Yesterday’s Bulls & Bears opened with an effort to kill a discussion about calls for raising the minimum wage. Host Brenda Buttner began by asking regular Gary B. Smith, a reliable conservative voice on the show, “Will maximizing the minimum wage minimize or maximize our job growth?”
Right on schedule, Smith said “It’s going to kill job growth, especially when you get right down to it, what the minimum wage does, it discriminates against less-skilled workers, it’s plain and simple. New York, in 2006, raised their minimum wage from about $5.15 to $6.75. They saw a 20% increase in unemployment against younger, lesser skilled workers. In 2007, before the recession started, unemployment amongst young black teenagers… was about 29%. Now, after all the stimulus and what we’ve done, it’s now 40%. So it’s – clearly, it works against these workers.”
David Mercer was the lone liberal on the five-person panel. He said, “With all-time profits now being experienced by corporations, it’s about time after four years that workers get a fair share of that. And I think in doing so, you also help the economy by giving them more affordable wages to have more economic security. That puts in more buying power, and increases demand that overall increases growth in the economy leading to other hiring.”
After that comment, Buttner quickly stepped in to redirect the conversation - in a direction that just happened to highlight and promote conservative ideology. She “asked” another reliable conservative on the panel, John Layfield, “Does this just ignore supply and demand in the job market?”
Sure enough, Layfield replied, “Yeah it does ignore supply and demand completely. Look, I love the argument here that these companies are making so much money, how dare they make so much money? And I love the jobs plan. You have got companies who have a lot of cash on balance sheets, so the jobs plan of the administration is, we want you to take that cash and hire people you don’t need. Look, the minimum wage affects only about 2.9% of workers, and understand the average family that has a minimum wage worker makes $53,000 per year.”
Buttner again steered the discussion into conservative-talking-point territory by asking another conservative regular, Tracy Byrnes, “The job creators… are they the ones who are going to get hit the hardest by this?”
Byrnes took the ball and ran with into the “smear those who disagree as socialists” territory. She said, “Absolutely. I mean, You raise the minimum wage, they can’t afford the extra dishwasher in the kitchen. And why should they? When they can have family members do it. It hurts the entry-level jobs. It’s going to hurt our teenagers. …This notion that we’re going to keep raising it just to share the wealth ‘cause, ‘Well, we’re almost socialist anyway at this point,’ is ridiculous.”
The more moderate Jonas Max Ferris responded, “There should be a correlation between raising the minimum wage and higher unemployment because it makes sense… but believe me, there’s none. I mean, I’ve looked for it, people have looked for it. Some states have higher minimum wages. Washington State’s got a much higher minimum wage than the federal level, and they’re in the top half of states with low unemployment. Georgia, their own state’s wage is lower than the minimum wage, and they’ve got really high unemployment. …I don’t know why Democrats when they were in power didn’t index it to inflation to get this debate going. But they used it as a political tool to win elections, because it looked like they were doing something for the working man, because they could’ve solved this problem like Social Security a long time ago by indexing this to inflation.”
Last year, a study by the Economic Policy Institute found that raising the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour by January 1, 2014, would provide $40 billion in additional wages to 28 million workers. The EPI also found that 100,000 new jobs would be created and that GDP would increase by $25 billion. Media Matters has an excellent takedown of right-wing talking points against raising the minimum wage. While “fair and balanced” Buttner made sure to elicit the right’s talking points, she showed no such concern about highlighting the left’s perspective.
Those who are opposed to a higher minimum wage should try living on $7.25 an hour before they squawk against efforts to raise it.
New York City pimps and drug dealers earn more than the average employees at this place of horror in midManhattan.
FOX NEWS: Rich people paying Rich people to tell Middle class people to blame Poor people
The only justice will be that as more people have to take McJobs, the fewer people can afford cable to watch Fox News with. Maybe then, they’ll finally get it.