Steve Forbes, as many of you know well, would probably be a failed vacuum salesman if not for his luck in the ovarian lottery. Coming out of the right vagina has given Forbes not only wealth but a platform to show the world that money may be able to buy you an incredible education but not the intelligence to understand.
Case in point, his latest screed on the minimum wage. At issue, Seattle’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hr. Forbes says…
All of these consequences are well known, even if politicians and leftist economists pretend otherwise. So why did Seattle do it? Why have a number of other municipalities and states done the same, even if not on the same willfully destructive scale as Seattle?
There’s more than wishful thinking and economic illiteracy operating here. Such moves reflect the frustrations and anger that erupt when an economy is stagnant and people lose faith in a prosperous future: If the marketplace won’t raise wages, then, by golly, we will decree them by law!
Not for nothing, but ‘leftist economists’? Just in case you can’t hear the schmuck’s dog whistle, he’s talking about the folks who’ve been screaming for almost 40 years that supply side economics wouldn’t work. That tax cuts for the rich alone with exacerbate wealth and income inequality, increase the federal debt and depress long term economic growth below potential. The same folks who’ve been saying that speculative mania, not real fundamental growth, would be the result of supply side economic policies.
You know, the people who were RIGHT. The people who got every single piece of this correct while people like Steve Forbes called them names like ‘leftist’.
As for the last line, YES. There are a number of things the public sector can do to drive private sector employment and only the truly economically ignorant would think that government can never create jobs (think Boeing or Halliburton). One of the things government can do is mandate a minimum wage. In so doing, it raises the level of economic activity as those who are receiving the newer wage begin to consume more and aggregate wages increase a very marginal amount which holds back wage push inflation which I’m sure someone like Steve Forbes thinks is constantly a real problem. The one thing we know about people at the bottom of the economy is that they spend everything they make. THIS is where you want to put money to work, not dropping tax rates for Steve Forbes.
Steve, unfortunately, isn’t done…
One of the ugly—and utterly misunderstood—results of a weak currency is the erosion of social trust. As the link between honest effort and reward appears to be undermined, such values as hard work and saving for the future are mocked. Crony capitalism and financial speculation mushroom: Consume now, only suckers believe in the long term. Why invest, when the markets are rigged against you? Envy grows, and politicians profit by fanning divisions and targeting scapegoats.
Aren’t we lucky that we have the scion of a wealth family, whose only achievement was arriving on earth between the right pair of legs, to show us what we utterly misunderstand? This section is just completely crap. It’s not the weak dollar that’s causing the problem, it’s that people on the bottom do not have money to LIVE. This isn’t about luxuries, it’s about basic necessities. These people don’t have money for investment, they’re looking for ways to FEED themselves.
It’s this piece that paints a crystal clear picture of why people like Steve Forbes can’t be part of the solution… they don’t even understand the problem. They are now so far removed from the day to day reality of ordinary Americans that they don’t even conceptually understand the issues faced by people earning the minimum wage. How can someone who thinks that the poor just don’t want to invest understand that the real issue faced by most people in the bottom 20% is how they are going to feed their families?