There are few that follow politics that do not understand that the primary political strategy for Republicans going back to the late 1960’s is to convince white “working class” voters that the black people are taking advantage of them. The thinking, I think, is that white people’s taxes would be so much lower if only it wasn’t for those black people getting government subsidies. Those terrible, lazy, criminal, do nothing black people are taking advantage of you and you should vote for Republicans because we are the people who will set things straight.
Republicans are usually better at using dog whistles to let the “right” people understand what they are doing and what policies they support. Fox News mostly is good at putting people on the air that understand the need to say things with winks and nods, and to not say things too plainly. Today former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer told Fox’s Happening Now panel that the minimum wage was just the “black teenage unemployment act.” Check out the video:
Fox Video “Black Teenage Unemployment Act”
Here is a Video posted by Media Matters of Mr. Laffer making the Republican argument regarding the minimum wage.
Partial Video Transcript:
JENNA LEE: One of the things you both agree on is maybe looking at minimum wage, and Art, you have an idea for minimum wage that you think could encourage hiring and it involves state government so what is that plan?
LAFFER: Yeah, well the minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me. I mean, honestly, it’s just the teenage — black teenage unemployment act and this is the very groups that we need to have jobs not be put out of work because of the minimum wage so I’m really very much in favor of at least for teenagers getting rid of the minimum wage so we can bring them back into the labor force, get them the skills they need to continue being productive members of our society for years and years. I mean, that’s the way I’d go on minimum wage.
There are rare moments when Republicans are actually on camera saying things that people believe but can’t prove. Rare that Republicans these days make the mistake of plainly stating the opinions that non-white people are to blame for the bad that is happening in the country. From the time of the New Deal, through President Truman’s time through today the right has had to convince people that the social safety net is a bad deal. Moments of honesty provided by Mr. Laffer on Fox News must be shared so that there can be no question what Republicans think.