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Multimillionaire Beck Upset About Minimum Wage Hike

Reported by Ellen - July 26, 2009 -

Glenn Beck reportedly earns $23 million a year. But he was in a lather on his show Friday (7/24/09) over minimum wage earners getting a raise from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Beck claimed his concern was that the raise would come at the expense of other jobs and, considering that “only” 2.8 million people earn minimum wage, it’s no big deal (for them) not to get the raise. So let’s ask Beck what raises he has forgone from Premiere Radio Networks, part of the struggling Clear Channel Communications whose economic woes have caused massive layoffs this year. With video.

Presenting himself as a good samaritan just looking out for youth, Beck said, “Our current unemployment rate is 9.5% but it is even worse for teenagers – 24% unemployment for teenagers. Worse yet for African American teenagers. It is a staggering 38% for African American teenagers. And it goes up to 45% if you don’t adjust for the season. Who makes minimum wage? Teenagers, youth.”

“What granola-eating socialist doesn’t stop and think that supporting and jacking up the minimum wage – the one who really gets hurt is the employer and then the employee?” Beck asked. Uh, maybe it’s kind of like the cry-baby conservative who doesn’t stop and think how $23 million a year might hurt his industry.

Beck put on his joker’s face and said, “People in government just assume the trolls (meaning employers) have a never-ending fountain of money and profits and the jobs will always be there. If the jobs never go away, why not just raise the minimum wage to $50 per hour?” Or to $23 million a year. My head hurts just thinking about what that comes to an hour.

“That should solve some issues, right?” Beck sneered. “Of course not. That’s why economists are estimating… that at least 300,000 will be lost due to the minimum wage hike. That's huge considering only about 2.8 million workers in America earn minimum wage.”

Let’s see, 300,000 (hypothetical) jobs lost is reason to deny the raise but 2.8 million workers are negligible, according to Beck. And, really, he should have said SOME economists estimate that 300,000 jobs will be lost. As MSNBC said, the evidence is contradictory. But “fair and balanced” Fox allowed Beck to make the claim as though it were accepted by all.

Rather than dwell on what might help those minimum wage earners struggling to get by, Beck used most of the rest of his time to attack the Obama administration, suggesting that the only reason he was granting the minimum wage was because it fit into his diabolical plan to transform (i.e. ruin) the country. “Why would Obama support a policy that directly hurts young people — especially the nearly half of African-American teenagers who are unemployed? It makes sense if you are trying to transform America.” What Beck forgot to mention is that minimum wage is set by Congress and this particular raise was passed in 2007, while George W. Bush was in office.

If Beck is so concerned about the consequences of pay raises on unemployment that he thinks “only” 2.8 million people should forgo $.70/hr raises for the sake of others’ jobs, then why hasn’t Beck agreed to limit his own pay? In 2007, Beck reportedly signed a contract with Premiere Radio Networks valued at $50 million over five years (he also earns money from book deals, speaking fees, his website, etc.). Premiere is owned by Clear Channel Communications which has shed 12% of its workforce this year, or about 3,000 employees. Since Beck believes minimum-wage earners should forgo raises to avoid potential layoffs, surely a multimillionaire like Beck could forgo some dough to help his industry brethren. Unlike the minimum-wage workers, in all probability, he would still earn hefty sums from other venues, such as the TV show, speaking fees, etc.

Please write to Beck and ask him how he's walking the walk. You can reach him at glennbeck@foxnews.com.