An emotionally attractive against the minimum wage? 2

Thanks for the great comments to the previous post. There’s nothing I disagree with from the regular commenters, but I think the arguments tend to appeal more to conservatives or libertarians and illustrate how tough the challenge is.

I’d like to keep on this topic. I’ll refine the challenge a bit.

  • Two sentences max.
  • It must appeal to someone who thinks along the liberal oppressed-oppressor axis (per Kling’s 3-axis model).
  • It must be easy for just about everyone to grasp without the need to modify based on the person.

I read a good example of a short and compelling framing (on a different topic) in Steve Forbes’ recent Fact and Comment column in Forbes. Regarding Keynes’ monetary notions he wrote:

What Keynes posited was the equivalent of saying that manipulating scales is the way to attack obesity.

I think the story of Adam’s son, from the previous post’s comments, comes closest to appealing to liberals. But, I can well imagine that they spin it and say, “see, that’s why we need to guarantee him a living wage.”

Here are couple attempts:

1. Maybe smash-and-grab mobs and the knockout game wouldn’t be growing trends if the minimum wage didn’t prevent employers from paying such potential hires what they are worth — and keeping them more gainfully occupied.

2. Unfortunately, the liberal “We Care” banner is wrapped around a wrecking ball aimed at the very people they think they care about, when their actions result in continuing to fund schools that have not been educating children for decades and raising the minimum wage to make it even tougher for those uneducated children to gain job experience.

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13 thoughts on “An emotionally attractive against the minimum wage? 2

  1. Give a man a minimum wage handout and he will survive, day to day, hand to mouth. Allow a man the opportunity to work for what his labor is worth, and he will adapt and grow to be able to feed himself for a lifetime.

  2. If we only increase YOUR wage, you will be able to afford more stuff, but if we also increase the wages for other minimum wage employees, the cost of all the stuff you buy will increase by the same amount as your raise and you will be no better off – but your tax bill will be higher! Sentence #2 – Don’t vote for liberals!

  3. A question I frequently think about regarding this issue: How much raising of the minimum wage is too much and why? They want to raise it to $10+ and that’s supposed to be a good thing. But they don’t advocate $100/hour. Somewhere between the two, there should be a crossing point. I’d look to nail down exactly where that point is, and demand robust justification for picking it.

    As to a simple argument (not sure if it’s emotionally attractive to democrats): Any minimum wage destroys jobs — all the jobs valued below it. Again producing a question: Why should we outlaw someone from offering his labor for less than mandated if that’s the only way he can get a job?

    • I like the ‘how much’ tactic. I also like to use it on raising taxes. You think we need to raise taxes on the rich? By how much? How will we know when it’s enough?

      But I have not found it to be effective at getting people to rethink their position.

  4. Maybe a slideshow or series of pictures of various people with the caption: “Why is the government making it against the law for me to have a job?” Or “By pricing me out of a job now, the federal government is handicapping my future.” The people would be teenagers, elderly, handicapped, and other low-skill stereotypes.

  5. I put more than my usual one brain cells worth of thought into this one for a facebook discussion. I think my examples may stray too far from the point, but I like comparing it to price fixing.

    _any_ minimum wage is a bad idea. labor is a commodity. a minimum wage is government price fixing of that commodity. its the government telling you who you can and cannot hire. its the government telling you that you cant put up a lemonade stand without a food safety inspection. its the government telling you that you need to provide the kid that mows your lawn a giant liability policy. lets just make gasoline 1.00 a gallon while we are at it. who is with me? we all want cheap gas, right? just like we all want to make more money (maybe. im personally quite happy with my compensation – but if the minimum wage gets jacked up to equal what I make now, I might not be so happy. wont that feel like a demotion? well son, you once were a valued, skilled and trained technician, but now…now youre making the bare minimum.)

  6. If our supporters – who are supposedly intelligent – cannot comprehend “two sentences max”, how can we expect “slower” folks to comprehend unintended consequences?

    • That’s a good way to think about, Wally.

      What one or two sentences can your present to your time-challenged opponents that might make them think differently?

  7. Pingback: Raise your hand if you’ve worked for less than minimum wage! | Our Dinner Table

  8. Raising the minimum wage is a purely political ploy that rewards cronies while oppressing the unemployed and making it harder for them to find productive employment. It also punishes any business owner who tries to help the low-skilled by providing them with jobs.


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