselves and their families, as some teenagers do, then they’re like all the other workers who are trying to support themselves and their families, and all the same pro/con arguments regarding the minimum wage apply. For instance, that they would be able to provide more money to support their families on $9/hour rater than $7.50.

        If they aren’t, then why the hell am I supposed to care more about their jobs than about the working conditions of people who DO have to work for a living?

    • herr doktor bimler

      Some economists suggest that increasing the minimum wages may actually encourage some students to drop out of high school.

      So any kind of economic improvement is a bad thing?

      • Hogan

        That’s the difference between the 1% and the 99%. If you give money to the 1%, it motivates them to work harder. If you give money to the 99%, it takes away their motivation to work at all. I think it’s one of those cultural genetic things.

  • ADM

    There are people who would like to work for $4 an hour? Really?

    I kinda get that everyone (myself and you all included!) often confuse our own pet issues with nation-winning political issues, but thinking that a potential employee would, without coercion, agree (much less like) to work for $4/hr in these United States completely & utterly & totally mystifies me. Where is Ron Ross at the American Spectator coming from with this? What’s his thinking process?


    • efgoldman

      What’s his thinking process?

      Assumes facts not in evidence.


      On that wacko side.

      Never, ever.

    • tt

      If the alternative were unemployment? Sure. (not that this is a good argument against raising minimum wabe)

      • tt

        Also, some people currently work for free. There are jobs I did as a college student for experience/references that it would’ve been nice to get a small amount of compensation for. Again, this is a very small negative compared to the benefits of raising minimum wage, but I don’t think it’s a totally absurd argument.

    • Left_Wing_Fox

      I would have liked to work for 4 dollars an hour.

      In 1988.

      When I was 12.

  • g

    Some far-away clueless politician has arbitrarily decided that $4 an hour is not fair and not enough to live on.”

    Wow. Clueless politician?

    • I know. Why are those clueless politicians getting in the way of my “agreeing” to work for nothing?

      • Well, the Department of Labor is supposed to, but there sure are a lot more ‘unpaid interns’ than there are documents to file and meetings to sit in on.

        Remember when those Black Swan gofers sued the production company for profiting off their free labor with no return for them? Oh, how everyone laffed at such a silly idea.

      • I’m curious to see whether you could actually successfully hoax NRO or the equivalent into denouncing the 13th amendment as an attack on freedom of contract.

      • Slocum

        No Erik, not nothing! We’re talking 4 cold, hard dollars an hour!

    • chaed

      Party like it’s 1899.

      • BigHank53

        If you party like it’s 1839, you don’t have to pay them anything. Plus you get to sell their kids, too.

    • Huh, Repug politicians don’t think a Senator’s (or Congressman’s) pay of around $200K a year is enough to live on.

  • You know who might “like” to work for $4 per hour? Illegals, that’s who!

    • ADM

      Why would you assume an illegal immigrant is who Ron Ross is talking abut? It’s illegal to hire illegal immigrants, isn’t it? So why would anyone at the American Prospect model a hypothetical pay scale for the hiring of illegal immigrants?

      • Warren Terra

        American Spectator. The American Prospect may promote a sort-of wonkish, relatively centrist Liberalism, but it’s a galaxy to the left of the American Spectator.

    • Bill Murray

      or the Hanley’s from In living Color

  • MAJeff

    Republicans: Calvinism worse than Calvin.

    • c u n d gulag

      And no Hobbes, either!

  • efgoldman

    Speaking of clueless TeaHadis

    What would Texas do in the event that the United States of America defaulted? It is a very real possibility that one day the massive U.S. debt will become so large and unsustainable that it causes a financial meltdown. Texas, and pretty much everyone else, would all of a sudden be faced with no more federal funds (which is really just Texas tax dollars given to the feds which is then given back to Texas). Yes, Texas is already a sovereign state, but what would we do if faced with complete sovereignty and no federal money?

    AUSTIN, TEXAS– State Representative James White has filed HB 568 or the Texas Self-Sufficiency Act. The Texas Self-Sufficiency Act creates a select committee to evaluate the effects of a possible reduction in or elimination of federal funding on the state budget due to federal fiscal policy. “Due to the fiscal dysfunction of Washington, D.C., and the fact that more than a third of our state’s budget revenue comes from the federal government, Texas needs to study what it would mean if the Federal Government couldn’t meet its obligations,” stated Representative White.

    Texas gets one-third of its budget from the Feds. That’s the same Texas that talks about seceding whenever their fee-fees get hurt. And the same Texas that leads the country in uninsured citizens, and many other negative categories.

    • c u n d gulag

      Please proceed, Rep. White…

      • swearyanthony

        How would the US cope without the giant intellects that Texas sends to DC?

        • somethingblue

          The whole burden would fall on the Oklahoma delegation, I guess.

    • Cody

      If Texas left the Union, wouldn’t that reduce our deficit a decent amount?

      Someone start a Congressional committee on this ASAP.

    • Hogan

      I think Rep. White needs to appoint a select committee to explain to him what “default” means.

    • NBarnes

      It does bear mentioning that Texas is on the very short list of red states that sends more tax money to the feds than it gets back. Most red states are such basketcase backwaters that they get far more federal money for Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, highways, mail service, electrification, etc, etc, etc, than they could ever dream of sending in. But Texas is pretty rich, by red state standards, and so it’s an exception. If the Union were to suddenly dissolve, Texas might well do better than most states, even blue ones. Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Montana would be screwed, of course.

      Though the additional point is that Texas’ wealth is, despite Republican fantasies about it being a free enterprise, wealth producing, job creator’s paradise, is mostly based on resource extraction. Someday, those resources are going to run out. I expect that, at that point, Texas will turn into a hotter, drier, less pleasant Mississippi, with crazier and better-armed locals.

  • DrDick

    At this rate, it is only a matter of time before they propose bringing back slavery or at least indentured servitude.

    • efgoldman

      …or at least indentured servitude.

      Like, perhaps, unpaid internships?

    • Warren Terra

      Some work visas aren’t all that far off the latter. Workers are trapped in their employer-provided housing, underpaid and overcharged, isolated from social services and accurate information about their rights, and told that their only options are to do as their told or get deported – and they’re often burdened by huge debts to the labor broker that got them the job, and almost certainly lied about the pay and conditions.

    • BigHank53
  • Sly

    “…Some far-away clueless politician has arbitrarily decided that $4 an hour is not fair and not enough to live on.”

    Most of the women and girls who worked (and died) in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in 1911 made $7 for a 52 hour work week. Rate that down to a 40 hour week and adjust it for a hundred years of inflation and you get a wage of about $3.25 an hour, give or take a few cents.

    So I guess he deserves credit for being slightly more generous than the employers who ran the most infamous sweatshop in American history.

    • Warren Terra

      Yes, but those were fancy Manhattan wages, while he prides himself on being in touch with real America.

    • herr doktor bimler

      “…Some far-away clueless politician has arbitrarily decided that a working week longer than 40 hours is not fair.”

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  • R. Porrofatto

    $18,000 a year is what some hedge funders make in the first 30 seconds of their work year*. It’s heartening to see that some folks are willing to proudly advocate increasing such inequality. The poor must be punished.

    *To be fair, a 40-year lifetime income at $9/hr. would take some hedge funders about 20 minutes, 30 in an off year. Surely, the working life of some minimum wage loser isn’t worth that much time of our most productive citizens.

  • Speak Truth

    I think Erik is on to something here.

    If $9.00 an hour would be a good thing…then just think about the tremendous benefits $18.00 an hour would bring!

    And if $18.00 an hour is great, just imagine what a minimum wage of $40.00 could do for this country. All those workers could afford to buy camaros!

    It would be AWESOME!!!

    I’m with Erik. Just raise minimum wage until no one needs to go to college anymore. It’s really a question of fairness, anyway….don’t you think?

    • commie atheist

      If raising the minimum wage means that Koch Industries would have to pay you more for posting stupid-ass comments on the inter webs, then I am totally against it.

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