MAN, WAS it ever a great Unca D blog post! Too bad you can't see it.
The Houston Chronicle came out Sunday for a higher federal minimum wage. All of you who are surprised should go stand over there. It's a very short line.
Anyway, I wrote one of my better essays, if I do say so myself, on the entertainment value of watching leftists -- who fancy themselves as great science fanciers, in contradistinction to the likes of you and me, who are science deniers -- wrestle with . . .
Rarely since columnist Lisa Falkenberg's memorable debate with a Porta-Potty (she lost) has so much hilarity ensued at the Chronicle.
Here's some science from classical economics: Raise the price of something, and you get less demand for it. All else being equal, raise the price of minimum-wage labor, and minimum-wage jobs disappear faster than polar bears on melting ice floes.
The Chronicle wished this away with false jocularity about confusion among economists and false imaginings about a consensus that potential job loss was really not a problem.
Anyway, great essay. Mine, that is. Then just as I was finishing, typepad.com's miserable software crashed.
Oh, well. No time to do it again.
But there's point point that needs salvaging, which is the Chronicle's weird headline: "Uplift the masses."
Hey, guys, nobody says masses any more.
Marx and his crew did, of course, and inspired a lot of really bad newspapers and magazines -- "The Masses," "The New Masses," and so on, which yammered endless about, among other things, the scientific nature of communism.
For variety, the old hard left used proletariat, prole for short.
The evildoers in communism's cosmology were capitalists and the bourgeoisie, known to you and me as you and me. (The Houston Chronicle still hasn't warmed up to us.)
This instinct to hang a label on the people who are not as clever as the label-hangers has a long history, running back to Roman plebians (plebes) and beyond.
The unfortunate, um, shortcomings of communism sent progressives scurrying for a new tag. Common man was quite popular for a while among artists, intellectuals, and progressive politicians.
Henry A. Wallace, the useful idiots' useful idiot, wrote The Century of the Common Man, and all the right people voted for him for president. Copland composed "Fanfare for the Common Man," and all the right people applauded.
Common man is an American ennoblement of the Britsh commoner.
These sorts of labels are decidedly out of fashion these days, supplanted by words that signal victimage, such as -- to snatch a phrase out of the editorial -- hardworking folks at the bottom of the economic ladder.
But masses, that's out, as dead as the tens of millions of people who testify from the grave about the horrors visited upon the masses by the evil men who thought of them as the masses.
One more thing, nobody says uplift either, as in uplift the masses. In a way, that's a pity. The words offer an important insight into the progressive mind, which is that the masses need uplifting but, naturally, are incapable of uplifting themselves.
And who should do all this heavy uplifting? Progressives, of course.
But uplift the masses just doesn't sing, does it? As is so often the case, the best verb is still the old verb. Under the old dispensation, the purpose of the masses, their reason for existence really, is to revolt.
Of course that's old, old, old left theology, except among the Occupysters and those who love them. New, new, new progressives know better: The real function of the masses is to be uplifted by a community organizer from Chicago and his enablers in the press, then to vote en masse for the uplifter.
Their reward: to be uplifted by a higher minimum wage. Never mind the job losses among hardworking -- had they but a job -- folks at the bottom of the economic ladder.