Koch’s Idea of “Social Mobility”

Conservatives have long argued against minimum wage laws on grounds that they kills low-end jobs. Still, it’s a bit shocking to hear David Koch, whose net worth is around $47 billion, sanctimoniously argue that we need to eliminate minimum wage laws (along with regulatory conditions on starting or running a business) to help po’ folks, in an interview with the Wichita Eagle (via Think Progress).

We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.

Technically, downward mobility is still mobility, you see. When you shake the money tree, somebody’s got to fall out.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.