In the continuing saga of concern trolling from Never Trumpers and Trump supporters about the Democrats running for president, I would like to highlight one of those too far left ideas that virtually all Democratic presidential candidates endorse: raising the minimum wage. Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. And how do our Never Trumper “friends” and Trump supporters feel about this? Hint: it’s a wacko idea.
First up, let’s go with one of the worst Never Trumpers who helped get Trump elected — Joe Scarborough. Old Joe let Trump come on his show (3 hours every day for 5 days a week on MSNBC) multiple times, literally phoning it in. Scarborough advised Trump early into his administration. Then, for whatever fucking reason, Scarborough saw the light and become a Never Trumper. One who hoped that no one watched the Democratic debates because they were a “disaster.”
At first I thought this was because Scarborough was covering for Biden’s bad performance, but now that I look more at Scarborough’s voting record and stances on key economic issues, I have to rethink that assessment. If memory serves, there was mention of raising the minimum wage on both nights, and Scarborough thinks that raising the minimum wage is yucky.
When Scarborough first ran and won his set in Congress, he stated that he would never vote for raising the minimum wage. Sure enough, when it came time to raise the minimum wage to during the Clinton years, Scarborough voted against it. He also continued to peddle the conservative mantra that raising the minimum wage costs low wage workers their jobs.
Old Joe. He is just thinking about what is in the best interest of low wage earners.
Next up, there is self described homeless “moderate” David Brooks. Guess what? He thinks that raising the minimum wage and focusing on income inequality is just bad. Once again, it will just hurt workers at the bottom of the wage scale to raise their pay.
And then there is the undying George Will. He has never been a fan of raising the minimum wage, and he goes into his usual pedantic rant with all his economic wisdom to bear on this issue. Basically, I wouldn’t trust any of the so called facts that Will uses to trash raising the minimum wage.
And just for kicks here is Bret Stephens. He argues in his Twitter feed that, well, I willl let him tell you:
All would be at home in the 19th Century, but I digress.
And are all those red blooded Trump supporters any better than those elitist Never Trumpers? I can’t find any data from the last year, but there is this bit of information from the Pew Research Center. Seems while raising the minimum has broad general support, Republicans were sorta kinda split on this economic issue:
Within the GOP base, there are sharp educational and income differences over increasing the minimum wage. Six-in-ten (60%) Republicans and Republican-leaning college graduates oppose the proposal, while about the same percentage of Republicans who have not completed college (58%) favor it.
Higher-income Republicans (those with family incomes of $75,000 or more) oppose a minimum wage hike by 57% to 40%. Republicans and GOP leaners with incomes of below $30,000 support it by about two-to-one (68% to 31%).
Hmmmm. Wealthier and more educated Republicans are against raising the minimum wage. Could it be that they see themselves as those “makers” that Republicans bragged about in the 2012 Election? I think so.
Well, surely we could make an economic argument to those lower income Republicans to raise the minimum wage? But there is a hitch with this idea. You remember the Tea Party? Seems those who still regard the Tea Party with positive views or are Tea Party supporters ended up being Trump supporters. And what did Tea Party supporters think of raising the minimum wage?
Tea Party Republicans (32% favor) are far less likely than those who do not agree with the Tea Party (60%) to support raising the minimum wage.
Here is where my cynicism cup runneth over. The Tea Party was founded on racism. These are the Republicans who freaked out about Obama and got money from corporate interests who wanted to sabotage any Democratic agenda. Tea Party opposition to raising the minimum wage is probably based upon racism.
There is historical precedent for this. Southern Democrats were against creating a minimum wage back during the Great Depression. Southern Democrats could not stand the idea that blacks would be paid the same wage as whites, and this was part of their argument against creating a minimum wage.
God forbid that POC make the same wage as whites.
I used to think that economic populism would break through and convince lower income whites who vote Republican to change their minds, but I do not believe that anymore. An economic policy that has popular support with Democrats and independents receives lukewarm support at best and condemnation at worst from Republicans.
But Democrats are the ones out of touch with the majority of Americans. Yeah, right.