Saturday, June 8, 2013 | 2 a.m.
In response to the op-ed by Dorian T. Warren, “Low-wage workers rebel against modern Gatsby:” Here we have an associate professor of political science as the purveyor of bad economics.
Warren finds it ironic that the Gatsby film displays an era of “excess and greed” while retail and fast-food workers are striking all across the country.
However, the real irony that Warren fails to note is that Gatsby and his excesses wouldn’t have been “great” were it not for government intervention; namely, Prohibition. It was Prohibition that created the black market for alcohol along with organized crime syndicates, and it stands as one of the best examples of failed government policy.
Warren states that low-wage jobs have fueled the growth in CEO pay. This is a completely ludicrous statement.
Capitalism is not a zero-sum game. Whether Warren or anyone else believes it, wage rates are predominately determined by the supply and demand for labor.
What is most disturbing is that he goes on to promulgate the continuing and destructive myth that low wages are dragging the economy down, and the notion that labor unions and a $15 minimum wage would help small businesses and create jobs. Increased union activity along with wage and price rigidity is what drove unemployment to nearly 25 percent in the 1930s.
What most people fail to understand is that the problem is not with low wages. The problem is with the purchasing power of those wages. Therefore, we need to address the real problem: the increasing burden of our federal government and the inflationist monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.