Thursday, February 14, 2013

WATCH: Rep. Schweikert and His Wife Play Funky Game, On Valentine's Day?!?; Minority Youth Don't Need Higher Minimum Wage, Need Training Wage

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) was a guest this morning on C-Span's Morning Journal program.  The first question out of the box was about his reaction to President Obama's call to raise the federal minimum wage over the next two years to $9/hour.

Schweikert responded by talking about a game he and his wife like to play.  On Valentine's Day, that sounded like a dangerous opening.

"My wife and I have a little game we play.  It's called 'Think Like An Economist.'  If the President really, really is concerned about, you know, urban unemployment of youth, particularly minority youth, which is just astronomical numbers, you would have thought the proposal would have been for this population, for these urban areas, I'm going to do a training wage, those things necessary to expand employment.  Because we know in the economics models, you know, think like an economist, raising the minimum wage, what, almost 20%, is going to raise their unemployment.  So, look, it's great pandering to the political base, but it's really bad economics."

As noted in this Los Angeles Times article, there ARE a number of economists who are not certain that this is the right time to raise the minimum wage.  The article also points out that the average hourly wage in this country is currently close to $20/hour.

In the 45-minute interview, Schweikert weighed in on many issues, including the gun violence debate ("Time to do policy by facts, not feelings") and the GOP's lack of hoped-for success in last year's elections ("Actually, I lay it out as somewhat of a failure of telling our story").

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