Leave it to a highly-paid Fox News host to complain that $15 an hour for the rest of us – if we happen to live in one of the 15 cities that just raised their minimum wage to that level – is tragic.
Appearing on Fox & Friends yesterday, Varney and cohost Clayton Morris commiserated about what they think is terrible news. From Media Matters:
CLAYTON MORRIS (CO-HOST): I want to talk about the middle class being squeezed, and a lot of business owners, small business owners, scared today. July 1st, minimum wage hike goes into effect in 15 states across this country. Small businesses, I talked to an owner the other day who owns five Subway restaurants. He says, “I am going to have to shut down a couple of my restaurants. I’m going to have to shut them down because I’m only bringing in about 7 percent return on investment and I’m going to have to shut it down.” This is what’s happening.
STUART VARNEY: I think it’s a tragedy. In 15 cities, five different states, the new, higher minimum wage goes into effect today, as of July the 1st. The results of this will not be good. First of all, fewer jobs. Have you been into a lot of restaurants recently? You order on a tablet. You don’t use wait staff any longer. Entry-level positions are going to be wiped out. You go to, say, $15 an hour. That’s $30,000 a year for a standard workweek. Entry-level positions disappear. We will never know the names of those people who will not get a job as an entry level position because of these higher minimum wages, and basically it’s politicians trying to legislate higher wages. Vote for me and you’ll get a wage raise.
Think Progress waded into the weeds and found that not only is a minimum-wage hike not a job killer but states that had minimum wage increases experienced faster job growth than those without a raise.
Wouldn’t you love to see these two try to live on $15 an hour for a year? Do you think they’d be whining that it’s too generous if they did?
Watch it below, from the July 1 Fox & Friends.
I’m sorry to say I’m not a big Bill Maher fan. Also, I don’t get HBO. That said, there have been times when I have completely appreciated him, especially his willingness to call out BS when he sees it.
NOTE TO VARNEY
We think your pay is too high! The suits should release you from your contract and hire a college student who would do your job for less pay.
Good — that way, he can make room for an investor who go the savvy to turn a profit even while paying the higher wage . . . that’s the “free market in action”, as Varnish and his fellow wingnuts are fond of repeating.
If she ever waits on Stu I hope she spills a pot of hot coffee in the a—wipe’s lap. ;^)
I say send all the lazy, minimum wage complainers to Indonesia where they can earn a few cents piece rate per Nike shoe they make in a sweat shop! Once they see what real wage slavery is like they’ll be happy in their dead end, “you want fries with that,” no benefit, crap hours, call-in on demand, $7.25/hour [since 2005] job! ;^)
But let the minimum wage go up by X amount and you will hear Rush Limbaugh and Faux scream, “Your Big Mac is gonna jump X amount in price!!!”.
And the pity is, some dumbasses making minimum wage fall for it hook, line and sinker.
While any sea change like a $15 minimum wage will naturally have winners and losers, it’s hard to argue it can’t but be a net positive. Sure Fox will cherry-pick the negatives to spin pro Social Darwinism just like they’ve done to propagandize Obamacare.
So let me look at Varney’s talking points.
#1. “First of all, fewer jobs.”
Will jobs be cut? Will even some marginal businesses close? Wouldn’t surprise me. Particularly short-time until resulting grow absorbs the losses. But what Varney doesn’t ponder is more income to the underclass who will spend it and not hoard it means more money directed to businesses. Less pressure on our welfare system. Those workers dropping out of the workforce during the Great Recession? Statistics [unreported by FOX] indicate most refuse to consider minimum wage jobs. This might get them off the fence.
#2. “Have you been into a lot of restaurants recently? You order on a tablet . You don’t use wait staff any longer. Entry-level positions are going to be wiped out.”
Bad example. Maybe in New York City. Here in more typical mainstream Richmond? Where do I order on a tablet? Wawa. For those who don’t live or frequent one of the six east coast states with Wawas. Well, it’s a gas station chain with a short-order counter but no place to sit. Oh, there’s competing gas station chain Sheetz.
What Varney doesn’t mention is wait staff get $2.13/hour. No, that’s not a typo. Wait staff are paid like they work in an Chinese sweatshop. They are routinely exempted from federal increases in the minimum wage so it’s $2.13/hour for them forever. They live off of tips.
#3. “That’s $30,000 a year for a standard workweek. Entry-level positions disappear."
So, say, Starbuck’s won’t have baristas any more? We’ll order by kiosk and a machine will dispense our drinks? Like those vending machines that pour out powder based gut churning brew? Yeah, right.
A key here is him saying “standard workweek.” Employers already screw low wage workers by not giving them full-time hours. It’s been a common complaint since I worked as a short-order cook in college back in the late ’70s.
#4. “…basically it’s politicians trying to legislate higher wages. Vote for me and you’ll get a wage raise.”
This is so hypocritical and idiotic it’s hardly worth addressing.
First of all, how many times have we heard Foxies poo-pooing the number of minimum wage workers? That was when they were saying paying poverty wages isn’t such a big deal. Now minimum wage workers are legion to feed their fear-mongering propaganda.
Second of all, Republicans don’t bribe voters with tax cuts? Cut legislative sweetheart deals with business interests in their constituencies? There’s suddenly something wrong with that? Really?
Varney short take: bulls—t, horses—t, and more bulls—t.