Thursday, January 04, 2007

Minimum Wage

Interestingly enough, the conflict over the minimum wage increases that are one hallmark of the Hundred Hour Agenda is spilling over the US-Canadian border, thanks to an ultra-controversial post by Canadian Liberal Jason Cherniak.

Unfortunately, for such a generally talented writer, Jason is almost completely wrongheaded on the issue; he posits a direct connection between inflation, unemployment and the minimum wage that had been rendered obsolete by Card and Krueger ages ago, and tried to justify it by claiming that people can get by on Can$200 a month after rent, showing to his (many) critics on this issue that has either forgotten what life is like in poverty, or never really had to experience it in the first place.

What concerns me, though, is that this is a self-described liberal saying this, who is almost certainly doing this as a way of attacking the social democratic "NDP" party, a direct competitor for left-liberal votes.I'm all for partisan advocacy, but the same old rule applies: attacking the left to burnish your "centrist" cred is only going to embolden the conservatives, and they already control the Canadian government.

Considering the Liberals are clearly trying to move somewhat leftward with their choice of leader, and considering that Jason is such a fervent supporter of said leader, why is a leading Canadian liberal blogger doing this?

I've asked him; I've yet to discover an answer.

(Fortunately, it looks like it's full speed ahead in the Congress for the minimum wage hike.)

No comments:

Post a Comment