CLASS WARFARE

And guess which class is winning. The New Yorker brings the story to life.   Can you imagine living on $8.50 an hour — in New York! — as Tapia does, after 14 years’ service?  Where would be the harm if she and other fast food and hotel employees (to take two good examples) made $15 an hour?

Burger prices might rise 30 cents and room rates $1 a day (there is little thought that $20 million CEOs would allow their salaries or shareholders to be nicked) . . . and on the margin a few more people might cook at home to save money and a few people who’d planned to stay in a hotel would sleep on someone’s couch.

But the overarching effect would be dramatically better pay for millions of workers at minimal expense to hundreds of millions of customers.  And isn’t this what we want?  A little leveling of today’s extreme income inequality?  Morally, sure; but also because extreme income inequality leads to terrible economic results.

The right should love a big minimum wage hike.  It’s good for the economy:  the rich can’t get richer without a middle class.  It’s good for taxpayers:  less poverty means fewer public assistance pay-outs.  It weakens the appeal of unions (which may be gaining some traction, as described in the New Yorker): the right hates unions.

Read the article and let me know what you think. 

AYN RAND WROTE COMIC BOOKS

This recently caught my eye:

A community made up of American ex-pats deep in the South American hills of Chile – far away from America’s annoying taxes, healthcare mandate, and legal abortions — was supposed to be a libertarian paradise of rugged individualism. Instead it cost many of the people who bought into it almost everything . . .

It seems pretty obvious that basing one’s society on a single work of (poorly written) fiction is folly, but for many adherents of Ayn Rand and her seminal book of Objectivist allegorical grandstanding, Atlas Shrugged isn’t just any book. It’s about as close to the Bible that many libertarians have — apart from the Bible, of course. It’s influenced an astounding number of conservative public figures — from Ron Paul to Rand Paul to Ronald Reagan. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s Rand-loving running mate and probable 2016 presidential contender, said it was his favorite book growing up . . .

In many ways, the entire Republican ethos — hard-working job creators having their vitality leeched by lazy “takers” — stems from Rand and her rigidly anti-socialism ideology. In Atlas Shrugged, Rand explores the fantasy of leaving those poor, lazy, uneducated leeches behind, creating a new society of self-sufficient ubermenschs, living free from governmental or social tyranny. That is where the mysterious John Galt comes in. A man set on freeing these enslaved freedom-lovers from the shackles of the moochers. He creates a mountain home for his followers: Galt’s Gulch.

. . . Ryan might not admit it, but that book he loves advocates for getting rid of everything from public education, to farming subsidies, to any form of welfare.. . . .

As you’ll read, Galt’s Gulch was a bust.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

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