March 5, 2021
So far, the Dems have not gotten their way with their coveted $15 minimum wage. It appears the Senate Parliamentarian (who knew that was a thing?) shot it down, saying they couldn’t smuggle it into the latest COVID bill with reconciliation measures.
This hiked minimum wage is the one that Biden ran on, the one that’s sweet music to Bernie’s and AOC’s ears — and a hallmark of anyone on the hard Left.
Democrats champion the idea that we need to double our federal minimum wage to make the country whole and battle poverty. However, the Congressional Budget Office says it would result in 1.4 million American jobs lost.
On the American Consequences podcast this week, media mogul Lord Conrad Black, former owner of London’s Daily Telegraph, explains the right way for this country’s economy to come back. While he even agrees with AOC’s lament about America’s state of economic equality, he doesn’t think the answer is raising the minimum wage.
Maximizing the Economy
Conrad’s first counter to a higher minimum wage is that the argument ignores the economic relativity of where you live. There’s a different standard of living in each state and each city… What buys you a McMansion in Oklahoma gets you a tawdry one-bedroom apartment in Georgetown. And there are some states, such as Arizona, where the minimum wage is already near $15.
The core problem with a federal minimum wage increase is that it’s a simplistic Leftist approach for the state to intervene in the free market to produce the results it wants while ignoring the obvious consequences.
In most states, a hiked minimum wage would cause a workforce reduction, as the total amount of money paid to employees will not change. It’s basic math, folks. For small businesses to maintain their payroll and stay buoyant, they’d have to cut jobs. Conrad claims the better solution would entail training the workforce, incentivizing investments with low-income area job creation, and mitigating the influx of illegal labor.
Overeducated, Misguided, and Underemployed
Listen, we can’t all be engineers at Google — but there’s a frighteningly scarce opportunity for entry-level jobs in this country. And one of the scapegoats here is America’s money-hemorrhaging higher education system.
Not everyone has to go to college. The world still needs plumbers, you know… a career that pays handsomely, I might add. Along with saddling young Americans with mountains of student loan debt, universities often ensure that their alumni leave campus with no real, employable skills — just obscure liberal arts degrees that they’ll tell you about while driving your Uber.
“A B.A. in Gender Studies isn’t going to keep the lights on.”
But the Left’s stranglehold on academia doesn’t seem to satisfy them — they’re attempting other legislative measures that smack of the “magic wand” of socialism. With Senator Warren’s proposed Wealth Tax, for instance, she’s asking for double taxation. Conrad likens it to the state seizing one’s property. These agendas further the narrative of demonizing the wealthy and, if enacted, would force the financially successful into tax avoidance and overall deter economic growth.
Recommended Reading: The END of Capitalism As We Know It?
A terrifying (for some) and new disruptive force is creating thousands of new millionaires (Barron’s reports 20,000 to 200,000 so far) while at the same time destroying the financial future for many others. Don’t get left behind. Get the facts for yourself here.
There’s also a state-benefit-addiction problem in this country, only exacerbated by the trillions the Fed has rolled out in the past year. As Ronald Reagan once explained, the only welfare system that works is to have a job. Creating careers for Americans will grow the economy, absorb the unemployed, and generate a system where everyone gets access to work — meritocracy, anyone?
Trumping the GOP
At CPAC, Trump hinted that he’s running again in 2024… welcomed by deafening applause. Does the GOP have a future without him? Can they bring him into the fold without polarizing half their base? According to Conrad, if Trump cleans up his act, he’s a lock for the nomination and may win the next election. If not, he’ll play kingmaker for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
He claims that the schizophrenia of the GOP right now is that many establishment Republicans, like Mitch McConnell, want all of Trump’s supporters but no connection to the man himself. But that’s not how the game works. Politically speaking, they don’t just want to have their cake and eat it too… They want the whole bakery.
“Donald Trump is a cocktail — you take the whole thing or nothing at all.”
The Dems deftly painted Biden as a benign, harmless old codger — he may need an oxygen tank, but he’s not going to suck the oxygen out of the room. Trump’s appeal is the contrary — he’s going to command the stage, the spotlight, and that will always be divisive. His power has always been his visceral, populist connection to the people.
And Conrad thinks the Republican party can’t move forward without Trump’s cult of personality. He even likens him to FDR (in terms of sheer popularity) but does say he needs to excise his worst impulses and all his garish, juvenile antics. But in short, he’s a simple, unambiguous leader, which is appealing to MAGA and beyond.
What Trump also has on his side are his better platforms… cutting taxes, a hard line on illegal immigration, and acknowledging China’s threat. Conrad claims that Trump has to bridge the gap between his policies’ soundness and the ragged edges of his persona. There were glimmers of that at his showing at CPAC, and if he keeps it up, he may find himself right back at the White House in 2024.
Canceling Dr. Seuss
Read Across America Day, meant to celebrate children’s literacy, has put its cancel culture dagger through Dr. Seuss. The whimsical, legendary kids’ author is now under siege from the Left, as it turns out that some early Seuss illustrations depicted caricatures that may or may not have been racially insensitive.
The National Education Association has been distancing itself from Seuss for years now. A Virginia school district is advising principals and teachers not to introduce elementary school children to the likes of Cat in the Hat.
Conrad and I agreed that there’s simply no end to cancel culture until the Left cancels all culture. What’s next? Calvin and Hobbes? Dora the Explorer? Dickens? Shakespeare? The Bible? We’re pirouetting over hypersensitive minefields in America, hindering our chance to have anything resembling authentic conversations.
Lord Black says that the Left has atomized society to such an absurd degree, discarding our unifying economic freedom and opportunity… instead splintering us into every imaginable subset of overly aggrieved victims.
An Unprecedented Precipice
America will reach a tipping point… an inevitable pendulum swing where political incorrectness will shatter through the imagined microaggressions, and Americans will embrace this moment as a revitalizing necessity. Let’s correct the overcorrection.
There are real questions about where this country’s going. We don’t want to be Venezuela or some socialist banana republic. All we want is a little common sense. A lot of America is center-Right, not the progressive daydreams of AOC.
Again, our culture and political wars feed into the economic pitfalls looming on our horizon. Inflation is upon us, and once interest rates move up, ready yourself for a panicked Wall Street.
The Fed is, in fact, too big to succeed, and America sits in a very precarious spot right now. But at least in the meanwhile, you can cozy up with some Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places you’ll go …
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Publisher, American Consequences
With Editorial Staff
March 6, 2021