So, it looks like the big “economic development” introduced by the majority party in Santa Fe is an increase in the minimum wage. “You can have both. You can have social justice and a strong economy,” said Rep. Brian Egolf D-Santa Fe.
Of course you can have justice or fairness and a strong economy. Free market capitalism is the fairest system available and it has done more than any other force to bring billions of people out of poverty. Not surprisingly, New Mexico, which is the least economically free state in the nation. Interestingly, New Mexico also has the most rampant income inequality among the 50 states according to the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Of course it is Egolf and his buddies who have controlled New Mexico for generations, running its economy into the ground. I’m sure a minimum wage hike is just the economic boost we need!
Oh, and lest you fall for the line that raising the minimum wage has anything to do with “social justice,” check out this exchange between then Sen. John F. Kennedy and others:
In a 1957 Senate hearing, minimum-wage advocate Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who just four years later would be President of the United States, stated,
Of course, having on the market a rather large source of cheap labor depresses wages outside of that group, too – the wages of the white worker who has to compete. And when an employer can substitute a colored worker at a lower wage – and there are, as you pointed out, these hundreds of thousands looking for decent work – it affects the whole wage structure of an area, doesn’t it?
“The witness he was addressing, Mr. Clarence Mitchell, then director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP replied,
I certainly think that is why the Southern picture is as it is today on the wage matters, that there is a constant threat that if the white people don’t accept the low wages that are being paid to them, some Negroes will come in [to] work for a lower wage. Of course, you feel it then up in Connecticut and Massachusetts, because various enterprising people decide to take their plants out of your states and take them down to the areas of cheap labor.
“Kennedy’s colleague Jacob Javits, then a U.S. Senator from New York, was similarly blunt. He said,
I point out to Senators from industrial states like my own that a minimum wage increase would also give industry in our states some measure of protection, as we have too long suffered from the unfair competition based on substandard wages and other labor conditions in effect in certain areas of the country – primarily in the South.
If anything, the minimum wage is just another left-wing plot to support their union allies by keeping the poor and minorities out of the work force.