Thursday, June 12, 2014

What David Brat Should Have Told MSNBC's Chuck Todd About the Minimum Wage

By Murray Sabrin

Economics professor David Brat is the latest political sensation after his upset victory in the Seventh Congressional District of Virginia primary against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last Tuesday night.   On Wednesday, self-identified free market economist Prof. Brat appeared on MSNBC and was asked by reporter Chuck Todd to discuss his view of the federal minimum wage. Professor Brat  said, "I don't have a well-crafted response on that one."

Rather than avoiding the question Prof. Brat should've stated unequivocally, "I don't support federal laws which increase unemployment among the most least skilled workers in our society, which is what the minimum wage law does. Therefore, I oppose any hike in the minimum wage, and in fact I would advocate its repeal so low skilled workers can get that first job and learn the skills they need so they can become more productive and hence earn a higher wage."

Self-described free-market advocates running for political office should confidently state their positions, which undermine the interventionist views so prevalent among the political class and the media.   Unfortunately, Prof. Brat missed an opportunity to articulate his  free-market bona fides.   Let's see  how he responds to the media and others during the campaign about his free-market positions.

Dr. Murray Sabrin is Professor of Finance at the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He writes at He recently ran for the Republican nomination for US Senator from New Jersey.


  1. I totally agree with you but our media caters to people that let others do their thinking for them and those people think there has to be some sort of minimum. They just don't agree on the amount. Unfortunately, if he gives the correct free market answer, it will be cut into sound bites and then re-purposed by the media and his opponent to re-characterize what he said into something that will make him sound either like a corporate shill or a nut case. This was done to Ron Paul all the time. I think its far better to play their game and either not answer or even lie (like every past President has done) and then once in office, you can act on your real views. I know this is horrible, but doing anything otherwise will almost ensure that you will never be elected.

  2. Mr. Sabin lost his primary and now has zero influence on policy in the US Senate. Why follow his advice?
    Robert Bork made a principled argument that the Commerce Clause had nothing to do with who sat at a lunch counter in alabama and was portrayed as ainti-civil rights by the media. Making a principled argument for a minimum wage of Zero will be portrayed as wanting poor people to work for pennies while executives pile up more bonuses. You have to pick your battles when powerful entrenched interests are against you. The mainstream media has a lot of power. I would focus on less crony capitalism (which seems to be popular with everyone except crony capitalists - a clear minority of people) a simpler tax code (related) and more freedom.

  3. What David Brat actually replied to Chuck Todd:

    Todd: Should there be a minimum wage in your opinion?

    Brat: Ummm...I, I...I don't have a well crafted responses on that one., all I know is if you take the long run graph over two hundred years of the wage rate, it can not differ from your nation's productivity so you can't make up wage rates, right. I would love to for Africa for example. all the children of God to make a hundred dollars an hour, right > I would love just to assert that would be the case, but you can't assert that unless you raise the productivity and then the wage follows...

    Todd: It sounds like you're making the case against a federally mandated minimum wage.

    Brat: I'm just making the case I've just made, You can't artificially make up wage rates, they have to be related to productivity.

  4. The People Struggle to Find and Retain Representation — Paul Craig Roberts

    Dave Brat, a professor of economics at Virginia’s Randolph-Macon College, is a marked man. Professor Brat defeated Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a prime trophy of the Israel Lobby. I doubt that Eric Cantor ever lost an opportunity to place Israel’s interests above the interests of his constituents. Under US laws, Cantor should have been required to register as a foreign agent.

    The Israel Lobby is one of the six powerful interest groups that rule the US. The Israel Lobby has a perfect record of destroying any member of the House or Senate who dared to cross “The Lobby.” A number of its victims have spoken out, describing how The Lobby’s power was used against them.

    Professor Brat’s victory over Cantor is not only an affront to the Israel Lobby but also an assault on its power. The Lobby will not take this lying down. Professor Brat had better not think that the attractive sexy women who suddenly are interested in him are attracted by his new status as a US Representative and a topic of conversation. The irresistible women will be on a well paid mission to cause a scandal.

    Professor Brat can expect to be attacked by “journalists” across the political spectrum with every sort of accusation and scandalous report. He risks a well paid former female student coming forward to complain that while counseling her on her grades, he leaned forward and put his hand on her thigh. Or worse.