Implied Dissent

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why oh why DeLong dishonest like this? I realize he quotes rather than commiting the dishonesty with his own words, but it's essentially the same thing here. One can argue that the minimum wage has "little, if any, effect on most people's lives" because....that's the truth. From the Economic Policy Institute:
  • An estimated 7.3 million workers (5.8% of the workforce) would receive an increase in their hourly wage rate if the minimum wage were raised from $5.15 to $7.25 by June 2007.
  • Due to "spillover effects," the 8.2 million workers (6.5% of the workforce) earning up to a dollar above the minimum would also be likely to benefit from an increase.
Now, that is a pretty decent number of people. It also means that 88% of the workforce is not directly affected.
Do people raise the issue honestly believing it is a good idea? Usually, I'd say yes. Do people sometimes raise it simply to try to paint opponents as anti-poor, or to help fundraising, or whatever else? Absolutely, which means that it sometimes has "a whiff of pandering, the flavour of insincerity, an aura of desperation" like DeLong's target of criticism says. I reiterate my charge of douchebaggery.


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