The $15 minimum wage is in the news again, this time as part of Joe Biden’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Of course, Republicans will use the issue as ammunition to attack Democrats in Mitch “Grim Reaper” McConnell’s make-believe war against socialism. When they do, remember this: it’s only a show intended to distract you from the fact that even though a $15 minimum wage is anti-capitalist and pro-Marxist, it’s loved by both parties.
In an interview with Joshua Green of Bloomberg Politics during the 2016 Republican primaries, Trump was asked what changes he would bring to the Republican Party if he were to be elected president. Using talking points that could have come from Bernie Sanders himself, Trump replied:
“Five, 10 years from now — different party. You’re going to have a workers party. A party of people that [sic] haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.” (emphasis mine)
So, according to Donald Trump, one of the ways he would make America great again would be to make the Republican Party into his version of the Workers Party of America, essentially creating a dictatorship of the proletariat.
Trump’s policy ideas addressing wages, trade, Social Security and other economic and non-economic issues in 2016 were eerily similar to those of the Workers party; including their anti-capitalist, pro-Marxist philosophy.
The Workers Party blames capitalism for unemployment and low wages. Trump blamed the “rigged” economy for the plight of workers, calling it “unjust.” He also blamed private businesses for the exploitation of workers, and he launched a “good and easy to win” trade war to reign in “unfair” business and trade practices.
The Workers Party wants to destroy capitalism in order to bring an end to so-called class warfare. In 2016, Trump called for higher taxes on the rich, a $15 an hour minimum wage, socialized medicine and a “hands off” approach to the bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs.
With help from Ivanka, Daddy Trump advanced or achieved many of these Democratic Socialist goals, moving America closer to becoming a society without classes.
A federal $15 minimum wage was a key part of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 run for the Democrat nomination. The “Fight for $15” movement was adopted by the Democratic Socialist to build an army of supporters that nearly denied the nomination to Hillary. However, even after his loss, Bernie used his significant influence to get Democrats moving in the direction of a $15 minimum wage as a part of the Democrat Party Platform.
Similarities between Trump and Sanders on this and other issues had many so-called conservatives concerned; including the pre-Trumpist edition of Mark Levin:
“Given Trump’s position now on immigration, given his position on the minimum wage now, given his Bernie Sanders position on trade, it now turns out one of the most liberal men running in the Republican primary for President of the United States was Donald Trump!” (emphasis mine)
In a guest contribution on The Strident Conservative just weeks before the 2016 election, Bob Funk, CEO of Express Professionals and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, wrote about the problems a $15 minimum wage creates for American business.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 12, 2016—Express Employment Professionals released a new white paper today, staking out a position on whether to raise the minimum wage to $15.
“Great Intentions, Bad Results: The Problem with a $15 Minimum Wage in America” draws on the real-world experience from Express experts across the country and outlines the many negative consequences of a significant minimum wage increase.
There are serious potential consequences to raising the minimum wage to $15 that cannot be overlooked. As the paper outlines, these include:
- Fewer job opportunities for young workers
- The increased reliance on automation and the displacement of workers
- Decreased hiring, especially by small businesses
Funk also provided surveys pointing out how a $15 minimum wage would increase prices on goods and services, eliminate the creation of new positions, and result in reducing workforce numbers. He concluded by saying:
“I think people calling for a higher minimum have the very best intentions. Unfortunately, when government tries to raise wages artificially, some people will win but many people will lose.”
The Congressional Budget Office agrees. According to a study released last week, increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025 would cut employment by 1.4 million but would lift roughly 900,000 Americans out of poverty. Now, I’m no mathematician, but if I’m reading this correctly, a $15 minimum wage gives us more bad than good.
If a federal $15 minimum wage is ever adopted, it will prevent the next generation of entry-level workers from achieving the fulfillment and responsibility gained from their first job, and it will place unimaginable pressure on lower-skilled workers and their employers to justify the higher wage.
Unfortunately, there are so-called conservatives making the argument that a federal $15 minimum wage is not only a good idea, it’s a conservative one. So says Assistant Editor for American Greatness — a publication calling itself “the leading voice of the next generation of American Conservatism” — in an opinion piece for Newsweek. Here are a few excerpts:
Lawmakers and lobbyists have deliberately guided the “Invisible Hand” to pad the pockets of the very few at the expense of the many. The former receive acclaim as captains of industry while the latter subsidize their bailouts and are told to bootstrap themselves.
All of this is worth bearing in mind with the Raise the Wage Act’s introduction to the U.S. House of Representatives in January. The bill would mark the first federal minimum wage increase in over a decade, gradually raising the bar from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025. And while it is far from a panacea, it should not be dismissed out of hand by the usual suspects—Republicans. Indeed, there may be a sea change afoot with a new, more populist constituency that feels burned by bad policies that transfer wealth upward.
Central to the conservative ideology that informs GOP policymaking and Republican voting is trickle-down economics, which insists that policymakers can enable the market to increase wages through tax cuts and deregulation. But the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act shows that very few droplets make it down to a parched Main Street.
The Left wants a higher minimum wage but turns a blind eye to the adverse effects of immigration on workers, fetishizing foreign nationals while leaving behind their neighbors; the Right claims to care about everyday people’s plight while shamelessly doing the bidding of ruthless corporations. Lauding low unemployment belies the fact that nearly half of Americans between the ages 18 to 64 slave away in low-wage, often dead-end jobs.
Ah, yes. Anti-capitalist, pro-Marxist class warfare. An oldie but a goodie. Especially when you throw in trigger phrases like “tax cuts” and “trickle-down economics.”
A federal $15 minimum wage is simply bad policy. Unfortunately, Democratic Socialists support it, Trump supports it, and since Republicans have replaced conservatism with Trumpism and Nationalism, they support it too.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.