If it were up to the talking heads on Fox, we would be back in the Gilded Age, where we had child labor and slave wages, because capitalism and free market or something.
During a panel discussion on Fox Business’s Varney and Co., host and rejected Monty Python skit Stuart Varney opened the conversation up towards whining about an increased minimum wage. He brought up that a number of cities who will begin phasing in $15 minimum wages starting this weekend, and, as we all know, this will lead to Armageddon.
Of course, we were immediately informed that these increases would destroy local and state economies, lead to full-on automation, and lead to more and more jobs heading overseas. One contributor pointed to Seattle as a prime example of this being a failure for businesses and labor alike, even though it absolutely hasn’t, with neither prices or the unemployment rate being greatly impacted in the area more than a year after they began raising the wages. But, y’know, don’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
After we got that bit of bullshit, pro-wrestler cum financial wiz John Layfield weighed in with his thoughts. Apparently, the dude lives in Bermuda so he can get away with not paying taxes and he was patching in from the tourist island. Varney asked JBL his thoughts on the minimum wage and how they do things in Bermuda, an island with a population of 65,000, roughly that of a mid-sized suburban town.
“There actually isn’t a minimum wage here, right now. You see some of these young kids — I run a program for at-risk kids — down, sacking groceries, about age 12, and they work off tips. So there isn’t actually a minimum wage here.”
After fellow panelist Tammy Bruce exclaimed “that’s how it USED to be,” apparently excited at the notion of bringing back a time when young children worked for pennies without any labor laws or regulations in effect, Layfield tossed out the popular right-wing trope of ‘Why $15 an hour?’ while saying Bermuda’s system works perfectly.
“And it actually works fine. The problem I have with this $15 minimum wage is why 15, because it looks good on a bumper sticker? You’re not talking about fixing anything. Tie it to inflation, or a basket of wages, so you take it out of politics and union hands. That’s all it is.”
We then got more bellyaching about how this will lead to too many people making too much money for low-skilled jobs, leading to some clucking about entry-level this and ‘it’s not a career!’ that.
So, what did we learn from this segment, folks? One, apparently the economic structure of a resort island/tax haven with a population that can barely fill a football stadium should be what the U.S. models itself after. Also, we need to push more young kids into the labor force without any protections, since that worked out so well in the past. Finally, poor people need to stay poor, because that’s how they system works.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: