Dumb Fox (News): Phony Think Tank’s Irrational Argument Against Minimum Wage Increase

By now no one should be surprised that Fox News, and the congregation of Tea Party conservatives they represent, would oppose legislation intended to benefit America’s working class. Fox has consistently fought against reforms that make it possible for people to take care of themselves and their families and to advance economically. Any policy that is viewed by their corporate benefactors as negative to their profit margins, or that might adversely impact their multimillion dollar compensation, is attacked by Fox News, and the rest of the rightist press, as anti-business or even socialist.

That is precisely the case with the current debate over whether to increase the minimum wage, which has not been done in seven long years. Raising the minimum wage is generally seen as politically popular, so in order to derail it, opponents have to pitch tortured arguments that have very little backing by knowledgeable, non-partisan economists. But the tactic being used by Fox today is particularly devoid of reason and is wholly unethical, even by the standards of Fox News.

Minimum Wage vs. Interns

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In an effort to manufacture a false claim of hypocrisy, Fox News is presenting an absurd comparison. Their story asserts that “Most sponsors of minimum wage hike bill don’t pay interns.” So F**king What? Internships are temporary positions made available to students so that they can get some real-world experience in their field of study and credit for school. They are not intended to be employment for personal gain. They serve the same purpose as the classroom at their school, and they don’t get paid for that either. Internships generally have a fixed term of a few weeks during the summer or other school hiatus. To compare that to jobs where people are working in order to support themselves and their families makes no sense whatsoever.

That said, there may be some good arguments for compensating interns, particularly in business where the enterprise has sufficient resources to do so. But to assert that members of Congress who support raising the minimum wage are being hypocritical for allowing students to get an up-close look at how government operates is simply a wild and irresponsible attempt to obstruct progress on policies that bring tangible relief to struggling Americans, as well as a substantial boost to the economy.

What makes this story even more repulsive is that Fox is citing data from a disreputable source with a vested interest in the welfare of the corporations it exists to serve. According to Source Watch

“The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a Washington, DC public affairs firm owned by Rick Berman, who lobbies for the restaurant, hotel, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries.”

So this organization is directly tied to the industries who are the most virulently opposed to a minimum wage increase. That should cause a legitimate news agency to steer shy of them if they are interested in unbiased information. But it doesn’t dissuade Fox, and a bevy of other wingnut “news” outlets, from eating up the self-serving tripe.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Berman & Company is also notorious for feathering its own nest. The bulk of the funds received by the organizations under its control goes right back into Berman’s pocket. For instance, the Employment Policies Institute reported $1,629,930 in total revenue for 2011, and $2,103,896 in total expenses. But despite running a half million dollar deficit, it paid Berman more than a million dollars that year. That alone should cast doubt on the quality of the economic advice they might dispense.

What we have here is a lobbyist who created a fake think tank so that he could raise funds from corporations to advocate on their behalf – and against the interests of average Americans. Then this fake think tank gets fake news enterprises (like Fox) to disseminate their tendentious opinions. That’s how the right-wing media machine poisons the public debate on important issues. And this particular article got spread to the the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Caller, Newsmax and other conservative mouthpieces.

To counter that, here is some more information on the benefits of raising the minimum wage. These articles explain in more detail why the nation should move forward with this legislation:

Economic Policy Institute: Low-wage Workers Are Older Than You Think

5 Right-Wing Myths About Raising the Minimum Wage, Debunked


8 thoughts on “Dumb Fox (News): Phony Think Tank’s Irrational Argument Against Minimum Wage Increase

  1. I’m reluctant to even comment as it feels better just leaving you people to your own dillusions and propaganda, but here it goes.
    The minimum wage has minimal impact so long as it is set lower than the actual market wages. Since it has been so long since the minimum wage was raised, most larger corporations pay above that wage for even minimally skilled workers – at least that is my observation. Raising it a bit will have an impact, but probably not as much as everyone is led to believe.
    And so long as the banks, government and the dreaded 1% are getting benefit from the monetary distortions created by the federal reserve, let the minimum wagers get a bit too.
    But know this – there is NO RIGHT TO A LIVING WAGE, so a federal minimum wage is stupid and it is interference, but no more than the government sanctioned interference by the central bank.

    • Steve clearly illustrates why Republican efforts to get more Business into Government has been nothing short of grinding Americans into Wage Slavery and chaining us into Corporate Bondage.

      If Corporations want to pay workers in scrip, that’s fine in Steve’s America in fact if Corporations want to pay workers nothing that’s fine with Steve in York.

      • I had something ignorant to say, but decided against it.
        First – would you actually work for nothing??? probably not so your idiotic comment makes no sense and is just an emotional response to something you don’t like. Second – the problem with wages isn’t the amount – it’s the value of those wages and what they can buy. Example – $1.00 in the late nineties (when we had a strong dollar and low/no inflation and actually a bit of deflation) could buy a gallon of gas, now it takes more than $3.00 to buy the same gallon – makes it harder to support ourselves and a family doesn’t it? What changed? Work was still work at that time and the minimum wage was much lower than $10.00 per hour as proposed today…. Try blaming the right thing for difficulties – it’s not corporate america, it’s the major banks and the federal government that caused that loss of value.

        • No steve you are wrong. It isn’t the government no matter how often you type it. Corporate America has off-shored millions of jobs because they can pay workers overseas pennies, with no benefits and pocket the difference. And claiming my response is emotional is just a non sequitur to try and bolster your bogus “arguments”,

          And the price of gas has nothing to do with government causing a “loss of value” but because Oil Companies have no loyalty to the US or any Nation.

          • Government is 100% complicit in the devaluation of the currency – maybe not directly as the banking system has primary control over that, but it absolutely participates and is supportive as it receives much of the benefit. Cling to whatever “truth” you want – I understand it’s easier to live in fantasy land than the real world. And your last sentence is so incredibly ridiculous, I won’t waste time responding as I will just be insulting and I don’t want to be that way.

            • Of course, you understand it’s easier to live in fantasy world. It’s from where you post this clap-trap.

              The economic collapse of the United States is the direct result of Capitalism deciding to move production out from the Nation to undercut labor while Capitalists “make” money through accounting gimmicks and political muscle.

            • You’re party right – the government interference with the market (your “political muscle” statement) is without a doubt part of the reason for such damage being done (if government wasn’t bought and paid for) A free and open market where PEOPLE have freedom to make choices and money is real is near perfection – we don’t have that and haven’t had that for a long time. In some ways, we’re not all that far apart, but I’m sure a free and open market isn’t what you have in mind. Why don’t you try reading something other that leftist propaganda – you may learn something – and I’m not suggesting rightist political propaganda either as it’s no better.

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