2014-06-08 – We’ve heard it many times: “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.”
This is ridiculous, of course. A lot of things can stop a bad guy with a gun. But we seem to like to use good guys as hostages to the bad guys in our political discourse. It’s not just guns.
Take the debate about the minimum wage. The Walmarts and the McDonalds of the world could absorb an increase in the minimum wage with only a blip in their profits. But greed demand that they hold on to even that blip.
Is that the argument against the minimum wage? “We deserve our blip today?” No. Of course not. The argument is about how a higher minimum wage will hurt the moms and pops and “destroy” jobs.
Of course, there are a number of solutions to the mom-and-pop problem that would allow a minimum wage increase to go into effect with minimal impact on the moms-and-pop businesses. You could have a two-tier minimum wage based on the size of the employer. Or you could give tax credits to small employers who hire at the new minimum wage. And so on.
You never hear that in the debate because the mom-and-pop argument isn’t honest. The large corporations who employ minimum wage people want to preserve their blips. They don’t care about moms-and-pops. In fact, they have a record of moving into neighborhoods and putting moms-and-pops out of business.
It’s the bad guys hiding behind the good guys.