Conservatives or “Right Wing Populists”?

NoRINOsThumbby 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.” • (1748 views)

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About ladykrystyna

Former self-described “moderate liberal”, now post 9/11 Right Wing Radical, aka Independent Constitutional Conservatarian.

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25 Responses to Conservatives or “Right Wing Populists”?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    That’s JUST the kind of stuff that I knew Lady K was more than capable of. Good article. Lots of food for thought.

    • ladykrystyna says:

      Thanks, Brad. 😀

    • Kurt NY says:

      Hey, Brad, are you and Lady Krystyna the same folk posting under those names over at NRO/Disqus? Feels like coming home here. Makes me feel like a yute again.

      • CCWriter CCWriter says:

        Thanks for stopping by, Kurt! Glad you noticed my invite. Yes, they are.

        Welcome home.

        P.S. Besides what Brad said below, we don’t delete perfectly civil comments over here. Even slightly risque ones. And so far the psycho-trolls haven’t found us.

        • cdjaco says:

          Well count me amongst those who are happy to see some of the NRO commenting crowd break off into something not subject to Disqus’ whims. I don’t know if I’ll have anything to contribute, but I’ll be happy to populate the audience.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            You’ve already contributed something special…yourself. It’s nice to hear from you,. cdjaco. As Arnold Schwarzenegger might say: “Stick Around.”

            And if you read a great book or something that you’d like us to know about, I think book reviews a da-bomb. (Is that how yutes spell that?) But we need an audience too! 🙂

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            Thanks for visiting, cdjaco, and do come back. Brad (our webmaster) keeps adding bells and whistles every time I turn around. We’re about to get on Twitter, which will be run by yours truly once I figure it out.

            You may think you don’t have anything to contribute…but you do write good. We noticed that’s true of many of the NRO commenting community and felt they might like a place where they could have the status of authors if they had something to say that might deserve a longer life than a fleeting comment on a thread. So if inspiration strikes, then submit! (if you’ll pardon the expression)

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              We noticed that’s true of many of the NRO commenting community and felt they might like a place where they could have the status of authors if they had something to say that might deserve a longer life than a fleeting comment on a thread.

              Speaking of adding bells and whistles, I’m planning on adding a little Wheel-of-Fortune type spin box at the bottom of posts, right next to the “Reply” button. When you hover the mouse over the small Wheel graphic a larger (about 2” x 2”) graphic pops up that is an actual wheel that you can spin with your mouse.

              The wheel will be divided up into segments. What you do is spin the wheel and then whatever you land on is what happens. Most of it will be a green “safe” area where nothing happens. But to make NRO users feel more at home, there will be a red “danger” area. If the wheel stops on the red area, your post will be deleted. There will also be a yellow “caution” area. If you land on that, a post (any post) will be deleted at random. 😀

              Don’t let it be said that we don’t try to make you feel welcome at StubbornThings.

        • MarkW says:

          With the number of invites going out, I am kind of surprised that none of the trolls have found their way here.
          Perhaps Soros doesn’t have that in the budget yet?

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            All I can say is that when I have posted invites, I try to do it on a thread that is not troll-infested and where “our kind” are apparently checking back often for responses. I’m particularly jumping on deleted-post situations where people are all “what’s with that?” And I avoid threads with hundreds of comments because the mention will just get lost. I also try to personalize it with the name of the person I’m inviting.

            BTW if you ever happen to run into Sukie Tawdry within a few minutes of her posting and there aren’t any aggressive trolls hovering, please try to get her attention. Her habits don’t seem to include back-and-forth conversations and she goes to many blogs.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Hi, Kurt. Yes, that’s us. On my list of “to do’s” was to contact you and try to drag an article or two out of you. 😉

        I hope you can do so. We also do book and movie reviews. And there is a nascent Tech section as well.

        The gist of the place is to parse things through the conservative/old-style-libertarian lens. We also hope to put up an Education section will a nicely-sorted list of self-education materials for the budding patriot.

        Anything you want to submit, send it to submissions@stubbornthings.org. I hope you can. And welcome. You being here definitely classes up the place a bit. 🙂

        • Black JEM says:

          Perhaps we could actually write this as “The gist of the place is to parse things through the conservative/old-style-liberAL lens.”

          We are classical liberals. Who believe the state has limited business being involved in the activities between two private parties. We believe the government makes things worse overall, and while we accept the need for some government in order to allow society to function, we completely discount the notion that they need to monitor and approve the vast array of personal and economic interactions taken by the citizens of this country on a daily basis. In fact, we declare that the federal government is INCAPABLE of being so involved, and in doing so is doing great harm to the people, specifically the lower and middle classes to whom the democrats and a fair part of the GOP claim to want to help.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Very eloquently said, BlackJem. Not much to quibble with there. “Limited” as opposed to “no involvement” is certainly sort of a litmus test (at least for me) to distinguish the Classical Liberals or old style libertarians from those who claim to be libertarian but who edge far too close to anarchy.

      • ladykrystyna says:

        Yes, Kurt, that’s us. 😀

        Glad to have you aboard.

  2. pst4usa says:

    “Sure, a company needs to make a profit”. Well isn’t that special, how Teddy Roosevelt of her. Very good article Lady Krystyna. The GOP must stand for something like the Goofey Odd Progressives or something other that the Grand old Party; I know that Lincoln is credited with starting the Republican party, but the true foundation came from Thomas Jefferson, all of his political enemies called him one of those damn Republicans, Because he wanted to shrink the federal government and reduce the power potencial of the Judiciary. But I digress, we are so far from the founding ideals that made this the greatest nation on earth, that there are not many left that understand the last three lines of your article.

    • Black JEM says:

      Yeah agreed – she falls into the trap that business exists for the benefit of the employee. It exists for the profit of the business owner. A living wage just means fewer jobs and businesses – someone should tell Katrina to re-think her position. It is dem-lite and part of the growing consensus that no one in DC knows what the hell they are talking about.

      You would think she could look to Detroit and realize how silly her arguments are.

    • ladykrystyna says:

      Thank you, PST. I was going to bring up Teddy Roosevelt in my post, but decided to keep it short. I might get back to it and do more of a little history of Progressive Republicans so people can better understand where I’m coming from.

      Teddy had some nice things to say – especially about being an American and not being lazy, but he was still a Progressive, much like Bush, McCain, etc.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Ditto, Pat. Major league dittos. Well said.

  3. libertymark says:

    Great article. Thanks!

  4. Monsieur Voltaire says:

    Spot on, Lady K. You’re an excellent writer and it’s really nice to see full-blown articles from one of my favorite commenters.

    Stated another way, minimum-wage laws say to employers: “Don’t you even think about hiring someone, unless you’re willing to shell out X dollars per hour.” To which, unsurprisingly, most employers answer: “Oh, OK, then I won’t.” Or to use another analogy, the minimum-wage theory is like a hospital in which if you can’t make patients at least X% better, you give them euthanasia–then, on one hand, you brag about the healthy life your ex-patients lead, while on the other you inveigh against America’s increasing mortality rate.

    • ladykrystyna says:

      As usual, Monsieur Voltaire says it even better. 😀

      And you are also one of my favorites. So glad you came on board.

      Thank you very much for the compliment.

      BTW, isn’t that how other countries claim to have a lower infant mortality rate than we do – they don’t count ALL the babies, like we do.

  5. jc says:

    The author of the article above states: “Here, [the author of the post on NRO] 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?”

    Longevity of employment is often not taken into account when considering giving a raise to a particular employee. In fact, such a proposal runs counter to the general point of the article, which is that people should be paid on (1) productivity and (2) what the market will bear — not on how long they’ve been showing up to work.

    Take restaurants for example. A good bus boy (or ‘busser’, to remove the assumption the worker is a male) may or may not get a raise, because there’s not a great deal of room to improve one’s skills and productivity: either you can bus a table efficiently or you can’t. If you cant’, you’re gone. If you can, you get to keep your job. If you don’t like the wage, look for a place that will pay you more.

    If additional duties are given to the busser, such as supervising other bussers, then there is an argument for a raise. Otherwise, no. (Or, if the cost of training a new busser is high, then giving a raise to retain a trained worker is logical, but the training threshold for a busser is not high. The biggest problem I had with new bussers was when they had never seen a place setting on a table and put the forks on the wrong side of a plate. Easy to correct this error.)

    The basis approach of no increase in wage unless there is an increase in productivity or skills is in line with the author’s stated principles, but the article veers off that standard and assumes that raise should be given on the basis of longevity. If the owner of the business wants to do so, okay; but to assume that the owner should do so is counter to the original argument.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Welcome, JC. I hope we all hear much more from you.

      In fact, such a proposal runs counter to the general point of the article, which is that people should be paid on (1) productivity and (2) what the market will bear — not on how long they’ve been showing up to work.

      Good point, JC. Earning a higher wage is not an “entitlement.” You have to do as John Houseman said, you earrrrn it.

      As a former busboy, I concur with what you said. And perhaps it sucks that some jobs have an earning-potential lid. But that’s life. It’s the unwillingness of the Left to accept the economic, spiritual, social, and even mathematic (see: the global warming fraud) facts of life that is why they are so destructive wherever they go and whatever they touch.

      You can’t just demand that some busboy earn $60,000 a year. But that is the Socialist/Leftist naive mindset (and sometimes it is a conscious Alinskyesque intentionally destructive mindset…often so).

    • ladykrystyna says:

      Thank you for your comments.

      There is nothing really to disagree with other than I definitely didn’t say that longevity is, in and of itself, something that should earn you a raise.

      The point I was making was that people do get raises and of course longevity has something to do with it in the sense that over time, you probably have developed better skills, moved past the entry level and are ready for more responsibilities which usually come with a raise and a promotion. If you don’t improve at all, no matter the time, you’re probably not going to get far.

      What Ms. Trinko seemed to be saying is that once you get a minimum wage job, employers don’t give raises. If that is not what she meant, she should correct herself.

      Her quote 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.”

      She also doesn’t think that only longevity counts, as you said – it’s that AND working hard and doing well, thereby earning consideration for a raise. She just says it like that’s an idea that never crossed the mind of any employer, which is, of course, wrong.

      That was my point.

      If I misread your comment, I apologize.

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