The Consensus Of Dunces

illustration of man being stepped on

If the United States were to enact a new minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, then the people would subsequently enjoy a higher standard of living. If you don’t believe me, then take it from President Barack Obama. During his State of the Union address last month, our beloved bringer of jobs, quality healthcare and a general sense of fulfillment said a 40 percent boost in the minimum wage is “… not going to depress the economy, it’ll boost the economy.”

And Obama would know. After all, in his five years at the national helm, the unemployment rate has declined from just north of 7 percent all the way down to… just south of 7 percent. I presume that represents the “hope” portion of Obama’s original campaign. As for “change,” the actual number of Americans not working for any wage — minimum or otherwise — opened Year Six of the Obama Era at an all-time high of 91.8 million. Lest you think that can be attributed to the growth in the American population as a whole, the Labor Participation Rate — the working portion of the population — has dipped to 62.8. That’s the worst performance since President Jimmy Carter’s “malaise.”

Having established the First Community Organizer’s impressive economic acumen, there’s no reason to doubt his claims. Of course, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would move the millions of Americans who can’t afford their own private Oregonian golf courses and/or Martha’s Vineyard beachfront manors into the penthouse next to Jay-Z and Beyonce. We know this because Obama says so — and Obama built an eight-figure fortune on a career as a professional politician, which is pretty remarkable.

But Obama is not alone in cheerleading for a minimum wage hike. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Obama’s war on the private sector. Tuesday, the fabulously wealthy Reid tweeted:

And if Reid doesn’t convince you of the need for a minimum wage hike with his spirited indictment of private citizens who have violated no laws, even the ones about bid-rigging and nepotism-based conflicts of interest, you should take him at his word anyway. Because Reid’s own economic resume is unimpeachable. He’s been a professional politician since the day he graduated from law school. So there!

Not everyone seems sold on the idea that a minimum wage hike will make us all healthier, wealthier and wiser. According to the Congressional Budget Office, giving America’s minimum-wage workers a Federally mandated raise will send at least an extra 500,000 Americans to the already historically swollen unemployment lines. When the CBO noted the likely outcome of Obama’s wage-hike push, Obama surrogate Jason Furman decried their findings, claiming the CBO estimate “… goes outside the consensus view of economists when it comes to the impact of the minimum wage on employment.” The CBO is just a nonpartisan Federal agency that exists solely to track, record and predict economic data based on empirical evidence and actuarial analysis. What do the bean counters at the CBO know? They’re just professional bean counters. Obama has a “consensus.” Pay no attention to the fact that Obama also had a “consensus” on throwing taxpayer money at Solyndra, General Motors and Mexican drug gangs.

This is actually fairly simple supply and demand stuff, kids. Artificially jack up the cost, and people will find ways to work with less. Despite leftist claims to the contrary, applying basic economic principles to labor isn’t tantamount to the old “apples and oranges” rubric. Ultimately, there is no difference between labor and apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of an apple, and people will buy fewer apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of labor, and employers will hire fewer laborers. Actually, the law of supply and demand has a “necessity is the mother of invention” clause. Arbitrarily hike the price of apples, and people will buy fewer apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of labor, and someone will invent a robot to replace the laborer at 10 percent of the cost.

The proposed wage hike, which would actually join Obamacare and amnesty for illegal aliens in Obama’s arsenal of economy-killing super weapons, represents unsound economics backed by severely flawed understanding of the Constitutional separation of powers. Obama claims to have a “consensus.” I have a consensus, as well, Mr. President: The overwhelming majority of American voters can’t stand you. Try this artificial minimum wage hike, and my consensus will grow by at least a half million people.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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