Taxing cigarettes is supposed to reduce cigarette consumption. Why? Because making things more expensive reduces the demand.
So, what about labor? If we mandate an increase in it's price, what do we expect to happen? Reduced demand.
Why is this a tough message to understand?
If you want to severely damage the life prospects for low-skilled and low-income folks, then punish them by making them more expensive to employers. That is exactly what the minimum wage does.
What is the best way to learn a skill and improve your life chances? Get a job. Very few professions are learned anywhere else but....on the job. Throughout history -- remember apprenticeships -- workers learned the necessary skills to prosper, by taking a low paying job (or even paying the employer) while learning a skill. This is now outlawed in the US for folks at the bottom of the economic ladder.
What does Obama want to do? Raise the minimum wage -- expanding the number of low-skilled Americans who will never have a shot at a decent job.
But, where are conservatives and Republicans on this issue? Charles Krauthammer has weighed in. He supports raising the minimum wage. Watch the Republicans cave on this fundamental issue.
One thing conservatives and Republicans never seem able to do is stand on principle.
Raising the minimum wage is a terrible idea and damages the prospects of those least able to defend themselves. It doesn't hurt the 1 percenters. It hurts the folks trying to reach the bottom rung of the ladder so that can climb aboard.
One reason Democrats succeed is that they fight for the principles they believe in. Obamacare has never had majority support among the American population. Yet, Democrats believe in it and passed it into law. They still defend it, even though it is an absurd program.
Republicans, on the other hand, run from positions that a majority of Americans support just because the media trumpets the opposite view.
Watch Republicans fold on minimum wage legislation (and another extension to "temporary and emergency" unemployment benefits) in the New Year.
Why not make the minimum wage $ 1,000 per hour so that almost all Americans can experience the benefits of the minimum wage? Why not simply make unemployment benefits permanent so the leisure class can find security? Why bother with job creation at all?