Silly Robert Reich Says Words About Minimum Wage To Helen Keller We Mean S.E. Cupp
So here is a clip of Robert Reich articulately laying out the case for why the minimum wage needs to be raised, and CNN's S.E. Cupp not hearing anything but "victimizing job creators for class war." It's worth watching, if only for information you can use in your own conversations with wingnuts, and as an object lesson in why those conversations will go nowhere.
On CNN's Crossfire, Cupp starts the conversation where she'll eventually end it:
“You would suggest that we force employers to raise wages, force union participation, raise taxes on the top job creators, and force employers to cut off hiring at 50 employees to avoid Obamacare mandates,” Cupp told Reich. “How is that a job recipe for job creation?”
And then Reich explains how jobs get created when people have enough money to buy stuff from companies that make stuff, and need people to make it, a fairly simple point that Henry Ford understood when he paid his assembly-line workers enough to buy the Model T's they were building. Obviously, this economic analysis was too complex for Cupp, who is fixated on the word "forced."
Reich patiently explains how all this crazy thinking works:
“We’ve had a minimum wage in this country since 1935,” Reich responded. “Raising the minimum wage is good for the country. It puts more money in the pockets of people. Sixty-five percent of Americans want to raise the minimum wage. Most minimum-wage workers these days are not teenagers; they are breadwinners. If you help them, you are helping the economy overall. And a lot of employers will benefit from a higher minimum wage ... This is not a matter of government planning, this is a matter of what we have [long] done in this country. In fact if we had a minimum wage today that was as high as it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.40 an hour. And if you add in productivity improvements, the minimum wage would actually be $15 an hour.”
Can you guess what Cupp said next? You will never ever guess!
"It's still forcing employers to raise pay." We bet you guessed that. And never mind all those words Reich said, now it's time to talk to the conservative guest, because not quite a full decade after Jon Stewart said teevee shouty shows and their shallow back-and-forth were hurting America, Crossfire is back with the same formula as ever -- don't engage ideas, just let two people yell talking points.
And so now it's the turn of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and before you doze off, you might hear him say that if you want to know how the real economy works, you shouldn't listen to economists, you should listen to the jerb creators and what they want. And they want unrestricted profits and low wages and no taxes and to get all the cake, in exchange for which they will maybe not fire as many people this time.
And then Reich points out that under Bill Clinton, businesses actually did pretty well, because people had enough money to buy their stuff. Rising tides and all that, you know?
“One thing that we heard from businesses again and again and again was, ‘We create jobs when there is enough demand. When consumers have money in their pockets, when you have a growing middle class,” Reich said. “That’s the issue.”
Pawlenty even acknowledges that after he signed an increase in the Minnesota minimum wage, and Reich notes that it had some very positive effects in the state, to which Pawlenty replies that you can't just suddenly raise minimum wages to $15 an hour because economic shock, as if virtually all proposals to raise the minimum wage didn't call for the rate to be raised incrementally.
By the way, did you know that this would force employers to do something they don't like? This is America, damn it, where the only people who can be forced to accept things they don't like are workers, who had better be damned thankful they still have the privilege of working two or three jobs at minimum wage.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.