by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
WTVD reports on a rather cynical political stunt by the NC NAACP last night in Durham:
Protesters in Durham blocked traffic on North Roxboro Street Tuesday evening, demanding a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour. At least 53 were arrested.
Led by the NC NAACP, demonstrators sat down in the road and chanted. Police in riot gear arrived soon after.
Fifty-three arrests. I pity those who were hoodwinked into thinking they could actually improve their lot in life not by working, but by sitting in the street chanting till they got arrested.
I’ve asked before if anyone could explain “how getting minimum-wage workers to walk off their jobs and get arrested improves their lives.” There’s no answer. There is only
a vicious agitprop campaign taking full advantage of minimum wage workers’ ignorance, filling them full of false hopes, using them as props, reaping all the benefits of media coverage and a higher political profile (which presumably attracts more donations — arguably a second layer of exploitation), then discarding them.
It’s cruel, it’s exploitative, and it’s immoral.
Expectations completely counter to mainstream economics
Still, it’d be nice for media to challenge the basis for the protest. After all, what protesters think would happen flies in the face of what is far and away the mainstream position among economists.
The negative impacts of the minimum wage is one of the items about which economists are in greatest agreement. Worse, those negative impacts aren’t randomly distributed. The disemployed tend to be the least skilled, the poorest, the least educated. That is, the ones who most need the work.
A ‘moral’ case for disemploying hundreds of thousands in NC?
How much is $15/hr. in North Carolina? Think about it this way: the median wage in North Carolina is just above it, at $15.91/hr.