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Ron Unz On Minimum Wage And Peter Brimelow For President
Ron Unz has more his minimum wage proposal, and credits us at VDARE.com:
However, a $12.00 minimum wage would completely eliminate many of those lowest-rung jobs drawing illegals while drawing citizens and legal residents to fill the remainder, and my suggestion that a high minimum wage would serve as a powerful prophylactic against future illegal immigration is now beginning to resonate in rightwing quarters, as the prospects for the looming amnesty grow stronger. Just a few days ago, VDare.com, the premier “hard-core” anti-immigration webzine, ran an article with the provocative but accurate title “Ron Unz’s Minimum Wage Proposal—Make Illegal Immigration Unprofitable!”, which I’ve heard attracted a rather enthusiastic reaction from many readers.
Obviously no respectable Democrat these days would ever dare advocate an anti-immigrant measure. But could a $12.00 per hour minimum wage be seen as “anti-immigrant” if it would probably draw the strong support of 95% of America’s immigrants? I’d guess that if VDare.com’s Peter Brimelow ran on a $12.00 platform and faced an Obama-Krugman ticket running on $9.00, his Hispanic landslide would be the most lopsided in American history.
[Undoing the Minimization of Wages in America, By Ron Unz, The American Conservative, February 26, 2013, 4:08 PM ]
Of course, Peter Brimelow can't run for President--he was born in England. In 2001, when John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru suggested abolishing the "natural-born" citizen clause in the Constitution, I wrote a column about it called National Review Endorses Who for President?
But Unz probably has a point about how low-wage workers would vote. In 2004, economist Stephen Landsburg wrote in Slate Magazine about a proposal to raise the minimum wage which George Bush was fighting with the aid of what Landsburg called
the old canard that minimum wages cause unemployment and therefore hurt the very people they're supposed to help. Obviously that's occasionally true. If you contribute $6 an hour to your employer's bottom line, and if he's forced to pay you $7 an hour, you'll soon find yourself out on the street.
But so what? Sure, you've lost your job. But don't forget, this was a minimum-wage job in the first place. Losing a lousy job might not be a whole lot worse than keeping it. Meanwhile, lots of minimum-wage workers keep their jobs and are presumably grateful to the politicians who raised their wages.
In fact, the power of the minimum wage to kill jobs has been greatly overestimated. Nowadays, most labor economists will tell you that that minimum wages have at most a tiny impact on employment.
The Sin of Wages, July 9, 2004