The real history behind the minimum wage (HINT: It involves progressives and eugenics)

Using his pen and phone strategy, President Obama passed an executive action raising the minimum wage for government contractors to $10.10 an hour. During the State of the Union, the President expressed his desire for Congress to follow suit and raise the federal minimum wage in kind. So where did the idea of a minimum wage come from? On radio this morning, Glenn and Stu laid out the history of the minimum wage… though you probably have a pretty good idea already.

“I want to show you how history absolutely repeats itself. And it repeats itself until somebody says, ‘Wait a minute. Hold it just a second. Water will certainly wet us. Fire will certainly burn,’” Glenn said. “As long as you allow people to say, ‘Shut up, you’re not allowed to say that,’ history will repeat itself. And history repeats itself in the worst possible ways.”

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If the minimum wage actually worked, it would be a job creator. It is not. In fact, it destroys jobs.

“What happens with the minimum wage? There are some jobs that are only worth a certain amount of money. It’s not worth paying somebody $15 an hour to come here and lick stamps. It’s just not worth it,” Glenn explained. “So what does that mean? A, it means your life becomes for miserable. You have to spend more time because the company has to now dump all that work you on, because they can no longer afford to have somebody do that task at this price. Now, if the company says, ‘We’re just going to have to outsource it,’ then they outsource it to somebody they will pay much, much, less in Mexico or in India, so that job is gone.”

So where did the concept originate from?

“Well, they very clearly had an idea to get rid of the lower classes – a sort of Eugenic way to get rid of people who are inferior,” Stu explained. “They would price them out of the labor market so they wouldn’t have jobs.”

Sidney Webb, English economist and co-Founder of the Fabian Society in the early 1900s, believed that establishing a minimum wage above the value of “the unemployables” as he called them, would lock them out of the market thus eliminating them as a class.

“Of all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites the most ruinous to the community is to allow them unrestrainedly to compete as wage earners,” Webb said.

That was actually a common sentiment in America at the time. in America shared this belief as well. Around the same time, a Princeton economist said this:

“It is much better to enact a minimum-wage law even if it deprives these unfortunates of work… better that the state should support the inefficient wholly and prevent the multiplication of the breed than subsidize incompetence and unthrift, enabling them to bring forth more of their kind.”

Who was that Princeton economist? Royal Meeker, U.S. Commissioner of Labor, under Woodrow Wilson.

Doesn’t all make so much more sense now?

There is another aspect to the minimum wage that is equally important. A hike in the minimum wage isn’t just a hike in the minimum wage. It’s a hike in the union wage. And a hike in the union wage means more votes for the Democratic Party. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“And the other part of this, which I think is just as bad because I kind of had this disconnect my whole life with minimum wage,” Stu said. “They want to make it as a political issue, but why do they care? Why do unions support it so much?”

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union explained the relation:

“Often times, union contracts are triggered to implement wage hikes in the case of minimum wage increases… such increases are one of the many advantages of being a union member.”

“ A hike in the minimum wage is not just a hike in the minimum wage. It’s a hike in the union wage, and that’s one of the reasons that they never talk with it, why the Democrats love this so much,” Stu continued. “They’re pumping tons of dues and eventually campaign cash into their own campaigns by raising the minimum wage. It hikes up the union wages.”

“There’s the truth,” Glenn concluded. “And history repeats itself. And we’re going to complete the cycle.”

Stu had a more in-depth explanation on last week’s Wonderful World of Stu. Check out the monologue below:

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Front page image courtesy of the AP

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get it, this morons (Glenn, Stu, Pat) are against minimum wage because it only effects 1% of labor force, but then Stu says if effects wages in the unions… so it effects more people than 1%… this just invalidates their first argument, and makes clear what they afraid of: a rise in union wages and consolidation of democratic party voters… so who here has disingenuous purposes? Who here is ready to throw low earning people under the bus so they can have a little bit more of political power?

    • Revan

      And then their is reality.

    • Deacon Davis

      I really don’t know what you watched but you missed the entire point of these arguments.

      • landofaahs

        Union contracts with government ties will increase the costs in municipalities and states. They are mostly headed for bankruptcy as it is. This ought to complete it. But the whole world of debt is a black hole that can only be remedied by major defaults across the spectrum of investments and or the destruction of paper currencies and then the collapse. Either way the die is cast. Gold and silver are good investments but if you have the money and knowledge of gems, they would be my preference. But, nothing is safe when libtards are in control.

    • Anonymous

      I think you can stop with “I don’t get it….” It’s apparent.

    • Comatose

      You lost me @ %1. Please explain enlightened one how the inevitable result of less jobs and transferring inflation to third world countries only effects %1 of the population.

      • Anonymous

        Huh? It’s Stu that says increasing the minimum wage effects only 1% of the labor force, just to contradict himself saying it will also raise union wages… I don’t get what you don’t get…

    • Fior Gael

      What I heard was that the proponents of the minimum wage wanted those affected to be wholly cared for by the state. Watch again and listen to the part where they want to eliminate the “inefficients” by controlling them completely and “eliminating the “breed”. If that is not throwing lower classes under the bus I cannot see it.
      The minimum wage does not encourage anything but sending low value jobs overseas. The union thing seems to me to be a trickle up to the contracts of unions where their members are supposed to make x amount more than minimum wage…but I do not know that for certain.

      • Anonymous

        Well, your argument assumes that the connection Beck is making of the present minimum wage policy with the very old and past speeches of people long gone, then yes, that would be the case. Now, that assumption is very far fetched.

        • Fior Gael

          Really. The pseudo-intellectual approach of bait and switch and smoke and mirrors and the Jedi mind trick “these are not the droids you are looking for…” making bad things seem good and good things seem bad is pure progressive agenda. That agenda that I have seen unfold in my lifetime is the undoing of our inspired and worthy experiment in government, all the right values, i.e. moral values by which our constitution was created. Our country is doomed to repeat the histories of great societies who declined to moral depravity. Our country is going the same way. It is not an assumption in my argument, it is an observation that coincides with what Glenn and the boys point out in the video. Sad. Truly sad.

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, horrible hateful video.

  • Fat Lip

    Minimum doesn’t that give anyone a clue?

  • landofaahs

    If you make $12 an hour then that makes you just $1.90 from being a minimum wage earner. It’s really a way to make those who cannot pass along those increases minimum wage employees. But on the positive side, minimum wage earners will finally be paying some taxes just because they jump into a higher income bracket. But look on an even brighter side, many more will be on unemployment and welfare as the burgerbots go on line. LOL

  • James Dean

    Brilliant Presentation

  • Anonymous

    Minimum wage jobs were never meant to support a family or be career track positions. Many of these jobs are held by teenagers and other non-skilled people as a stepping stone to better jobs. Businesses who are forced to pay inflated minimum wages will cut hours, decline to hire or let existing employees go and figure out another way to get the job done. Minimum wage mandates do not create jobs, but do exactly the opposite.

    • Anonymous

      less then 1/10th of one percent of those earning minimum wage are people who are trying to feed a family on that income alone. acording the labor bureau

      • Fior Gael

        Then why the fuss? Is that like the argument on abortion in case of rape or incest? Similar stats?

      • Anonymous

        I say your stat is b.s.

  • SL
  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t dwell too much on this executive order of Obama’s. It is strictly political grandstanding. Gov contract workers make more than $10.10 an hour and if there are any workers that make less that that than it would be a small percentage.


    If you think the people who make Big Macs should make $10.09 an hour, consider this: do you want to pay $20.18 for that same Big Mac?

  • Richard

    The minimum wage falls back on the “debasing” of the currency by the fed. (More progressive policies) it’s a never ending game of musical chairs where those left out.. DIE. Increase the buying power of the dollar and the minimum wage is not needed.

  • BlueMN

    Wow, Beck really has a hard on for Woodrow Wilson! Since Beck’s own anarcho-capitalism seems to favor letting the poor die in the streets anyway, the reason he’s giving for opposing the minimum wage can’t be the real reason, unless Beck is a real hypocrite of some kind. Haha!

    Let’s see, Woodrow Wilson… 14 Points, League of Nations, 8-hour work days, supported women’s suffrage, kept us out of WWI until German U-boats started sinking cruise liners, tried to restrict child labor but the conservative Supreme Court wouldn’t let him… Hmm…

    Oh here we go! He passed the Clayton Antitrust Act which outlawed monopolies, cartels and trusts, protecting consumers and small businesses! No wonder he hates him!

    • Anonymous

      Here’s some more pictures

    • Anonymous

      The democrats voted against women’s sufferage. When the amendment passed the Senate, in 1919, it passed mainly with the support of Republicans. At the time, the Democrats, who were strongest in the South, were the more socially conservative party. The vote was 36 Republicans for the amendment, and 8 against. Twenty Democrats voted aye, with 17 opposed. Democratic legislatures in eight Southern states rejected the amendment.

      The first two are suffragettes protesting Wilson. The last is an 1876 political poster for the Democrat party.

  • Anonymous

    Seems to me that if you were working 40 hours at $7.25 per hour, and now you can’t get a full time job, so you’re cut to 29 hours at $10.10, with the increase of the minimum wage, you’ll end up with more money and more free time! So, now I want MY wages increased in proportion to the minimum wage, so I can cut back my hours, too! That’s only fair!

  • Fior Gael

    So that is why the minimum wage is so popular. It is the perfect bait and switch. Those with no skills have the carrot of “more money for the same unskilled work” dangled in front of them and those who promise more for less get elected, looking like real heroes to the masses with no skills. The bit about the union wages going up keeps the plot thickening to keep the liberal voting base intact to further the progressive agenda.
    Look like a hero and Jobs go out of the country because they are not worth paying minimum wage to lose one’s ability to compete in an avaricious domestic market.
    Sad. So sad. The plan that had been working for about 130 years started to be taken apart in 1914. Right in front of our eyes.

    • NPettinato14

      Since the Republicans and Dems are artificially inflating our population via immigration, we have no way to compete for jobs. Were there no minimum, you’d see fast food jobs at only $1.00/hour, like they are in Mexico. There’s a country with either no minimum wage or practically none, as it applies mainly for skilled labor.

      My question to you is: Can you find a country with no minimum wage which has a high standard of living? It’s not like 100% of the population can get masters degrees and become engineers. SOMEONE needs to do hard labor and we just don’t have enough high schoolers and senior citizens to fill millions of manufacturing and service-type jobs. If corporations had their way, they’d pay them nothing at all. That doesn’t mean price HAS to drop; it means that ONE person at the top makes that much more money. :)

      Now, prove me wrong. Not with platitudes, but show me some cases where the absence of a minimum wage created a better living standard and I’ll agree.

      • Fior Gael

        I see your point. I refer you to Andrew Carnegie: he would have, and may have, for a time, worked his workers 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for nearly nothing. Then we spawned labor unions, then General motors was bled dead (according to them).

        The greed of business owners forced someone to step in and do the right thing…i am not certain the minimum wage is the answer, though.

        Not everyone can get a good job. We are all endowed by our Creator with certain talents and capacities. Not everyone should go to college. Not everyone can be a Navy Seal. Education is a process of discerning who is capable of doing what. If one blows off school and does not learn how to live in the world morally and legally, one is at the mercy of the marketplace. Society pays more for someone who contributes more to the advancement of the society. (why do politicians make so much money?)

        Raising the minimum wage take money out of the small business owner’s pocket and puts it into his employee’s pocket, even though the employee does no more work and continues in the same job. This is not how business works.

  • Anonymous

    Our President obama is creating huge swings in the pendulum of incentives not to work in obama utopia and incentive to work to advance his progressive agenda to turn our country into third world police state dictatorship !! For every action there is a equal reaction !!!! To the workers remaining why work 40 hours or more to get ahead, or make 100% good effort while on the job, or don’t care in doing sloppy work. Because obama leeches will get everything with his freebies, less stress,more fun time and don’t have to work !!! List of freebie obama phone,food stamps ,obama money,obama housing,obama electric, obama heating, free obama care why work ?????? In obama care what he going do force doctors to work longer hours,at less pay per hour,treat more patient per hour, do not have the right to retire or change their profession,more taxes at higher rates this will petain to all workers to share the wealth equally !!! ???? Now when you have too many leeches and more more people leaving the work force they’re are not going be suckers for obama and his minions of leeches the pendulum will swing the other way hard for the progressive collective !!! Now for leeches who were so greedy they weren’t happy with the golden eggs ( Freebies ) keep asking and wanting more more obama giving it to them they will kill the golden goose (the middle class workers) !! I put it in simple words for the leeches to understand !! Now obama will say everyone must share the work equally ,he will dictate where you live & work, what type of work ,at what pay ,how many hours , and no talk back from his expendables cogs or be no more at his whims!! For the don’t care to work leeches & workers obama will tell you to work as I say or go starve to death and no freebie’s at all or force you into a work camp that you will never return from for good of the collective !! For the retire workers who not sharing the work effort equally go take a pain killer and die for the good of the collective!!! This is the most possible ending scenario to obama false utopia of no one needs to work just to get votes for him and his progressive agenda !! In the end he must force someone to work or his leeches won’t get their freebies !!!!!!!!!!!! . In the end he will be throwing his voting block of leeches under the bus to work or else for the good of the collective!!! This is a bad ending for everyone except for the royal elites of obama and his progressive cronies !!! Welcome to government like China,Russia, North Korea ,Nazi Germany where they kill millions of their own people for the good of the collective this is what U.S becoming under obama !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FitNTX

    There are a lot of truths in this article/videos, but it is based on the assumption that raising the minimum wage affects ONLY the minimum wage makers. The fact is that it will affect all wages, less so the more someone makes, but it does affect nonetheless. I work a night job to make extra money, and work with plenty of people who are trying to live/raise a family on $10 an hour which is above minimum wage, but ridiculously low for the cost of living in our country. I do think raising the minimum wage too quickly can destroy jobs, but not raising it often enough will just put more money into the wealthier individual’s pockets in company profits and bonuses.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    All the arguments for defeating your liberal teachers and professors:

  • Anonymous

    On one hand, raising the minimum wage will urge companies to become more efficient by requiring less labor, just as global competition and the recession has. Beyond achievable efficiencies, raising the minimum wage would pass the increased price of services to consumers. I don’t think raising minimum wage would effect manufacturing sector as much since global labor rates will keep prices low.

    On the other hand, not raising the minimum wage would keep the lowest educated people in poverty as prices rise from inflation, increasing the already wide gap between rich and poor. The lowest paid portion of our economy is expanding as you see people who have aged-out of middle-class jobs settle in McDonalds and Walmart type jobs. This is a very disheartening trend.

  • Cathy

    Ok This article was written so badly it was hard to decipher. So many typos it’s like they did it with voice recognition and didn’t reread the article I’m not usually critical on spelling or grammar but this article was full of mistakes. Just a heads up to anyone in charge, to reread before posting an article.

  • John S

    The problem is $10 is not very good, but I have to say most adult full time jobs pay more then $10 already. Supply and demand most likely has done more to reduce wages then anything else. People need to obtain more skills and education to move up to better pay. Not have the President dictate what your worth . People hire employees for their skills and they pay them what the job is worth and not what the employee needs to make.

  • Harold Zorger

    Wilson was a racist (it can be assumed his cabinet would be like-minded). An actual racist, unlike Obama, who has done nothing to indicate that he believes his race is superior to all others (sorry Glenn, but that is the definition). Wilson also didn’t enact a minimum wage. Minimum wage was instituted to combat sweatshop labor, that would be laissez-faire capitalism in action. Just because racists and eugenicists supported the idea doesn’t mean it originated there.

    “It is a national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions…” Winston Churchill 1906

    “Don’t let a man earning $1,000 a day cry poverty when asked to pay you $11 a week” FDR 1934 (paraphrased).

    You can’t complain about the cost of social programs, and be against raising the minimum wage. Not when people who have jobs, and are trying to work for a living, are below the poverty level, and therefore qualify for subsidies.

    Companies constantly rely on mandatory overtime to squeeze productivity out of underpaid workers. Because it’s cheaper than paying the real cost of additional employees. With higher wages that gap closes. Maybe, just maybe, we can get to a point where it will be more cost effective to hire than to overwork.

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