February 22, 2014

From this Saturday's Bulls & Bears, the pundits on Fox continue with one of their favorite hobbies -- attacking anyone calling for the minimum wage to be raised in the United States.

Here's how host Brenda Buttner opened the show and the response from one of their regulars, Gary B. Smith:

BUTTNER: You heard it here first, that all these calls for pay hikes will backfire and now the independent Congressional Budget Office is confirming it, predicting the president's push to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will bring a half million job losses. Gary B, that's why you're saying scrap it altogether.

SMITH: I know Brenda and before people on the left say “My gosh, that heartless Gary Smith! How can you scrap the minimum wage?” I went around and searched to see if any other developed country scrapped the minimum wage. In fact, Switzerland has no minimum wage.

Now look, it's interesting. Switzerland's unemployment rate is 3 percent, so you say, well, surely then they have a high poverty rate. No. Their poverty rate is less than half ours, at 7 percent. Ours is at about 16 percent. In fact, California, which has a higher than the $7 per hour minimum wage at $8 has a 23 percent unemployment rate.

And oh, by the way, Switzerland has the highest wealth per capita in the world. My god, if Switzerland can do it, doesn't it make sense that we should try it?

That's a cute little trick there, trying to pretend that the lack of a minimum wage is responsible for the low unemployment in Switzerland, or higher unemployment in some areas of the United States.

Of course no one bothered to mention that Switzerland and other countries that don't have a minimum wage don't have one because their labor unions and collective bargaining agreements contain minimum compensation clauses, so it's not needed.

They're also not as bad as the United States when it comes to their CEO pay compared to the lowest paid Swiss citizens, but somehow I doubt Smith would be calling for the United States to follow their lead there. You know they don't want more labor unions here in the United States. Attacking labor unions is another of their favorite hobbies on Fox, right up there with their attacks on the poor.

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