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I'll see your ignorance and raise you some idiocy

To graduate from high school in NYS, students are supposed to have had a semester's worth of economics.  You know, this sort of thing:

Granted, the high school graduation rate in NYS isn't anything to write home about—74%—and it's even worse in specific cities like Rochester, where the rate is an abysmal 46%, so presumably lots and lots of New Yorkers have never seen anything remotely like the above graph.

But what's Shelly Silver's excuse?

In the SOTU address the other night, Barack Obama took the predictably pandering populist path of calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour (and called for indexing it to inflation, too).

Meanwhile, back at the Empire Ranch, Andrew Cuomo had already proposed raising the state minimum wage to $8.75, without indexing. But not to be outdone in the economic illiteracy department, Speaker Silver and

...[t]he Democrat-dominated state Assembly has amended its proposal for a boost in the state's minimum wage to match President Barack Obama's desire to establish a federal $9 per hour wage...
But this never helps the people it claims to.
...The key idea underlying the textbook model of minimum wages is that when something becomes more expensive, people use less of it...
Translation: the real minimum wage is zero.
...It seems that one could still seriously question whether now, when so many are struggling to find jobs, it makes sense to enact a policy that makes it more difficult for them to do so...
Well, yes, we could question it, but we already know why this is being proposed (emphasis mine):
...Because a higher minimum wage is easy to implement, and because a higher minimum wage is a mandate for higher costs on businesses, rather than an item in the budget on which states would have to spend more money, minimum wages are a popular policy for trying to help poor and low- income families...
A three-fer for politicians: appearing to help the relatively poor (and "poverty" is now relative, defined based on income rather than on purchasing power) at no cost to themselves but at significant cost to evil, greedy businesses.  Such a deal.
As for the fact that a higher minimum wage never helps the people it's supposed to?  No matter.  It isn't really about them, anyway. It's a disingenuous exercise in ignorance and idiocy by our moral and intellectual superiors—an ultimately ruinous, self-serving game.




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