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How To Win The Minimum Wage Argument

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) has been a strong advocate for an increase in the federal minimum wage. In 2019, while referencing the minimum wage for tipped workers, she was quoted as saying “Any job that pays $2.13 an hour is not a job, it’s indentured servitude.” In so much as indentured servitude is a contract between two individuals, she may be right. In her apples to oranges comparison, she leaves out that fact that a skilled server or a bartender can easily walk down the street and look for an opportunity to earn a wage increase. Your average indentured servant was far more reliant on their landowner / “employer” for many of the necessities of life and often would have to travel hundreds of miles by foot to find a better opportunity. So, while AOC’s rhetoric may make for a catchy quote, her comparison is completely wrong.

Free market advocates and conservatives may find themselves in a tough political position in addressing the minimum wage argument. Who wants to be the person who is against giving the struggling server and single parent a “minimum wage increase?” Typical arguments against a minimum wage have been all rooted in facts and logic and the data is clear: after decades upon decades of implementation, minimum wage laws are a price floor that create unemployment. Further, these laws put people (particularly the young and minorities) at a serious disadvantage usually delaying their entry into the work force where they could be learning new skills and climbing the economic ladder.

Unfortunately, these traditional, fact- based arguments based on free market principles have not had the results that free market proponents would hope for. In fact, a 2019 Pew Research poll showed that 67% of Americans support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. AOC’s catchy rhetoric, while devoid of economic logic, appears to be winning the day.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

So how can we, as free market advocates, change the narrative and win this argument? We must change our approach and go on the offensive. The very term “increase the minimum wage” is a statement of strategic offense. As proponents of not having a minimum wage we often too quickly take the bait and reply with what I will call a “defensive statement” such as “but is creates unemployment” or “small businesses can’t afford that.” Any fan of sports knows that, while defense is crucial, you must have some offense to win.

When we find ourselves in a position to argue “against the minimum wage” we must think offensively and argue for freedom. One tactic is to use what is called the Ransberger Pivot technique. Invented in 1982 by a man named Ray Ransberger, it is a communication technique that we can use to disarm our intellectual opponent. It would go something like this:
“I agree with you, that servers in the food industry should be making a lot more money. In fact, I think you will agree with me, that even more people at this skill level should have opportunities to get jobs in this industry. If the government requires employers to pay $15.00 an hour, what happens to the person who really, really wants a job and they are willing to do the job for $14.00 an hour? What if this person watched the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise and it has always been her dream to be a bartender, and no one is hiring because $15.00 is just too high a price to be able to afford to bring on another bartender? What if this person says, “I just want to get my foot in the door, I just want a chance, I will for work $13.00 an hour, I will do it for $10.00 an hour, please!” Shouldn’t this person be free to offer their labor at this price without interference from the government?”

Let us break down this hypothetical passage above: In using the Ransberger pivot we are first seeking to let our friend on the left know that we might just have the same goal by saying right away: “I agree with you” next we insert a small hypnotic suggestion “I think you will agree with me…” again we are telling this person it is time to “agree.” From here, we will gently change the trajectory and the frame of the conversation and pivot to our own strategic offense. Now it is time for our opponent to go on the defensive. Make them defend keeping a young and eager person out of the work force. Make them defend the idea of government restrictions preventing someone from pursuing their dream of becoming the next “Cocktail superstar.” Keep using the same pattern and formula throughout the conversation: Agree, pivot to offense, insert new fact and logic, put them on the defensive.

We might next say: “Did you know that when someone is mandated to pay $15.00 an hour that they also have to pay additional legally mandated fringe benefits like Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance? This can add up to 30 percent. So really, the employer is required to pay over $20 an hour and our aspiring bartender, she is willing to do the job for $14. The employer is impressed with this young person and sees her passion and enthusiasm and he really would like to mentor her and have her on his team. Unfortunately, he just cannot afford over $20.00 an hour because he recently used his profits and upgraded all his light bulbs to LED to help fight climate change. How is it fair that he cannot give this person an opportunity because of the government?

In these two short examples, we are taking the traditional, fact based, and logical arguments against the minimum wage and we are re-framing them into an emotional story and we are asking our opponent to defend the idea of keeping this enthusiastic young person out of the work force. From here, our battle is only half finished. Getting our opponent on the defensive is a key first step, but now we should offer solutions to the original problem: the idea that servers and bartenders do not make enough money. At this point we can point out the research showing that most people in the work force already make more than the minimum wage. We might share facts that show that in a free market meritocracy, very productive people will either earn a raise or take the skills they have learned to a new employer who will pay them more or they will take their skills, start a new business, and employ others. The sky is truly the limit for everyone so long as the government is not overly regulatory.

In an age of hyper partisanship and at a time when free-market principals seem to be rarely if ever defended by most of our politicians, we need to have strategies that can effectively articulate the benefits of freedom. With soaring federal deficits, runaway spending, and a feeling that an economic crisis is lying in wait we would be wise to remember Ronald Reagan’s famous words: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” We need to take every opportunity to craft our arguments for freedom in that spirit.

 

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The Dead Do Tell Tales

The words of Dr. William Maples, in describing typical suicide victims, are poignant

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It’s shame that the late Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly hung himself, couldn’t have been examined by Dr. William R. Maples. Epstein’s body would have had a lot to say.

Poignant Words

Apart from the FBI subterfuge surrounding Epstein’s death, I found the words of Dr. Maples, in describing typical suicide victims to be poignant. Maples is a forensic researcher, diagnosing how and when people died. In his book, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples, he writes, “Many of the skeletons that come into my laboratory belong to suicide victims who behaved like shy hermits in their final hours.”

“Usually they are found in remote places. People often go to some hidden place to kill themselves, whether from a desire to act alone and unhindered, or because they wish simply to disappear in solitude, spending their last moments in reflective silence.”

Would these people have killed themselves if they could’ve regularly attained reflective silence? Was their quest to die alone simply an ill-advised solution to the stresses they faced? How would their lives have been if they knew appropriate, reliable ways to find solace in the here and now, at home, at work, and everywhere in between?

Be True to Yourself

The masses take pills by the boatload. The masses race though their days. The masses, by and large, live lives of tension and turmoil. Stress has become the malady of the generation, and it’s better to not to follow the crowd.

Being true to yourself means doing what you need to do to stay healthy, balanced, and relaxed. It means having inner directedness. It requires drawing upon your knowledge, experience, and instinct to carve your own path; and to have less stress because you are less swayed by popular or prevailing norms. It is thinking and acting based on an ever-developing internal guidance system.

Being true to yourself means is learning what doesn’t work. You determine what is and is not relevant to you, and ultimately, what is and is not appropriate for you to stay in control of your day, every day, and of your life which could well extend for many decades.

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Elections

Joe Biden Bingo

Here is a tool which could help you to stay tuned on broadcasts featuring our acting president

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Even if you caught only snippets of Joe Biden’s recent press conference, you know that his mental decline continues unabated. It’s unlikely that even a handful of Americans watched the event in its entirety. Who would want to waste their time?

What’s occurring is a national travesty, and it is increasingly evident to larger portions of our population that Joe Biden is being abused as an elder, as he abuses others.

Throughout his 365 days in office, Biden has struggled to pronounce a word and then offers a non-sequitur to what he was originally saying. With regularity he tells stories that are simply false. He refers to his vice president as president. He insults vast segments of the population. He stumbles and stammers repeatedly. He checks his watch, fumbles with his mask, and snaps at people when he doesn’t like a question. And those are the least of his faux pas with audiences.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

If you’re having trouble listening to Joe for more than a minute, the tool above might work for you. On the Facebook site, “Best of the Web,” I saw this Biden bingo card. It could help you to stay the course when tuned into other broadcasts featuring our acting president.

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