This morning the nation's most overrated senator, Tom Coburn, explained on "Morning Joe" that he voted against increasing the minimum wage because the "benefit is small [and] the cost of lost jobs is great." He continued:
The fact is, what we have is an economic system on its butt right now because we have poor leadership and poor policy.
Let's put aside that most any economist will tell you that the economy is "on its butt" because its legs--demand--are too weak; thus increasing the minimum wage would increase discretionary spending thus increase demand and thus increase the economy's rate of growth.
Let's do put that aside, because Coburn's 19th-century ignorance of even 20th-century economics is negligible compared to his vertiginous logic. "I don’t believe you ought to interfere in the market!" bellowed Coburn; but, see above, he also believes the economy could be improved by better "leadership"--presumably government's--and better "policy"--again, presumably government's.
Now even Coburn wouldn't suggest a total repeal of government regulations on capitalism's excesses as well as repeal of all assistance to the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, and so on. Consequently his economic policies would retain some government interference in the market. And it's here that Coburn's reductio ad absurdum logic on the minimum wage--"How did they pick $10.10? Why not $22? Why not $100?"--comes flying right back at him. Are Madoffian ponzi schemes and insider trading OK? Are food stamps to be abolished in toto, along with unemployment insurance from unemployed Day One? Child labor laws? Drug regulations? All of these "go against free market principles."
My more basic question, however, remains: How did a clown like you, Mr. Coburn, ever make it to the U.S. Senate? Oh that's right. You serve alongside James Inhofe.