Outside the massive Milwaukee theater, venue of Tuesday’s 4th Republican presidential debate, were the noisy protesters marching for a hike in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. They held up signs chanting “Fight for $15.”
Inside the great hall Donald Trump, who boasts of having a net worth as high as many small nations, is asked by debate moderator Maria Bartaloma of Fox Business News whether he favors raising the minimum wage. Of course the only sane answer to that is no. The government shouldn’t price low-skilled workers out of the job market. And Ben Carson was right that black teens are the frontline victims of the minimum wage. This is economics 101.
Mr. Trump responded by saying “unfortunately no.” If only he had stopped there and moved on to some other subject. Because his reasoning couldn’t have been worse. He told working class Americans “wages are too high” and that’s why we “can’t compete.”
Does Mr. Trump even fathom how hopelessly out-of-touch and callous this makes him sound? A billionaire who flies in a helicopter or a lear jet to work says wages for the little people who drive Mazdas are too high. Was he intentionally trying to chase middle-class blue collar voters into Mother Hillary’s waiting arms?