Friday, July 9, 2010

Wealthy Waiters

Apparently the Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota thought doing away with the minimum wage for waiters would be a good bone to throw at the Tea Party crowd. It turns out there's thousands of waiters and other service industry workers in Minnesota (who knew?), and they're not really fans of the idea.

Now as far as the merits of the idea, it's true that any sort of minimum wage is going to reduce employment slightly. However, the approach that conservative politicians seem to be taking toward the economy at the moment basically seems to be to tell the poor to suck it up. They are proposing things like raising the retirement age for Social Security.

The real objective of all this deficit scaremongering and hand wringing is destroy the welfare state. There is absolutely no question about that. Where was all fear about the deficit during the Bush years? Nowhere to be found. Alan Greenspan actually warned during the Clinton years that running excessive budget surpluses could be bad for the economy. Presumably that was somehow related to cutting Medicare.

I really want to read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine.

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