Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Alex Wagner of MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner” fame decided her fellow network hosts had fecklessly failed to exhaust the world’s reservoir of inane 30-second political pronouncements. So, her vignette informs us:

Minimum wage was mentioned in the State of the Union earlier this year and then it wasn’t brought back up again. This should be something we think about and talk about every single week. This is one of those building-block issues that should supersede almost anything else we have. Economic security is foundational to American success.

Where to start?

Perhaps, by wondering if any serious person really thinks the minimum wage is an issue so paramount in the economy that it “should supersede almost anything else we have.”

Er, “we have”? Who’s editing scripts over there?

But let’s cut to the chase: Ms. Wagner is arguing that “economic security” not only comes before “American success,” but is “foundational” to that success.


According to the great Wikipedia in cyberspace, “economic security” is “the condition of having stable income or other resources to support a standard of living now and in the foreseeable future.” So, does Wagner really mean to suggest that before Americans were able to achieve success, wealth, we already had guaranteed to us plenty of steady income to finance a fine and dandy standard of living for as far off into the future as we could foresee?

Americans worked hard for this wealth; it wasn’t legislated.

Economic “success” creates economic security, not the other way around.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Jean Stussie says:

    Not only that Paul; but she seems to suggest we should think about and discuss this concept for an infinate period of time! She says we should think about and discuss it every week. She doesn’t mention how long we should think about and discuss it every week; nor does she suggest how many weeks we should do this! It doesn’t seem as though she has a specific plan to implement; nor any time frame in mind! All she seems to want to do is think and talk about it every week! (Unless I missing part of her comment)

    I answered the math problem; but i still might be a spambot.

  2. JFB says:

    It has become clear empirically that the minimum wage does not benefit the entry level worker, but rather denies potential workers entry level jobs. Therefore, where is its benefit?
    I would encourage discussion regarding the present minimum wage, if the goal and purpose of those discussions was to eliminate it. However, I doubt that is the policy Ms. Wagner is supporting. Perhaps the current administration has quietly dropped the issue, recognizing they are not really interested in compounding the unemployment problem.

  3. drrik says:

    Price fixing ALWAYS exacerbates the discontinuity between supply and demand. Fortunately for Ms. Wagner, she was apparantly hired more for her profile than her content, since she is seeing fit to comment on a subject such that she would have flunked Economics 101. She might also have flunked History 101, since I’ll wager that she would have a hard time listing more than a couple of examples of Americans who have become successful based on having been economically secure.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  4. John Stoos says:

    I have often questioned why liberals are SO cheap on this issue. IF they believe that governments have the power to set minimum wages then why don’t they set it at something like $65 an hour so we can all live very comfortable lives?

  5. Edward Agazarm says:

    John … Good Point.

  6. Yet Australia has twice the minimum wage the US has — and unemployment around 5.6%… with low inflation.

    Some people think there’s some automatic equation, such as raise the min wage x%, and unemployment increases by y%. That’s just fantasy-land. The effect a raise in the min wage will have on employment is unpredictable without factoring in how high the min wage is, how high corporate profits are, what competitive conditions are, whether the additional wages will go into creating additional demand, etc.

    Demand has far more to do with employment figures than the minimum wage does. If it takes 23 employees to run a McDonald’s, guess how many employees the McDonald’s will hire? 23, regardless of the minimum wage. Yes, if the wage is TOO high, they’ll go out of business. But unless we know how profitable the franchise is, we can’t know what the effect of the raise will be. If the owner is making a million a year, he won’t shut down if his profits are reduced to ONLY $800,000. And if that is the case, the extra wages paid to his employees will boost aggregate demand, and thus increase net employment.

    In short, in some circumstances, a given raise in the minimum wage will boost employment; in other circumstances, that same raise can reduce employment.

    We’re not having the sort of analysis to see what conditions exist in the USA today to determine whether a raise in the minimum wage will hurt or help employment figures — instead, we’re just seeing knees jerk all over the place.

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