January 4, 2007


Conservative political columnists George Will wants to do away with the minimum wage.
A federal minimum wage is an idea whose time came in 1938, when public confidence in markets was at a nadir and the federal government’s confidence in itself was at an apogee. This, in spite of the fact that with 19 percent unemployment and the economy contracting by 6.2 percent in 1938, the New Deal’s frenetic attempts had failed to end, and perhaps had prolonged, the Depression.

Today, raising the federal minimum wage is a bad idea whose time has come.[..]

The minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities’ prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.
This is only the a start for Conservatives, they really want to roll back the New Deal with includes Social Security and Worker Rights with includes the 40 hour work week. They want to turn back America to the 1920's.

Oliver Willis:
George Will speaks the gospel of the GOP elite and libertarians with his argument that the minimum wage should be $0. Trust the market, he says, and wages will be set to a decent level. Of course, that's what got us here in the first place. Blindly trusting the market to do what's right without any policing inevitably leads to the market's participants doing everything within their power to line their pockets and bollocks to everyone else.

The whole reason we've got minimum wage law and other labor laws is that left to their own designs businesses colluded with each other, fixed their prices, and paid their workers next to nothing in horrible life-threatening conditions (and some of those laborers were children).

Capitalism is great and it works, but without policing, rules, and enforcement it is the playground of devils - devoid of morality and a pariah on our society. We learned that lesson collectively already, we won't repeat it. America's past that.

The New Democratic Majority will not let the Republican Party and Conservatives do away with the hard earned rights of the American people for the benefit of their big business donors.


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