“I’ve had more success on the right than you might expect,” Unz said. Many conservatives think of wage hikes mainly as a threat to employment that will lead to more government handouts, he said, but when they do the math and realize that the reverse may be true, they open up.
Unz is finding support on the right. In December, Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer called for a two-tier minimum wage hike, decrying the fact that many heads of household cannot support families. “If somebody is the only wage earner in the family,” Krauthammer said, “I think it would be humane to raise it to a level where they can cover their expenses.”
And last week, Krauthammer’s outspoken colleague at FOX News, Bill O’Reilly, came out in favor of higher minimums.
Last week, the libertarian-leaning magazine Forbes ran a commentary by U.K. economist Frances Copolla, who argued, “If a firm can’t pay its workers enough to live on, then it isn’t a viable business, because it is dependent on wage subsidies. The minimum wage is necessary to protect taxpayers from the rational desire of firms to get something for nothing.”
“Wage subsidies drive down wages,” Copolla wrote, arguing that the state must set a floor or it will find itself endlessly subsidizing the failure of businesses to cover their real costs.
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