Ron Unz On Right-Wingers For The Minimum Wage

Some good stuff from Ron Unz on the debate over his minimum wage proposal at the UnzReview:

These days the Internet is brimming with neo-reactionary opinionators, whose bitter hatred for establishment conservatives pours forth in every sentence. Being largely unfunded, they mince few words in providing their hardcore views on a whole range of issues, often laced with a sharp racialist tinge, thereby expressing perspectives that would leave a Reagan or a Schlafly looking like a George McGovern. And over the last couple of years this rightwing blogger community has begun expressing strong support—enthusiasm actually—for my proposal of a very large hike in the minimum wage, just as I had suggested they would in my long 2011 article. Rather than being an incongruity, “Rightwingers for Higher Wages” seems a powerful ideological trend.Ron Unz On Right-Wingers For The Minimum Wage

Almost from the moment in 2011 that I first outlined the widespread benefits of a $12 minimum wage, the proposal was taken up and treated in very respectful, even favorable, fashion by many of the writers grouped around VDare.com, the hardcore anti-immigrationist website, with Steve Sailer writing several columns discussing the idea, and John Derbyshire, James Fulford, and Peter Brimelow also weighing in. But many years of FoxNews attacks on the minimum wage had taken a toll with rank-and-file rightwingers, and the hundreds of anonymous commentators on the resulting discussion threads were overwhelmingly hostile to this notion of a minimum wage hike. Radical changes in worldview require a little time to simmer.

Two years provides plenty of such simmering time and when the media coverage of my $12 per hour California minimum wage initiative moved the topic back to the forefront of the rightwing blogosphere a few weeks ago, the discussion was transformed. Once again, Steve Sailer ran a long blog post on the topic, reprinting my New York Times column, and a follow-up but this time the reaction of his commenters seemed overwhelmingly favorable rather than hostile.

Rightwing libertarian Randall Parker ran a piece on the crucial importance of a big hike in the minimum wage, saying that although he’d much prefer a $15 figure, $12 was still an important step in the right direction. Anthropologist Peter Frost devoted several paragraphs of his year-end science round-up to the minimum wage issue, strongly endorsing a higher figure and accusing conservative opponents of being shills for big business. HalfSigma, now rechristened “Lion of the Blogosphere,” published a couple of posts as well, taking a similar position, as did Audacious Epigone.

Posts by rightwing bloggers generate long threads of angry rightwing commentary, and in all these cases a strong majority of that commentary endorsed the big minimum wage hike, with the discordant voices sometimes being ridiculed as gullible idiots or told to “go back to RedState.com.” One of the highly insulting terms that hardcore rightwingers apply to mainstream conservatives is “Fox-tards” and these days opposing a $12 minimum wage may get you branded with that sort of epithet.

The rightwingers in question have hardly altered their strident ideological framework nor their low opinion of America’s “underprivileged” and I urge liberals of tender sentiments to avoid reading the commentary in question lest their own support for a higher minimum wage be severely shaken. But it seems to me that so long as activists of the Left and the Right can agree on implementing exactly the same policy proposal, even if for different and possibly opposite motives, a useful alliance might exist. As I’ve suggested in the past, if a Jeff Sessions in the Senate were to propose a $12 minimum wage—for whatever reasons— that would certainly provide a great deal of ideological cover for his liberal colleagues to do the same.[Rightwingers for Higher Wages, By Ron Unz,  January 9, 2014,  1,800 Words]

There are any number of right-wing reasons to support increased wages for America's poor, which wouldn't, as  Unz says, be palatable to liberals: see Black Crime: The Immigration Dimension,