Guest Post: How Stupid Is The American Public?

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Monty Pelerin's World,

The cruelest law of all is the minimum wage. It is the most basic law of economics: if the price rises on a good (ceteris paribus, of course), then less of it will be purchased. Labor is no exception. When you raise the price (i.e., the minimum wage in this case), less labor at the low end of the skill scale will be employed. For a thorough discussion, see here.

In a time when our economy is struggling and teenage unemployment is through the roof (especially minorities), raising the minimum wage is the worst thing that can be done. This price control hurts the most vulnerable in society and those most in need of jobs. Yet the political class knows they can depend upon the ignorance and stupidity of the voting public. By appearing to be compassionate, they gain favor and votes. This move is not compassionate, it is harmful and destructive. There is nothing more harmful to low-skilled workers than raising the minimum wage. If it benefits politicians they don’t care what havoc and destruction they impose so long as enough of the people can be fooled.

The reality is that  Government schooling produced this situation of zero to low skills. Now government rides to the rescue by making laws that make it illegal for their damaged output to be hired. No employer will hire an employee that costs him money. Unless the employee has a reasonable chance of contributing more than he costs, he has no hope of escaping unemployment. Unskilled workers are capable of doing productive work, but not at a beginning wage set too high by politicians looking out only for themselves.  If the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $20.00 per hour or $50.00? Wouldn’t that erase poverty?

The answer is an emphatic no! The higher the minimum wage the more poverty and unemployment results. This “feel-good” legislation will raise unemployment. Sadly, it will also destroy lives. It effectively makes it a crime to higher willing workers with low skills. These are people who deserve better than what they received from government schools. Entering the workforce at any wage would provide the work habits and skills that would enable them to quickly go beyond their entry levels. These low-skilled workers are no different than MBAs who enter at lower wages than they will earn after training and gaining experience.

The tragedy of the minimum wage is that it ruins lives. It condemns many to a lifetime of unemployment, welfare and living a life equivalent to a ward of the state. These “compassionate” politicians don’t care how much damage they do so long as you are too ignorant to see through their scheme. They want your vote. So long as you are ignorant enough to believe they are doing compassionate and generous things, they will continue to destroy lives.

This survey from Rasmussen is confirmation of the appalling economic ignorance of the American public.


54% Favor Raising Minimum Wage to $9 An Hour


Most voters don’t think the minimum wage is enough to live on and support President Obama’s proposal to raise it from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. They’re more narrowly divided, however, when asked if hiking the minimum wage will be good for the economy. Read More

With every passing day, the American public makes H. L. Mencken appear to have been more of a genius than he possibly was. His evaluations of the public were merciless. Here are but a couple of his pronouncements:

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Mencken must be chuckling from his grave at the situation we allowed our criminal class politicians to impose on us. Even he probably could not have imagined how dumbed-down the government has made recent generations. Make no mistake, it is government and its policies responsible. Despite all the blather about education, our criminal class is quite content with having stupid constituents. An educated public would have ridden these crooks out of town on a rail.

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kato's picture

you qualify for the Churchill expression "I thought the miners were the most ignorant people I ever met, until I met the mine owners" as a mine owner.

DJ Happy Ending's picture

Rum, sodomy & the lash, bitchez.

Pladizow's picture

"How Stupid Is The American Public?"

All comments will be understatements!

EnglishMajor's picture

If KFC ain't hiring, guess I'll go back to college.

Say What Again's picture

I'd love to comment, but I'm late for an interview at 7-11

kaiserhoff's picture

Here's an idea.  Enforce the law of the land.

$10,000 dollar fine for each offense of knowingly hiring an illegal alien.

Cures many problems.  We could even include a bounty system.  Go, Mrs. Dog, Go.

God, what an ugly Bitch.

Pladizow's picture

The peoples problems differ from those of the government machine, that is the problem.

The government needs bodies to tax and the "American" birth rate isnt cutting it!

Also need open borders for an American Union and NWO.

Umh's picture

How come it's mostly the rich and the poor who have large families?

TwoShortPlanks's picture

"How Stupid Is The American Public?" long have I got and how truthful would you like me to be?

mkkby's picture

If the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $20.00 per hour or $50.00? Wouldn’t that erase poverty?

This author is the stupid one.  Eliminate the min wage and watch lobbyists bring in swarms of immigrants willing to work for a plate of beans.  There needs to be a balance.  When there are millions unemployed, management has all the power.  All those desperate people would drive wages to zero -- you've all seen this result of globalization, right?  A reasonable min wage gives workers AT LEAST SOMETHING. 

Also, we need to enforce the law and make it extremely expensive to hire illegals.  Large fines and personal liabilty for officers/directors.

Edmon Plume's picture

The American Birth rate implies there aren't enough pregnancies.  Simply put, the US is reaping the result of sowing abortion.  Japan legalized abortion post WWII and their population balance has cratered.  Europe is in the same boat, hence france importing millions of muslims.

It would seem that "advanced" societies will ultimately lose out to the barbarians.  You've come a long way, baby.

The muzzies won't have to fire a shot.  And they know it.

Xibalba's picture

If you think 50% of America is stupid, just look at the other half and they all seems smart.  


fourchan's picture

they are all exactly this stupid, which should make us here feel justifably great.

BLOTTO's picture

Im not sure if its stupid as much as they are totally brainwashed...



augie's picture

brainwashed to be stupid.

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."


Stackers's picture

Mama always said, stupid is as stupid does

Kreditanstalt's picture

@kaiserhoff: What's the difference between government price-fixing in the labor market via "minimum wages" and your suggestion to prop up the artificially-high wages of Americans actually working via artificial political border controls?  Not much I submit: you're both protectionists and anti-freedom.

kaiserhoff's picture

I'm writing this from Florida, a state which is currently being over-run by illegals and out of control welfare breeding.

There are many reasons for borders.  One of those reasons is to prevent all of the drug, corruption, and ignorance problems of the third world from coming to live in your own home town.  That quickly destroys the value of anyone's "labor" or productivity, and makes rule of law a bad joke.  All in our President-for-life's plans.

MachoMan's picture

Does free trade destroy the value of one's productivity or merely pull it from the arms of protectionism and isolation, thereby exposing it for its real value?

Alhazred's picture

If we didnt live in a welfare state, i would agree with you that we should not stop the labor market across boarders.

In a perfect world we would have a free market in labor and no welfare.


Both restrictive immigration and welfare are problems we need to address but the order in which they are addressed is very important.

Unless we fix our welfare before we open our boarders, we will NEVER fix welfare.  The evils of democracy are well known, and it would be folly to suggest opening the boarders before we fix the issue of welfare.


Just because an open boarder is part of the solution, does NOT make it a wise first step.

MachoMan's picture

You pretend as though we have a choice in the matter.  The political system is always beholden to the underlying economic system.  The underlying economic system is always beholden to self interest and other basic human emotions, capital going to where it's treated the best being a glaring example.

It's also disingenuous to claim that we actually fix anything...  instead, we run headfirst into resource constraints and production incentive problems and the economic system crashes, thereby necessitating political change.  Your cause and effect is backwards.

barroter's picture

$50,000 fine for each count. Felonize it and mandatory prison time.


Kitler's picture

Better hurry... there are going to to be more applicants now that they are going to have to pay big bucks.

Probably even a few lawyers and bankers

Hacked Economy's picture

My (young at the time) son was happy the last time there was a minimum wage increase here in CA.  The problem was...he was already making a little more than the minimum, so when the increase went into effect and his (recently hired) co-workers saw their paychecks go up to match, his own pay rate didn't move at all.

"Hey, that's not fair...I've been here twice as long as they have, and I didn't get a raise?"

Nope.  I used the experience as an object lesson to teach him about the reality of the minimum wage (ahem...I mean "living wage").

AlaricBalth's picture

In 1968 the minimum wage was approximately $1.50 an hour. However, if measured in 2012 dollars, the comparable wage would be $9.89 an hour.

A hike in the minimum wage would impact the food sector of the economy the most. Farm labor, fast food workers, grocery cashiers would all get pay raises, yet the additional income would be offset by additional food costs.

Another unintended consequence of raising the minimum wage would be a change in the denominator of the BLS unemployment equation. A 24% hike in wages would certainly attract more people to seek work. Those people would no longer be "not in the labor force" and the unemployment rate would go up.

Umh's picture

You have to get a job and then be laid off to be counted as unemployed around here. It's been a few years, but they used to calculate unemployment benefits from the high 4 of the last 5 quarters. No workee no checkee.

MachoMan's picture

The only way increases to the minimum wage would entice anyone to "attract people to seek more work" is if the minimum wage was raised high enough, and enough hours were available to work and the taxes on that labor low enough, to overtake the value of the benefits provided by the social safety net.  Don't recall the figure exactly, but $69,xxx or so...  you think raising the minimum wage to this is going to really be a game changer?  Bread and circuses.

Zap Powerz's picture

We all make exactly what we are worth. Not one red cent more or one red cent less.

Umh's picture

I agree with you sentiments, but check out the annual issue of Parade that talks about what people make around the US.

MachoMan's picture

We make what we are able to receive or take, by hook or by crook.  What we are "worth" has nothing to do with it.  Otherwise, most public servants would have to pay into the system instead of receiving a paycheck.

secret_sam's picture

It's that whole "price vs. value" distinction that eludes so many.

James_Cole's picture

"When you raise the price (i.e., the minimum wage in this case), less labor at the low end of the skill scale will be employed."

OK geniuses, show a historical correlation between countries with higher minimum wage / higher levels of unemployment...or shut the fuck up.

Even simpler, show any historical trend correlation between higher minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) & unemployment....or shut the fuck up.

Pladizow's picture

What was the title of this article?

paterphysi's picture

title of the article should be "if you don't believe/think as I do, you are stupid"

pods's picture

Even simpler (and you do not have to use government statistics to see it).

Say as an employer, you have $20K available to pay your two people that work for you. The minimum wage correlates to $10k each.

Now double the minimum wage to $20k.

How many people can you employ for that $20k?


diesheepledie's picture

Please don't use mathematics, logic, or objective reasoning on the sheep! It makes the meat tougher.

Paul Bogdanich's picture

The Germans use a novel and more effective approach to the same problem.  Cap the maximum wage at 300 times the lowest wage paid at the same company to include the cleaning and other "contractors."  That simple step plus management greed keeps everyones wages up and in some semblance of proportion.  Same thing with abortion.  It has been known since Roman times that the most effective way to reduce unwanted or abandoned children is to punish the men involved in the preganacy and not the women.  Brings the illigetimate birth rate right down and in a big hurry as well.  So in essence all this stuff is just a smoke screen.         

Cathartes Aura's picture

both solutions so obvious, so simple, so easy to understand, so necessary if one is trying to build a culture/society that actually works. . .

of course, if one is merely trying to farm human labour for profit, what you've pointed to is going in the opposite direction, and would never appeal.

Sparkey's picture

Dear Cathartes Aura, IF one was to farm human labour for profit, he would keep them well fed healthy and happy, so they could perform the labour he made his profit on, the fact that our leaders no longer seem  to have that for a social goal speaks volumes for our diseased state, Let us use the Bee hive as a metaphor for society,truly which "Leaders" (It seems there may be more than a few),would not be better served as Queen Bee to a healthy and thriving Bee hive rather than a diseased one? A diseased hive will kill a lot of Bees that won't be available for work in the spring, no good for profits!

Al Huxley's picture

Well, bad news for the worker bees is that the ruling class doesn't need them anymore, there's enough automation that now they're just deadweight and mouths to feed. 

Sparkey's picture

The Rulers may not be as sagacious and omnipotent as they tell themselfs they are,  actions speak lowder than words, ar'nt these the people who sent the jobs away and crashed the Banking system? Was that part of the plan?

Cathartes Aura's picture

dear Sparkey, have you ever seen a cattle fed lot?  I have, and I've smelled it too.  animals knee-deep in their excrement, being fatten'd with GMO corn derivatives & stale candy, shot up with meds/antibiotics because their systems are poisoned.

"well fed" died with the "family farm" meme - the only "well" being "fed" is the infinite depths of need for profits. . . and once one completely, thoroughly *groks* the global story, and realises workers are being factory-farmed in *gasp* other fenced fields aka "nationstates" - then the realisation of just how far down the path of "fallow" this current farm really is.  cradle to grave, doctors/pharma, the amrkn "consumer" is on it's last legs - the plantations have moved elsewhere.  resource extraction will still continue, and some will be paid to do this, but the majority are not needed, certainly not ones needing to be paid more than slave wages.

of course, the winding down will continue to "take profits" - but it IS being wound down, no doubts - and other plantations/farms are being exploited, so much profits, so little time. . .

Sparkey's picture

Al and Cathartes, I do see your points and looking at the situation rationally whithout undue emotion, there probably far too many people on the Planet, yet,, if the thinning isn't done with the utmost care, panic will result, if chaos truly rules all bets are off, the outcome of chaos cannot be planned, all modern people need the modern world to survive so any popredux scheme, must have as one of it's goals, the unimpeded transmission forward of technology this is all going to take vision and leadership.

so much profits, so little time. . ." The road to oblivion, Almost everyone is still eating, why not focus on that, call that prosperity, our ancesters would have, and go forward from there, let's not sink anyfarther or we may get so low we will never get up again!

Cathartes Aura's picture

well, looking at this situation rationally, and without undue emotion, the "thinning" is already taking place, even here in the land o' the free and formerly wealthy first-worlders. . . the "thinning" is happening through the tainted food supply, the massive use of experi-Mental pharma, soon to be normalised if "healthcare" becomes "mandatory" - though personally, I think amrka hits a speed bump and flips before it gets anywhere close to what is being discussed as plans. . .

the "thinning" is all around us, in the 45% of ex-military applying for disability, many citing the genocidal depleted uranium used on the "enemy" but somehow it "missed" and they're experiencing the symptoms that were supposed to be for the trrrsts. . .more "thinning" in the one in ten amrkns on anti-depressants, most of those combining different brain-meds, long term, and begin using at younger ages than ever.

the "thinning" will continue with the toxic fud-stuffs that people continue to eat, the fluoride and residual pharma in the municipal water supplies, the continual degrading of the very air we breathe.

you can call that prosperity if you like, but I can't.

Sparkey's picture

I've never called it `Prosperity`Cathartes, my point is; it will be difficult to complete the agenda without becoming a victim yourself, like the DE shells poisoning the troops who fired them, all these other things will make the World unlivable for everyone including the people who thought it up and got it started, it has started and it will not stop until everything is consumed! including the people who delude themselves with their dreams of omnipotency!

Cathartes Aura's picture

ah yes, I agree that it is difficult to remain pure/untouched in an environment designed to eliminate "excess" - but I'm sure there are ways to exempt certain peoples from the most dangerous intentions - don't eat the fud-substitutes, don't drink the pharma/fluoride laced waters, don't put oneself in "heroic" war games, etc.

but yes, inevitably all are touched by living. . . some have the means to exist longer, as always.

diesheepledie's picture

The Germans are awesome and efficient. I would investigate this ideas seriously if it involves controlling the greedy animals. As far as abortion goes we should force abortions on the unproductive class - i.e. housing project dwellers, and other statistically proven unproductive livestock.

Cathartes Aura's picture

lol, how does that square with the ole zygote personhood push?

you controllers need to get yer desires in order, a lot of mixed messages being sent of late. . .