The Republicans Will Screw it Up, Part Two by Peter Burrows firstname.lastname@example.org 5/13/14
The Democrats will be playing the race card over and over in this fall’s elections. They do that because it fires up minority voters and puts Republicans on the defensive. In short, the Democrats play the race card because it works.
The Republicans should do the same thing, but they won‘t. They’ll let the Democrats beat them up on the race issue and lose elections they should win.
You’re probably thinking: “Huh? How can Republicans play the race card when everybody ‘knows’ Republicans are the racists?”
In fact, nothing could be easier. One only has to raise Hell about the results of policies and laws backed by the Democrats. Ignore all the rhetoric and all the good intentions, and start talking about the real world effects on minorities due to laws pushed by the Democrats. All it takes is a little courage. Some good old-fashioned righteous indignation would help, too.
Exhibit “A” is the minimum wage law. Let’s ignore the economic arguments against the minimum wage. I’ve covered those in previous columns. (See them at silvercityburro.com.) The racial argument against minimum wage laws is glaringly apparent in the devastating effect such laws have on the employment of black teenagers.
The most recent numbers I’ve seen from January of this year showed black teenage unemployment at 38 percent, roughly twice that of white teenagers. This disparity has existed for decades. It wasn’t always that way.
In 1973, economist Milton Friedman pointed out that in the late forties and early fifties, before the minimum wage started to be dramatically increased, black teenage unemployment was equal to or less than white teenage unemployment. Friedman called the minimum wage law “one of he most anti-negro laws on the books.”
What has changed since 1973? Nothing.
Why then, is President Obama, our first black president, pushing to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10? He either doesn’t know about the negative effect on black teens or doesn’t care. Either way, somebody should ask him why he’s so eager to throw black kids under the bus.
It won’t be a Republican. Some of them go along with minimum wage stupidity, most notably Mitt Romney, who lost to Obama in 2012, and Susan Collins, Republican Senator from Maine. She wants a “compromise” on increasing the minimum wage, that is, she’s OK with increasing it, just not as high as $10.10. .
No, it won’t be a Republican who calls the minimum wage a racist piece of crap. What we need is a new Malcolm X, who said this in 1964 about blacks’ slavish support of the Democratic Party: “You put them first, and they put you last. ‘Cause you’re a chump. A political chump!”
He went on to say, “Any time you throw your weight behind a political party — and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify with that party — you’re not only a chump but a traitor to your race!” (From Larry Elder’s 3/13/14 column.)
What has changed since 1964? Nothing. (For an update, check out “Black People Duped” by Walter Williams, 3/14/14.)
I can think of no black leader today with the “street creds” of Malcolm X. Of course, any black who called Obama’s minimum wage push “racist” would immediately be bombarded by cries of “Uncle Tom.”
So, instead of waiting for another Malcolm X, I suggest the Republicans take a page out of the Democrats’ Race War Manual and sue the federal government on the grounds that the minimum wage law has a “disparate impact” on minorities. The disparate impact theory holds that racial discrimination is demonstrated by merely using statistics, intent be damned. Under the Obama administration, this approach is becoming the standard in “every area of the law.” (Roger Clegg, WSJ editorial page, 2/25/13.)
Such a lawsuit might not hold up in court, but it would sure give the beleaguered Republicans a chance to raise Holy Hell, invoke the memory of Malcolm X, and show how comfortable some blacks are on “Uncle Sam’s plantation,” to borrow Star Parker’s memorable book title.
In addition, since they won’t be able to repeal the minimum wage, the Republicans should propose that the minimum wage at least be eliminated for any worker below the age of 20. This would mean an employer can hire teenagers for whatever they will work for, no government interference.
PLUS — and this is a biggie — the Republicans should propose that NO Social Security be withheld from teens’ paychecks. This means teenagers can be hired at a lower net cost to the employer, and a higher take-home for the teen worker. A real win-win.
(The current law requires 12.4% of the paycheck go to the FICA tax, half from the employee, half from the employer. )
Some states will still keep their minimum wage laws, but hopefully not for long because states that don’t will see a big increase in teenage employment.
One thing that must be emphasized, is that job benefits for teens go far beyond the few dollars earned. A job is a great learning experience, for some more valuable than anything they‘re getting in their schools. Kids can’t get this experience if there are no jobs for them.
Of course the labor unions will scream bloody murder and threaten to burn down D.C. Obama and the Democrats will then put big lusty smooches on all those union derrieres and refuse to even consider such a “child labor” proposal from the heartless Republicans, who “only care about rich people and employers” and blah blah blah.
What a sad state of affairs when people get hurt by lying hypocritical politicians, and then they turn around and vote for the SOBs. Where are you Malcolm X?