The Liberal Hour comes ’round again

The GOP discovers the virtues of an increase in the minimum wage, proving that the number 2006 is indeed even.

Fifty years ago, Adlai Stevenson called the period in an election year when the Republicans abandon their purported principles and come to a temporary and uneasy truce with reality “the liberal hour.” That moment seems to have arrived. Whatever one’s views on the merits of increasing the minimum wage, for the House Republican leadership to schedule a vote on it now suggests that their electoral panic is deeper than they have let on.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

17 thoughts on “The Liberal Hour comes ’round again”

  1. I've been waiting for the first sign of Republican panic, and thought it would be Iraq-related, but this is a good a sign as any.

  2. It would be a good sign if panic drove them to do something sensible. Raising the minimum wage scarcely counts as that. But I agree it is a sign of panic. Hopefully they won't raise it enough to do too much damage.

  3. Even Gene Sperling of the Clinton administration admits that raising the minium wage too much will result in layoffs of low end jobs. The issue is not about helping the low paid working joe, but about a wedge issue designed to help the fat cat Democrats regain power.

  4. Yep — every economic analysis I've seen suggests that hiking the Earned Income Tax Credit is a better solution to working poverty than hiking the minimum wage. Now let's see how eagerly Patrick and manapp embrace that idea.

  5. Better than the government giving to the poor, how about they just stop taking away. Federal gas taxes raised by the Dems the first two years of Clinton disproportiantly affect the poor as they pay a greater percent of their income in neccessary spending. Also, like it or not, the poor spend a larger percent of their income on booze and butts than do the rich. If you want to help the poor, get rid of punitive taxes designed to make them make better lifestyle choices.

  6. If you're worried about taxes that disproportionately affect the poor, how about cutting the payroll taxes that Reagan raised?

  7. Adlai was a loser–don't get like Pauline Kael and claim that all your parents' friends voted for him. Anyway, what do we call the days when the Democrats pass the Defense of Marriage Act, or denounce the Dubai ports deal, or attempt to prevent Maliki from addressing Congress, or whatever?

  8. So let's see — we're supposed to help the poor by getting rid of gas taxes to force people to buy more economical cars at a time when the country desperately needs for everyone to do just that, and when we could provide the poor with the same assistance by just recompensing them for their gas taxes. And we're supposed to "help the poor" by getting rid of taxes designed to discourage people from getting chemically enslaved to alcohol and nicotine, instead of helping the poor by providing them with money for their actual essentials instead. Why do I get the impression that manapp flunked his last IQ test?
    As for Patrick: looks like the June bug has hastily left the porch yet again.

  9. Brett is excatly right. Companies who don't provide their full-time workers with sufficient resources (pay, health insurance, etc.) to get by without relying on taxpayer-funded assistance aren't thieves.
    They're freeloaders.

  10. It's not a deep enough panic that they are dropping the bull$shit that guarantees "the rich get rich and the poor get poorer".
    Rather thando the right thing, they want to create a trap for Democrats so that they can say "See? They voted against a wage hike!" See? They never stop plopping elephat turds — it's the nature of the beast.

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