Thursday, June 29, 2006

What Is A Reactionary?

In a previous blog post entitled Reactionary Ideologues and the Minimum Wage Debate, I used the term reactionary in a way that would confuse most people who are familiar with this term. To wit, most people would use the term reactionary to refer to an ultraconservative, but I used it in reference to people who subscribe to left-leaning liberal orthodoxy.

The left-leaning liberals that I encountered on the blogosphere are reactionaries of a different sort. A more commonly used term would be "knee-jerk liberals." Specifically, when I pointed out that my opposition to the minimum wage was not based upon the position that it would have a negative impact on low wage workers, I was told that "proves that your, and the Republican argument that the minimum wage increase would hurt the economy is total and complete garbage." Needless to say, this is a straw man argument. My original point was and is that the people who need help the most are the working poor, and that the Earned Income Tax Credit is the best way to target this group. Some people have a hard time understanding this.

While engaging the members of what can only be described as a very hostile forum, I pointed to the fact that over two thirds of the people working for minimum wage do not live in poverty. Although often ignored, this fact is very well documented, and anyone who does their own independent research will find this to be the case. Nonetheless, I was asked how someone living on the minimum wage could not be living in poverty. The answer, which I had already stated several times at that point, is somewhat obvious: Most people who work for minimum wage are the child or spouse of someone who earns a decent wage.

It's at about this time that my login to Democrats.com stopped working, and my forced silence was interpreted as victory, so if any of you people would like to continue the dialogue, I am prepared to do so by responding here on my own blog. I had formulated a response to "Jim" who asserted that the EITC has been attacked by Republicans who posted at Democrats.com and that he had defended it, but I lost that response when my login to Democrats.com was unceremoniously shut down, and at this point I'm still a little miffed that I was silenced by the powers that be.

Those Republicans who oppose an expansion of the EITC are "let them eat cake" ideologues who would almost certainly stand opposed to raising the minimum wage. For the record, and speaking as a libertarian, helping the working poor with the EITC can be justified because it reduces entitlement spending, provides a boost to a very inefficient sector of local economies, and increases labor work force participation.

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