In the midst of the Great Recession, what’s the best way to help struggling workers? According to Fox News and the Washington Post, it’s time to cut the minimum wage.
Seriously. Here’s the WaPo Editorial Board member Charles Lane:
Reduce the federal minimum wage. In 2007, Congress enacted a three-step increase in the minimum wage, which was then $5.15 per hour. The final installment took effect in July, raising the rate to $7.25 per hour. In the meantime, unemployment climbed from 4.7 percent to 9.5 percent.
I am not saying that the minimum wage increase caused this; far from it. But study after study has shown that this supposed benefit to the poor prices low-skilled workers out of entry-level jobs. It was unwise to keep raising the cost of hiring them in a recession.
“I’m not saying increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment. I’m just saying increasing the minimum wage makes workers not able to get jobs.” As Jake McIntyre notes at Daily Kos, this is just one of Lane’s inane suggestions, including allowing a race-to-the-bottom of wages on federal projects.
TPM caught a chryon at Fox News asking, “Lowering the Minimum Wage: Better for Workers?” The Ed Show expanded on this with a compilation of Fox pushing cuts in the minimum wage, but this gets to a bigger issue of corporate groups stealing the frame of “workers.”
Corporate groups like “Workforce Fairness Institute,” “Alliance for Worker Freedom,” and other perverse front groups fight the very workers they purport to protect. Because when Fox News, Grover Norquist, or other corporate conservative figures start talking about their ideas to “protect workers,” they can only mean one thing: how to most thoroughly screw workers.