Thursday, January 04, 2007

At least the farm bill was more honest 

Captain Ed, discussing the push for a minimum wage increase, points out that the poor aren't necessarily helped by increasing the minimum wage.

Whose money is getting given away? Yours and mine, and all 479,000 minimum-wage workers, that's who. i can absorb the incremental loss of buying power, but the people at the bottom rungs cannot. If they're lucky, all that will happen is that their buying power will remain the same as it was after a short period of adjustment. More likely, some of their jobs will get eliminated as businesses have to support the cost increase in some other fashion than price hikes.

And it's not even the working poor that gets helped in the increase. The working poor may have started at minimum wage, but they move up as they progress in their jobs. It is an absolute fallacy to argue that minimum-wage workers have not gotten a raise since the last federal increase of the minimum wage; they get raises as they increase their value to their employer, not from Uncle Sam.
The point I raised on the air about this a few weeks ago was that it's not even giving away tax money. It's the government requiring McDonalds, Target, Cub Foods, etc. to give away their money. So to argue that after helping the farmers in 2002 and businesses via earmarks in 2005 we have no ability to help the poor is a canard. To do the same for the poor would mean taxing all Americans -- maybe a tax on food! -- and giving the money directly. This is a far less efficient means of doing so, all so that the Democrats do not have to say they raised your taxes to help the poor.