Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fan Mail? I Wish...

By: Shane

Well, I'll be pretty busy for the next week, and so I don't really have time to write a decent article. So I'm going to use an old trick, and recycle some old material. When I wrote an article tearing apart the federal minimum wage, I got an email from a misguided man claiming to be a conservative. After insulting the article as "simplistic", he said, "Any true member of the 'right wing' as you claim to be at your blog would not take the position that you do. Please refrain from using the term 'right wing' to describe your political affiliation in the future. It gives the rest of us a bad name."

Obviously, I couldn't let this fly. This man was obviously confused as to what a conservative was, and if there's anything I can't stand, it's a misguided conservative. I wrote him back, saying, "
I'm sorry, but if you are so enlightened I would like to hear what you believe the 'right wing' stance on a federal minimum wage would be. Just to avoid confusion (on your behalf) I would remind you that 'right wing' does mean 'conservative'." I may have been slightly rude, but I honestly wanted to hear his opinion (not to mention; he called my article "simplistic." The nerve!)

He wrote me back quite a long email listing four points about the government and conservatism. It was obvious that he was confused, and so I wrote him back to refute a few of his points; not for the sake of argument, but because I wanted to set him straight if he was going to be going around claiming to be a conservative. And so, now we come to my response, which is long and will fill space. I wrote back:

...You say that "Conservatives are concerned with kids and families which is why you're no conservative." Unfortunately, and I'm not attacking your intelligence, you need to understand that conservatives follow the mantra of "don't just care, think!" I laid out in my article how minimum wage laws at a federal level do little to help, and in fact hurt the economy.

Conservatism, by definition, is a belief in smaller government, particularly in the economic sphere. Government has no business telling businesses what to do. Whether you agree with this or not, it is the conservative stance.

You also say, "If a man takes a job at the current minimum wage and can't live off the proceeds, then he'll need to collect welfare or some other subsidy probably from the government to survive which will accrue to the benefit of the employer. " This is unfortunately true; our current welfare state hurts the economy drastically and exacerbates many problems, such as teenage pregnancy and illegal immigration. However, the solution is not to abandon our conservative beliefs by involving government in business, but to eliminate the welfare state. You don't fight liberalism with liberalism.

In response to "...if we're still in need of a few more jobs we could raise tariffs on Chinese imports (diminishing the proceeds they have available to expand their military)..." I'd have to point out that free trade is a legitimate point of disagreement between many conservatives; I happen to be a free trade conservative, believing that, like minimum wage, tariffs hurt more people than they help.

Look at steel tariffs, for instance. We put them in place to help the US steel industry. But for every worker in the steel industry, there were 10 in industries that relied on steel. Tariffs raised prices and hurt all of those in industries that relied on steel for the benefit of the few in the steel industry.

I should point out also that, contrary to your statement, "Imports would be cut, the trade deficit would be improved..." tariffs would not help the trade deficit, as never has a tariff been put in place without a retaliatory tariff also being put in place. If we stopped buying Chinese products, they would stop buying what few American products they do...

And there you have it; defense of my article on minimum wage. Sorry I didn't have time to write a full article this week, but I hope this old material was enjoyable and educational. After all; it is a private email and, therefore, should be new to you!

Shane is a writer for the conservative news blog His other articles can be found here.

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