Architect of 'Trickle Down' Economics Says Disenfranchised Minorities 'Aren't Worth $15 an Hour in Most Cases'

Art Laffer wrote the book on 'supply side' economics, and now he wants us to believe raising the minimum wage will make 'minorities' unemployable.

Illustration for article titled Architect of 'Trickle Down' Economics Says Disenfranchised Minorities 'Aren't Worth $15 an Hour in Most Cases'
Screenshot: @LizPower1/ Twitter

Fox News is racist AF.

I mean, Tucker Carlson is the network’s most popular white nationalist host, so saying “Fox News is racist” is about as much a no-shit-Sherlock-y thing to say as the commonly used expression, “It’s always in the last place that you look.” (Hopefully, I have not offended weird people who continue to look for things after they’ve found them.) Still, it’s a trip how contributors can go onto the conservative spank-banks-R-us network and say things that are very obviously racist AF and, for the most part, Fox News hosts don’t even blink.

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I guess Geraldo Rivera speaks up occasionally. He kinda pushed back against Fox host Katie Pavlich when she criticized Vice President Kamala Harris’ failure to appease crybaby-ass conservatives by visiting the Southern border by saying, “this is what happens when you choose your vice president based on gender and skin color rather than actual talent and expertise”—a comment that, to white people, might read as an “I don’t see color” remark but to everyone else reads, “You got to be male and white to be right.”

But then Rivera also stays doing silly shit like asking a Black man on his show, “When was the last time you were in the ghetto?” So even he has clearly been infected by the caucasity-itis pandemic (or WYPIPOVID-19) that has plagued the network for decades.

Anyway, on Tuesday, Fox News brought conservative economist Art Laffer on so he could basically make the same stale-ass arguments conservatives have always made when it comes to the subject of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. But Laffer managed to sneak a little racism into his anti-livable wage rant and host Sandra Smith, in true Fox News host fashion, pretended she didn’t even hear that shit.

“Yeah, for those people, Sandra, who are coming into the labor force brand fresh—not old-timers who’ve been around for a while—the poor, the minorities the disenfranchised, those with less education, young people who haven’t had the job experience,” Laffer said. “These people aren’t worth $15 an hour in most cases. Therefore when you have a $15 an hour minimum wage, they don’t get that first job.”

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So, I guess we were all supposed to just act like he didn’t just slide “disenfranchised” people of color into the list of people who aren’t worth money that, frankly, isn’t even good money.

Seriously, these people act like $15 an hour is “make it rain” money. Nigga, you can’t make it drizzle or even precipitate for $15 an hour. That shit is “not a cloud in the sky” money and they know it.

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To be clear, Laffer is full of shit in general. It sounds like he’s trying to convince people that fast food restaurants, for example, are now going to be requiring resumes that show vast work experience for full-time new hires because now they’ll be getting paid $15 an hour to take orders and flip burgers. But even economist Austan Goolsbee, who was also on the show, acknowledged that the current CEO of McDonald’s told investors “that in the 29 states where they have a minimum wage above the federal minimum wage, McDonald’s is doing fine.”

But Laffer’s “I heart poor people staying poor” bullshit aside, we really just can’t gloss over the way he just threw “minorities” under the slave-wage bus as if non-white people aren’t counted among “old-timers who’ve been around for a while,” or anyone else who is worth a paltry-ass $15 an hour.

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But Fox News embodies the same white supremacy that sets white people up as the default—just as Laffer’s comment did—so it’s no surprise that Laffer’s Klan-ish diatribe didn’t raise any blonde eyebrows.

Now, here’s the part where I remind you who Art Laffer is.

Laffer was a member of former President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. He’s also the architect of “supply-side” economics, also called “trickle-down” economics, which it’s called because of the notion that everyone will be prosperous as long as rich people are allowed to piss on them. (That’s not exactly why they call it that, but only because that would be impolite.)

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From the Guardian:

Sadly, Laffer’s career has been heavy on punditry, light in academic rigor, and absolutely destructive for the average American and the long-term health and sustainability of our economy.

A number of economists have already dismissed Laffer’s signature supply-side economics theory as pure nonsense. For his dubious role as the “godfather” of Reaganomics, Slate dubbed him World’s Worst Economist. He’s been called a key part of the “Intellectual Rot of the Republican Party”. Esquire suggested that Laffer’s turn as the architect of disastrous Brownback tax experiment in Kansas should hang “like a dead possum” around his neck for the rest of his days.

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Laffer basically became famous for convincing folks that wealthy people shouldn’t pay their fair share in taxes because they do their part by letting their money slide down the pyramid into middle and lower-class pockets. This is the guy whose word we’re supposed to trust that a $15 an hour minimum wage hike will cause an employment apocalypse for negroes, teens and people who are already poor because they work for low wages?

And he can’t even express that point without being racist AF. Nah, I’m good—just raise the damn wages.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

woke--up--dead
Woke Up Dead

European peasants in the middle ages didn’t start to get rights until the Black Death plague in the 14th century killed so many of them that the remaining ones were suddenly much more valuable. I wonder if something similar, albeit less dramatic might happen as a result of this pandemic. I’m not talking about the consequence of some small percentage of the work-force dying, but rather a new pandemic-caused awareness that things can work better than before.

There DEFINITELY will be a change for white-collar professionals as both workers and management have seen that people can be productive working from home, which happens to save workers thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours due to reduced commutes while employers can save even more due to reduced rents. Even the old-fashioned executives at my company are leaning towards a hybrid schedule permanently going forward.

I hope people working for minimum or close to minimum wages also see some permanent positive changes, though I’m not yet sure how that will happen.