Rush Limbaugh tried to shame the striking fast workers, but instead humiliated himself by revealing just how out of touch he is with real America.
Audio clip via Media Matters:
LIMBAUGH: If you want a “living wage,” if you don’t like what fast food restaurants pay, then do something else. It’s just that simple. Go to a trade school. Go to another business. Start your own business. Maybe the work that you are capable of isn’t yet worth $15 an hour at a fast-food restaurant. Maybe the consumer doesn’t want to pay $10 for a Big Mac so that people working at McDonald’s make $15 an hour. It’s not just a one-way strata.
You don’t just sit there and double what the employees at McDonald’s make and keep the prices the same. Now, you may think this is obvious, folks, and you may think, “Come on, Rush,” you’d be amazed at how many people do not understand the push-pull in economics. You’d be amazed at the number of people who have taken economics courses who think that the truth about headaches is that the boss is a cheap skinflint and wants his employees to starve and wants to screw his customers.
That’s the basis of their understanding, and they go from there, and they are applauded by left-wing Democrat politicians for holding that belief, and they’re encouraged to have it. Now, to those of you who, like Sean from San Diego, are sympathetic to this demand for the minimum wage at Mickey D’s to go from $7.15 or $7.25 an hour to $15, let me ask you this: When you buy a meal, do you make sure that you’re paying a fair price for it?
When you walk in there, do you ask the employee, “Look, am I paying enough here so that you can get a livable wage? When you go in and buy a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with cheese or a double Quarter Pounder with cheese, do you look at the price is and say, “Are you sure that this costs enough that you can make a livable wage?” Or do you just get a little upset when you think it’s a little too expensive?
Limbaugh was lecturing fast workers on getting a better job as he sat in his mansion with no clue what it is like to work and survive on minimum wage. Limbaugh’s lecture was centered around a couple of the Republicans favorite falsehoods. Rush was pretending that there are better jobs out there for minimum wage workers.
The whole conservative argument against the working poor is based on the fallacy that there are plenty of great jobs out there. In their view, the problem is that the working poor don’t want to work hard enough to get them. The reality is that Americans enjoy less economic mobility than ever before. In fact, Americans have less economic mobility than Canadians and Western Europeans. America is not only less equal. It is also less mobile.
The second fallacy that people like Limbaugh have embraced and perpetuated is that the working poor want to be poor. People who are working at Walmart and McDonalds want to be working there. They want to be making $7.25 an hour, because they lack the ambition required to be more successful.
This fairy tale was embraced by Mitt Romney in 2012. It is a Republican favorite, because it gives them the ability to blame the poor for their own plight.
Republicans continue to use blaming and shaming of the working poor to justify their opposition to increasing the minimum wage, healthcare reform, tax cuts and credits that specifically go to the working class, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and any other program that benefits lower wage earners.
Limbaugh revived all of the old scare tactics about how raising the minimum wage would increase prices for consumers, but the American people are catching on. With Republican policies forcing more and more people to earn less and less, the receptive audience for the conservative anti-minimum wage increase message is dwindling.
Rush Limbaugh didn’t succeed in blaming and shaming the striking fast food workers. He humiliated himself by demonstrating how out of touch he is with what is really happening in this country.
Limbaugh is Mitt Romney with a golden microphone.
He can’t talk about the real America, because he has no idea what is happening there. He is an alien from another universe who gets paid absurd sums of money to keep a small contingent of Americans blind to reality.
As struggling workers bravely strike in the name of the American Dream, Rush Limbaugh revealed that he is not one of us. He is a parasite sucking off the dark underbelly of America’s worst impulses.
He is a national shame.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association