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A Higher Minimum Wage and Free Ice Cream for All!

Is there no leadership left in Republican Party?
 Listen to streaming audio of this column | MP3

Last week the House of Representatives, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus all got together and decided to magically create free wealth in our allegedly capitalist economy, simply by passing a law requiring some people to be paid more, regardless of how much their job is worth.

I joke, of course. The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus aren’t that naïve. But the House did pass a measure raising the minimum wage a whopping 41%.

Santa Claus was unavailable for comment. However, the Tooth Fairy called the measure “dishonest and jaded” explaining that “money can’t be made to magically appear just because it would make someone feel better” and thus that “the whole concept of a minimum wage is at best a politically motivated illusion, and at worst an embedded tax that will tend to destroy exactly the sort of low-income jobs it claims to benefit.”

“Why stop at $7.25 an hour?” the alternative lifestyle and oral hygiene expert continued. “I mean, if the government can, without negative consequences, create higher pay just by a simple edict, then why not reach into the same orifice from which they pulled the $7.25 figure and pull out an even larger number?” “Why not $10 an hour, or $25?” “Heck, why not just pass a law making us all millionaires or declaring that $1.00 will suddenly be worth a $1.41 next Wednesday?” “Why not just legislate free ice cream for the masses while you’re at it,” he added sarcastically, flashing a toothy grin.

“Some people must live in a fantasy world,” commented the Easter Bunny, visiting the Tooth Fairy at his Provincetown home. “I had hoped that the rise of a Republican Congress would put an end to such nonsense and that they would use their position of newfound power to begin to undo the harmful and counterproductive belief that jobs and wages are somehow a creation of an all-knowing central government, beneficently wielding God-like power over the economy.” Continuing, “But instead, they’ve turned out to be the biggest bunch of pantywaisted pansies—no offense T.F.—who seem to have nothing more to offer than water-downed versions of the same proposals they once claimed to find irrational back when Jim Wright and Tom Foley were in charge.”

“Oh, I know!” responded the Tooth Fairy. “And their pusillanimous compromises just perpetuate the same old philosophical pathologies that people tried to vote out of office way back during The Republican Revolution of 1994.“ “More spinach dip, Bunny?”

“Perfect example for your point, T.F.: I read the most horrid little ‘news piece’ over at that quaint little cable news site MSNBC.com. Well, it was a Reuters piece, truth be told, and it began: ‘The House of Representatives voted on Saturday to give some of the lowest-paid American workers their first raise in nearly a decade, while also handing a big tax cut to some of the wealthiest.’”

“Are these people delusional?,” the now hopping-mad bunny asked. Continuing, “Do they really believe that there are large numbers of people out there that have not gotten a raise in a decade just because Congress has neglected to ‘give’ it to them?” “I mean, really, I’m an insomnia-induced hallucination in an author’s politically-exasperated mind and even I understand the real world better than that.” “Ten years and not one raise, not one promotion?” “What are they, Russian Serfs in a Tolstoy epic?” “The simple fact is most minimum wage jobs are entry-level positions held by teenagers, young adults, and trainees—and few will be holding the same position 10 years later.” “I’ll bet you a dozen Cadbury Eggs that the Reuters correspondent that wrote that cartoon-minded drivel once held a minimum wage job himself -and does he hold it today?”

“Well he would be overpaid if he did, my good bunny,” the Tooth Fairy shot back cattily. “And bundling that minimum wage nonsense with a sensible tax cut they should fight for on its own merits, if that doesn’t sum up the death of the Republican Revolution nicely, I don’t know what does!”

“Exactly!” the Easter Bunny said, while pointing angrily at the Tooth Fairy with a half-eaten carrot. “It’s like saying ‘the only way we can remain in power to pass good legislation is to pass a bunch of bad legislation!”

“Bingo, Bunny!” retorted the Frustrated Fairy. “The Republicans have abandoned principle and instead have decided to be for whatever the Democrats are for, but only 99% as much.” “The idea apparently being that since the Democrats are known to be a bad deal, Republicans can win elections by appearing to be 1% better than that bad deal.” “Forget Reagan’s grand vision or Gingrich’s sweeping Contract with America.“ “Today’s Republicans are the political equivalent of that tepid contestant on ‘The Price Is Right’ who, hearing the audience boo the other contestants as too low, decides to just bid $1 more than everybody else and win by being the marginally least stupid of an imbecilic bunch.” “That’s leadership!” “Oh you have some lettuce in your teeth, let me get you some floss,” he interjected.

“And answer me one more question, since we’re already well into a pipe dream just by expecting Congress to act logically,” the bunny shot back, not hearing the offer of floss, much to the annoyance of the obviously distracted Tooth Fairy. “If the Democrats and the Republicrats are so concerned about the wages of unskilled workers, then why do they make them compete with 20 million illegal aliens for those wages?” “If they don’t enforce any other laws on illegal labor, does anyone believe they will enforce a new minimum wage law?” “It will likely make native and legal immigrant labor even less appealing. Employers will simply turn to the underground economy for cheap, unregulated labor!” The bunny was spitting at this point.

“No it’s … it’s probably spinach, come to think of it,” the Tooth Fairy mumbled, focused entirely on the green speck between the Easter Bunny’s enormous front teeth.

“And since I’m on a tirade,” the apoplectic bunny shouted, “let me tell you what the minimum wage is really about!”

“I can get that for you, if you haven’t a mirror…” the Fairy offered.

“It’s about the good-for-nothing union thugs that back the Democrats with coerced campaign contributions!” the bunny screamed.

“I have gum as well, that might also dislodge it, if you dislike the floss.”

“Do they think we don’t know that they tie their contracts to the minimum wage?,” the rabid rabbit asked. “Increasing the minimum wage won’t do jack rabbit for some struggling single mom from a media sob story—other than get her job eliminated—but it will sure create an instant raise for some parasites in a government employees’ union.” “All guaranteed 646% of the minimum wage as their pay, or some such extravagance!”

“Oh, Dear. It made a whistling sound just then when you said ‘extravagance’. I think I can just get it for you…”

“Get your hands out of my mouth! Are you crazy, man?” “Is there no leadership left in the Republican Party?” “Did I vote for this crap?” “GET OFF ME, FAIRY!”

“WHERE HAVE ALL THE CONSERVATIVES GONE????” “IS EVERYONE ELSE OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY?” “CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE GET ME A TOOTHPICK?”

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Written By

Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, Mass., is a regular contributor to HUMAN EVENTS. His column generally appears on Tuesdays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.

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