Elizabeth Warren is Very Smart

Given all the sociopaths and crazy people in Congress, it’s comforting to know that Senator Warren is on the job. Especially when we read stuff like this:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a case for increasing the minimum wage last week during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing, in which she cited a study that suggested the federal minimum wage would have stood at nearly $22 an hour today if it had kept up with increased rates in worker productivity.

“If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” she said, speaking to Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage. “So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn’t go to the worker.”

  • Ned F

    Her theoretical argument has lead the Washington Times to proclaim in bold headlines, “Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to raise minimum wage to $22.00/hr.!” Uh huh.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Yeah saw that Ned.
      I was wondering if the intentionally misleading headline would convert some low information rubes to become Warren supporters.

  • Mike Huben

    While I think Warren is great and I’d love to see the minimum wage raised that high, this rhetorical argument makes some bad assumptions. It assumes productivity of minimum wage workers has increased similarly to that of other workers. But it might be that productivity of minimum wage workers is right where it was in 1960. Putting opponents on the spot with hidden assumptions like that is unfair: but perhaps what we need, since it is less unfair than gross inequality.

    • gescove

      Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures productivity – outputs from inputs – in aggregate. The available data don’t lend themselves to specific occupational measures. It’s difficult to even model the contribution by various occupations in a given output. When a factory produces more, how much is attributable to the assembly worker and how much is attributable to the manager? And why then wouldn’t the fruits of increased productivity be equally shared? I don’t think Senator Warren is “hiding” her assumptions. She is arguing from the available facts.

  • Draxiar

    I’m proud to have cast a vote to elect her. We need more like her.