by Lady Krystyna
Katrina Trinko posted at The Corner at NRO early this week (August 5, 2013) regarding the minimum wage and a “living wage.” Ms. Trinko is a perfect example of the problem with people who claim they are conservative, whether they are just citizens or politicians.
What they consistently do, to the detriment of the conservative cause, is allow the Left to control the argument from the start by accepting the Left’s premise – that people are entitled to a “living wage.” Then they try and walk it back a bit by claiming that they are not for coercing employers to pay more:
“But while I do agree that minimum wage shouldn’t be hiked — it hurts teens and other people who need to enter the job market, and as my colleague Jillian mentions in her piece, low wages are better than no job — I don’t think it then follows that it’s always fine and great that companies simply pay minimum wage and no more.”
But by accepting the premise, they’ve already lost the argument to the Left. All they are doing then is just, as Captain Jack Sparrow put it so pointedly to Davy Jones in Dead Man’s Chest, “haggling over the price.”
And if once was not enough, she does it again:
“But if companies have workers that have been there a long time, have consistently worked hard and done well, maybe they should re-think what they’re paying them. Sure, a company needs to make a profit, but you don’t have to be a bleeding heart liberal to also think that a company should strive to treat its employees well.”
Here, she accepts the premise that minimum wage workers are not receiving raises, and doesn’t even provide evidence for it. Do companies with minimum wage workers actually never give those workers a raise at all? Do they not promote good workers who have moved beyond the basic skills and want more?
On an anecdotal basis, I would have to say that the premise she is working with is very likely not true at all. I think it is the experience of most people that workers who start in entry level jobs, if they show initiative, will eventually get promoted and make more money. In the alternative, they will leave that company for greener pastures, either working somewhere else where their skills are desired, or to educate themselves further in order to gain skills that will get them paid a higher wage.
So what does Ms. Trinko offer as a rebuttal to the living wage, the necessity of which she already accepted?
“And although this is hardly a game-changer, I would support the idea of tip jars in fast-food restaraunts — when I worked at Burger King eight years ago, the policy was that employees weren’t allowed to keep tips and had to refuse them. That seems unnecessarily harsh to me.”
Tip jars. Very helpful. And she doesn’t bother to share with us how exactly this should be implemented. Petitions to the employers? A strike? A new law or regulation?
It is this type of thinking that brought us Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney as candidates — conservatives who are really not conservatives and who don’t even have any real faith or belief in the free market. They are what I like to call “right wing populists”: social conservatives, pro-American, but borderline economic fascists on economic and business issues, believing that just a “little bit more” government will correct alleged problems that are based on premises offered by the Left and that these right wing populists have accepted as true.
And in that way, they are no different than the “Progressives” that make up the entirety of the Democrat Party. It brings to mind something one of my political science professors told us, and I paraphrase – that there is no real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans; that the Democrats would offer you $5 and 3 bottles of milk and the Republicans would offer you $3 and 2 bottles of milk.
How true that is!
The Republicans are not offering Americans a real different choice when it comes to election time. On many issues, they are offering the same thing from a different angle and using different reasoning (compassionate conservatism), thereby not solving the real problems we have, but just continuing them (debt, deficits, the insolvency of Social Security and Medicare, education). At the same time they are also preaching some free market principles about lower taxes, which is twisted by the American Left to mean that Republicans only care about “big business” and “the rich.” In the end, the Republicans appear to be about “managing the decline” rather than actually stopping and reversing it.
One of the most important things the Republicans can do, especially as the 2014 mid-term elections are coming up, is to stop arguing from the premises that the Left sets up. They need to get back to a basic understanding of basic economic principles, free market principles and make that case to the American people.
Enough “compassionate conservatism.”
Enough Progressive Republicans.
Enough “right wing populism.” • (1787 views)