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On Other Blogs Today: Conservatives Discover Income Inequality

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By Erica C. Barnett March 14, 2014


1. The Washington Policy Center, a libertarian think tank, has developed a newfound interest in the plight of the working poor (and knowledge of the concept of "regressive taxes) in the past few days.

First, the group laments that a proposed vehicle license fee and sales tax increase to preserve King County Metro transit service will "punish the poor" because flat license fees and sales taxes cost lower-income people more, as a percentage of their car values and income, respectively, than they cost wealthier individuals. 

Would've been nice, of course, to hear conservative voices making this case alongside their extremely vocal liberal counterparts during the past legislative session, when lawmakers in the Republican-dominated senate failed to pass a transportation package that would have given the county the option of passing a progressive motor-vehicle excise tax, which is indexed to the value of a person's car (meaning that someone who drives a new Escalade pays more than someone who drives a used Focus).

2. Meanwhile, the WPC also bemoans the fact (according to a study concluding that higher wages help adult low-income workers but slightly depress teen employment) that the "negative efffects" of a higher minimum wage fall "hardest on young workers." Adult workers (who make up the bulk of minimum-wage employees, according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute) benefit from higher wages.

The Washington Policy Center's new logo?

It's pretty rich to hear a group that has complained vociferously that minimum-wage workers are mostly selfish, unskilled teens looking for a little extra pocket cash turning around and complaining even more vociferously that higher minimum wages primarily benefit adults trying to make ends meet. 

We welcome our conservative brothers and sisters to the income-inequality club! Perhaps a post on the need for universal health care will be next?


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