Created on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 16:15
I recently watched a John Stossel show where he and guest Bob Beckel discussed raising the minimum wage. Beckel, who was campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign, is probably best known these days as the token liberal on Fox‘s “The Five“ show.
Bob’s liberal bona fides were on full display in his heated support for raising the minimum wage. He showed all the symptoms, listed in any textbook on abnormal psychology, of what is commonly known as Liberal/Progressive Derangement Syndrome (LPDS), a mental illness which leads to total irrationality .
For those not familiar with this devastating cognitive affliction, let me run through its various symptoms as I saw them ravage poor Bob.
1) Liberals have a deep psychological need to display their moral superiority. Nothing satisfies this need better than a cause that fires up feelings of righteous indignation, outrage at an injustice, an unfairness, an inequality, an exploitation. Bob was seething at the plight of people trying to make a living in this great country on the current minimum wage of only $7.25 an hour.
2) LPDS sufferers see victims everywhere, victims who need to be saved by them. This doesn’t require any actual victims, just perceived victims. In Bob’s eyes, anyone working for the minimum wage is a VICTIM!
3) Where there are victims, there must be villains, evil doers, exploiters, polluters, whatever. In this case, Bob‘s evil doers are those rotten, dirty bastard EMPLOYERS who pay poverty wages to Bob‘s victims. Once again, there doesn’t have to be any actual villains, just perceived villains.
4) These victims are helpless pawns in an unfair system and are not to blame for their plight. People aren’t poor because they quit school, have out-of-wedlock babies, take drugs etc. No, those are symptoms of an uncaring, free-enterprise society. Thus, Bob displays the typical LPDS mind set: The individual doesn’t count because “it takes a village.”
5) This intolerable state of affairs can be fixed by passing a law or starting a government program that usually spends lots of money and shows how compassionate liberals are. These programs don’t have to work. In fact, they can do actual harm, but the Bobs don’t care as long as the programs make the Bobs feel good about themselves. Eliminate poverty? Just raise the minimum wage. Problem solved for all the Bobs, but not all the kids who can‘t get jobs as a result.
6) The above law or program will not require liberals to make any personal sacrifices. Bob doesn’t have any employees, but he’s sure a big shot with everybody else’s payroll. President Obama, the day after his State of the Union Speech, displayed this symptom when he said about raising the minimum wage, “It’s time to give America a raise.” GIVE? Who’s going to do the giving, Mr. President?
7) Liberals never let facts spoil their vision of reality. FACTS DON’T MEAN A DAMN THING. Facts don’t have a chance against emotions. Bob got so carried away he pounded the table and declared that there had never been a study, “Not one!” that had showed increasing the minimum wage did any harm. Poor Bob. In this, he is just flat wrong.
This last symptom has recently been the subject of a series of five articles by the economist Thomas Sowell entitled, “Fact Free Liberals.” He devoted an entire column to the minimum wage in his 1/22/14 column, “Fact-free Liberals, Part II,” in which he wrote, “Various studies going back for decades indicate that minimum wage laws create unemployment, especially among the younger, less experienced and less skilled workers.”
The economist Walter Williams, in his 1/8/14 column, Politics and Minimum Wage, wrote: “There’s little debate among academic economists about the effect of minimum wages. University of California, Irvine, economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He reports that 85 percent of the studies ‘find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.’ ” Poor Bob probably only read the other 15 percent. Sure.
I could bore readers by citing specific, recent studies, but let me close by noting that the late Milton Friedman over FORTY YEARS AGO decried the effect of minimum wage laws on black teen unemployment: “The minimum wage hits (them) particularly hard. I’ve often said the minimum wage rate is the most anti-negro law on the books.”
Recent unemployment numbers show black teen unemployment almost double that of white teens. Forty years and liberals still haven’t learned.