RUSH: Let's go to San Diego. We'll start with Sean. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: (Unintelligible) tell (unintelligible)
RUSH: Shh. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh. Hang on, folks. Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. Snerdley, where's the caller? We said hello to the caller five minutes ago. Is anybody there? Hello? Testing. One, two, three.
RUSH: Yeah, hello.
CALLER: Am I on?
RUSH: Yeah, you're on.
CALLER: Am I really on?
RUSH: We heard everything that you were whispering to your buddies. We heard every word you said to your buddies.
CALLER: Oh, my God. This is embarrassing. I just wanted to tell my friend I was gonna be on the show with you.
RUSH: Well --
CALLER: I'm a long-time listener. I always try to get through and I never get through.
RUSH: Well, here it is. Here's your big showbiz break.
CALLER: This is Sean in San Diego, and I believe those workers at McDonald's and Burger King deserve some more money. The shareholders are getting rich. I watch every day on MarketWatch, and the CEO is getting rich. They're making their profits. They can afford to pair their workers a bit more money. They're not asking for much. They haven't had a raise in 25 years.
RUSH: Really? In 1988, people at McDonald's were making $7.25 an hour?
CALLER: I'm not exactly sure of that, but --
RUSH: Well, that would be important.
CALLER: They're not being paid fairly, Rush.
RUSH: They're not making what?
CALLER: They're not making enough money to even buy themselves a dinner and pay their rent.
RUSH: Well, then why don't they go get a job that does pay that?
CALLER: Maybe 'cause they can't.
RUSH: Why can't they?
CALLER: Probably no other jobs out there in this bad economy.
RUSH: Why? Why aren't there any jobs out there?
CALLER: The Democrats have destroyed this economy. We all know that.
RUSH: Okay. Well, the minimum wage, by the way, back 25 years ago was $3.35 an hour, just to get the number out there. It was not what they're making today. I'll get the inflation calculator out and take a look at it. They're asking for double their current wages. Sean, why doesn't the McDonald's franchise just pay it? You know, why not just give them more money?
CALLER: Oh, that's simple. Greed.
RUSH: Greed? Or is it competition?
CALLER: Why should they if they don't have to and nobody's making them? Government sets the minimum wage, and they don't want to do it.
RUSH: Well, okay. Let's take a look McDonald's, and let's say the McDonald's gives their employees a raise. Let's just say $10 dollars an hour. Would that be enough?
CALLER: No. I don't think so.
CALLER: In Australia, for example, they're making 15-something an hour.
RUSH: In Australia making... Okay.
CALLER: I (unintelligible) website.
RUSH: How about this? How about McDonald's raises everybody to $20 an hour? Would that be enough? Would that be okay?
CALLER: I think that would probably help a lot of people.
RUSH: What about $25 an hour?
CALLER: Managers should probably get at least that. They probably already do.
RUSH: Okay, then what about $30 an hour?
CALLER: If that's the fair market rate.
RUSH: Well, no, that's what $7.25 is.
CALLER: I don't believe that.
RUSH: Yeah, that's why it's $7.25. It's the fair market rate. It's $7.25 not because it's temporary. That's the fair market rate. Let's pay 'em $50 an hour, how about that?
CALLER: $15 an hour.
RUSH: No, $50.
RUSH: Five-oh, $50 an hour. How about that?
CALLER: Yeah. That should be the new fair market rate.
RUSH: Right on. Right? Well, let's keep going, how about $75 an hour, let's pay 'em $75 an hour.
CALLER: Where you going with this?
RUSH: Well, I want to know whether you agree with $75. I'm not going anywhere with it. If $50 is good, $60 would be better, right?
CALLER: Well, yeah.
RUSH: What about $75 an hour?
CALLER: Where you going with this, though? I don't understand.
RUSH: Okay. Now I'm detecting $75 an hour, you think might be too much, right?
CALLER: Well, I thought it was probably too much at $50 an hour.
RUSH: Okay. You thought $50 an hour was too much. Why?
CALLER: I'm not sure. Well, it is amount of money anyway.
RUSH: Sean? Sean, one thing. I'm not trying to trick you. I'm not playing a trick on you here. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not taking you anywhere. I don't want you misunderstand. But my point is that you have just said $50, more than that doesn't make any sense, right?
CALLER: I think the workers wanted $15 an hour, and that's what seems fair to me, not 50.
RUSH: Okay, but if $15 is fair, how about $20? And you agreed, and then he said how about $30.
CALLER: Certain workers, yeah. The management style.
RUSH: Okay, so you want to equal what management's making? You want no delineation?
CALLER: No, I think the entry-level should be $15.
RUSH: That's what I asked, "How about $20?" Why shouldn't the entry-level be $20? If $15 is good, $20 would be better. Why shouldn't the entry-level be $20 an hour? The point, Sean, is that you just said that $7.25 isn't the market price, and it is. That $7.25 an hour is what it requires for McDonald's to be fully staffed. There are people who will work for that, and therefore that sets the wage scale. Now, $10 would be better.
Yeah, you can keep raising it, but at some point, everybody who believes in a minimum wage will say, "No, wait a minute. That's too much," and at that point, you have demonstrated that that there's no market relationship. You're just talking emotion. You're just talking "fairness." You're just talking being nice, and that's not how the market works. People aren't paid a wage because they're being nice to, or because it's fair. In the market, the market rules. You can control it all you want, you could add arbitrary numbers on it all you want, and all you're doing is delaying the inevitable.
The market will always win and will always rule, because it is the market.
RUSH: Hey, Sean? I know you're still out there in San Diego. Are you willing to pay $10 for a Big Mac so that the entry-level wage is $15 an hour? Are you willing to pay that much for a Big Mac and three bucks for an order of fries?
RUSH: Look, this thing with McDonald's, I'm glad that I got the call from Sean. It's time for another teachable moment. There have been plenty of these over 25 years, but we haven't done this one in a while, and in 25 years, the cycle starts to repeat. Young people who have not been taught things need to hear them again, and even though I might be blue in the face saying things over and over again -- some of you might be blue in the face hearing them over and over again -- we must understand.
To a lot of people, what I'm going to say next and what I did start to say with Sean is the first time that they've heard any of this. The people who say, "Hey, $7.25 is unfair! That's not fair. They need at least $10, $15. It isn't fair," don't have any idea how the market works. They're not taught how the market works -- and if you don't like $7.25 an hour, then go work somewhere else. If you're not qualified to earn more than that, then go get qualified. That's how things work.
Businesses do not exist like the government does.
Businesses are not entitlements.
Employers are not buying your support or your loyalty. They're buying your work, and they're paying what the market says it's worth, and the market is determined by a lot more than just them. Now, one thing about this: The protestors, and even Sean, who called in, is citing Australia. I don't know if you've noticed this, but they're all talking and citing Australia. Saying Australia, "Well, the minimum wage in Australia is $15!"
Well, guess what?
That is not the minimum wage for young adults.
You know what the minimum wage for young adults in a McDonald's is in Australia? It's $8 an hour. It's not $15. But anyway, we're not Australia.
RUSH: Teachable moment, market economics. As much as Obama wants to socialize everything and make everybody equal in terms of their outcomes, it hasn't happened yesterday, and he's never going to be able to fully do it. If you are a Millennial, if you're a teenager, I don't care who you are, there are certain facts of life that have not changed and aren't going to change no matter how much you want them to.
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?
When you buy a meal and you pay a fair price for it, are you doing this to ensure that the employees get health care? When you walk into Mickey D's and you buy a Big Mac, do you ask them, "By the way, is this thing costing enough so that you get health care here? By the way, is this Big Mac costing enough so that you get a pension here?" Do you think any of that when you go buy a Big Mac? No. You want it to be as cheap as it can be. That's why you're there.
Am I right?
Plus it's fast.
Do you walk in to Mickey D's and say, "Look, double the price of my Happy Meal. I want to pay double the price for my hamburger and my french fries and my soda and my cheap little cookie. And, by the way, I want you to double the price for whatever my kids get, and I want you to double the price for whatever my wife orders, and then I want you to go and make sure that the wages and benefits of the people who work here go up"? Do you do any of that? Oh, no!
You -- "you" in general -- will sit around and demand that the evil owner pay a fair wage to people. But when you walk in there, are you making sure you're paying enough for whatever you're buying so that the evil owner can provide all those benefits? Do you do that when you go to Walmart? Do you do that when you buy gasoline at the gas station? When you go to the Dollar Store do you say, "No, no! Close this. I'm not coming back until it's the $2 Store. I'm not paying enough here.
"You can't possibly provide your employees with good benefits if you're not charging me more than what you're charging me." Do you ever do that? Meanwhile, what about the other side of this? The increased cost to the consumer. Many of the people who go to these stores and restaurants are looking for bargains. They themselves are on limited or fixed incomes. They have large families, or they're unemployed. These people are consumers, too. They have weekly budgets, too.
And keep in mind, at the same time the government is intentionally driving up the price of their electricity and their gasoline and their food. "What do you mean intentionally, Mr. Limbaugh?" What do I mean intentionally? Obama's policies are designed to make things more expensive. And even if they're not designed to, they are causing it to happen. You cannot shrink the workforce by nine million jobs, you cannot delay the implementation of new pipelines to get more oil in the country, and not have the price of oil go up.
You cannot attack the coal industry and not expect the price of electricity to go up. Everything this administration is doing is causing prices to go up. Everything. All the while, they tell you it's these evil CEOs and evil Republicans and evil fat cats cheating you. There is a war on the private sector in this country. There is a war on capitalism. There is a war on electricity. There is a war on coal. There is a war on oil. And it's being conducted by the president and his party.
So this is not about compassion, much as you wish it were. It's not about compassion. Because the entire economic impact isn't being considered. If you're sympathetic to somebody at McDonald's getting $15 an hour, you had better be prepared to pay more. You had better go in and volunteer to pay a higher price for your Mickey D's whatever it is, Big Mac, Double Big Mac.
You're protesting McDonald's, Burger King or what have you. But you don't do that, do you? You're looking for the lowest price you can get. You want the compassion to all come from the evil owner. You don't want to participate in the compassion. You want to sit around and beat the drums and say you hope people get treated fairly, but you don't want to be in the equation necessary to make it happen. This is what I love about liberals.
That's why I say it's the most gutless choice you can make.
All you gotta do is sit there and whine and moan and demand and talk about all the unfairness in the world but never do a damn thing about it. Always demand somebody else do it. Always demand somebody else take the issue on by the reins or also claim that nobody else cares like you do. But the economy is push-pull. It's a two-way and often multi-way street. Then, may I dare say, there is the issue of private property rights.
You know, people go into business, or invest in businesses to improve their own lives and that of their families. They are pursuing the American dream, and this is how we expand an economy. People go into business. They invest in businesses. This is how we create opportunity. This is how we create jobs. It doesn't come from the government. It comes from individuals taking risks or behaving in ways to improve their own lot in life.
That is not greed.
That is self-interest, and it benefits everybody when there's a payoff.
There's a huge difference in greed and selfishness and self-interest, and a guy who goes into business or invests in a business to improve his own life is engaging in his own self-interest, and it's not his responsibility to also take care of you. If he has a business, his responsibility is to make sure it stays open, and the only way that can happen is if he makes a profit.
But then if he becomes successful, then we get nutcases like Elizabeth Warren telling him he didn't build it, and Obama then echoes her. "You didn't build that! You didn't build that! The road to get people to your place, we built that!" So there is an all-out assault on individual achievement and entrepreneurism and risk-taking, and when you let Democrats run the show, success is gonna be punished, because it's not fair. That's what we're living today, folks.
That's why there is a malaise and a depression. It's because the American dream is being snuffed out. Success now has a stigma. It's unfair, it's mean-spirited. And besides that you didn't really do it. "The government did it; taxpayers did it. You don't deserve a profit! Somebody at McDonald's isn't happy with $7.25 an hour and they want $15, give it to them! It's only fair!" But that's not how you create opportunity and jobs.
It's not how you grow wages and benefits.
It's not how you create life improving and-lifesaving products.
The government doesn't know how to do that! They're not interested in it. They don't do it. All they do is destroy that. The government cannot create wealth, but they are experts at destroying it. We expand the economy and economic opportunity by the processes I have just described. So many of these liberals act as if working the fry machine at a fast-food restaurant is the glass ceiling. That's it.
"If you're working the fry machine, if you're flipping the burgers or if you're at the counter, that's it. That's the end of your days working. That's the highest you're gonna go -- and, so, if that's the highest you're gonna go, we gotta make sure you have a livable wage." But it's not the highest you're gonna go. You're gonna leave that job behind you as you get experience, as you discover what you want to do, what you love.
But everybody's gonna have an entry-level job in their resume. Some people may have five or six. You may be fired three or four times along the way. But somehow, to the left, the hamburger-flipper has reached the top. Let's not forget what Dr. King said. Street sweeper? If that's your lot in life, be the best damn street sweeper there is! His point was that there's virtue in every job, virtue in every work -- and the only way to get better work is to be excellent at what you're doing now.
Not a whining, complaining boob running around whining and moaning about unfairness. But if you're the fry cook at a fast-food restaurant, why, I guess, that's your glass ceiling. I thought liberals opposed the glass ceiling. Yet that's all they see. That's all they promote: Glass ceilings. But capitalism? Capitalism, freedom, liberty, be the best you can be, doing what you want? That's what breaks glass ceilings.
It doesn't know discrimination. It doesn't know any limits. It's about success. That's the defining characteristic of capitalism: Success. Sure, you're gonna run into cheats and charlatans along the way just like you will in any walk of life anywhere you go. You overcome it. You deal with it. It's called life, and everybody faces it, and you cannot legislate that out of life. You can't legislate risk out of life, and you can't write failure out of life.
And you can't write pain out of life. But the Democrat Party can write and legislate success out of your life if you let them. They need a permanent underclass of dependent people. Do not be one of them! Capitalism equals success, fulfillment, and growth, which leads to more of the same -- and it spreads throughout society. It isn't theoretical, either. You have a world in which authoritarianism exists and capitalism exists. The latter works. The previous doesn't.
RUSH: All that I just said, ladies and gentlemen, is not theoretical.
We live it. We have a world in which authoritarianism exists and in which capitalism exists. The latter works. Do you know there's an economic boom going on in this country right now in North Dakota and Texas? Do you know what's causing it? Fracking, finding oil a new way. Obama can't stop it. He wants to, but he can't stop it. It is a living, breathing, textbook example of how does entire country's economy can be revived, with jobs created out the wazoo.
The states are the laboratories that counter what is happening in Washington under the leadership of Obama and the Democrats. Capitalism works. It created the world's lone, greatest superpower in human history. Authoritarianism does not work. It never has. It doesn't and hasn't worked in Cuba, in China, in the old Soviet Union, anywhere. Everywhere it's been tried, it fails dismally. There is no group of people that can make it fair; there's no group of people that can make it work.
Today modern Democrats are no better than any of the other failures who have tried socialism or authoritarianism in the past. We live in a free country. And yet so many people insist on being treated as if we don't. So many people would rather be dependent, demanding the government force people to pay more, force people to pay -- be it wages for a hamburger flipper or anything else. It's not about growth and opportunity; it's about the iron fist that some people would rather have the government use at their disposal on other people.
RUSH: Just one more thing, since the minimum wage is up again -- and, folks, I know that the vast majority of you in this audience (because of your long-time, long-term listenership) understand this. But again I ask your indulgence. Because as you know, that are new people tuning in each day, many of them hearing some of this for the first time. So right now, the left is back on its minimum wage kick.
By the way, this is while they're trying to distract people from what Obama's competence is with Syria, and while everybody's looking that Obama is ordering new executive orders on gun control. You know what I think? Why doesn't Obama just issue an executive order canceling the Constitution? He's trying to do that with the Second Amendment. I mean, he pivoted from the Martin Luther King 50th anniversary event yesterday.
And he's gone full bore right into gun control again, and trying -- via executive orders -- to further limit the Second Amendment and your right to bear arms. I've got the details here coming up. But the minimum wage. One of the points I was trying to make with our first caller, Sean, is he said that $7.25 is not fair. It needs to be at least $15. I said, "Okay, why not $20?" "Yeah, that's cool." I got him all the way up to $50 an hour, and he said, "Ah, maybe it's too much."
No matter who supports a minimum wage increase, try this with 'em. You can always reach a level where even they will say it's too much. Then you'll own them. When, in Sean's case, he said no to $50, I asked, "Well, I don't get it. Why is $50 too much?" They know they've been caught, and they don't really want to answer the question at that point. But the reason that he thought $50 was too much is 'cause the work isn't worth that, and then you realize that the whole movement isn't about the value of work.
It's about some emotional, feel-good factor that has nothing to do with market economics. There ought not be a minimum wage. The minimum wage kills jobs, and every time you say that to people that don't understand it, they think that you are a hateful person who doesn't like the poor. Because they think the minimum wage is an entitlement program, and they think the minimum wage is a compassion program, and it's not.
The minimum wage has nothing to do with economics. The minimum wage is the Democrat Party's attempt, and anybody else that signed on to it, to make people think they care about them. But it's entirely arbitrary. They get $7.25 an hour for what? There are some jobs that aren't worth that. The White House interns don't make anything! Did you know Obama doesn't pay his interns anything?
Why aren't people protesting that? And there are a lot of them. There are a lot of White House interns. They're told, "You do it for the experience. You do it because of what you're gonna learn. You do it because of the people you're gonna meet." But somehow when it comes to McDonald's, there's no such thing as internships, and $7.25 is too low. But $50 is too much? Well, then, you admit that any figure is arbitrary and unrelated to market economics.
Labor, the price or cost of labor is based on what somebody will work for. Sad to say. Have you ever heard the term, "what somebody is worth"? You need to be paid what you're worth. How is that determined? Your worth is what somebody else agrees to pay you, and if you want to get your wealth -- or your worth up -- you better make yourself valuable to somebody. Here's a real-world example. When I was 28, I thought that I had failed at radio as a deejay.
So by hook and crook, I got a job in sales, ticket sales at the Kansas City Royals. It paid $12,000 a year. At age 28. That's 1979, I'm making $12,000 a year. That wasn't very fair. I mean, players were making millions; the management there had company cars. I couldn't afford my house payment and food in the same two week period. I had no business owning a house, but that's another story. It wasn't really a house. It was a shack, but I had no business owning that.
If they woulda just paid me $5,000 more for $17,000, it woulda made such a difference. But they didn't, and you know why? Because there were people who woulda done what I was doing for $10,000 a year, because it's a groupie job. Professional sports teams, you wouldn't believe the people they attract. (interruption) Team doctors? Well, not team doctor, but doctors will offer to do the job for nothing.
And so the job was worth, to the people paying me, $12,000. (interruption) Ah, I might have been mad at 'em, but it was business. It's just the way it is. There was no requirement that they be fair or nice based on my circumstance. Now, if I ended up there doing work that was really valuable to 'em, that $12,000 would have gotten higher. That's how it works. And you're always gonna run into bad bosses. Everybody's gonna run into unfair bosses.
You can't avoid these things, and there's no politician and there's no political that can eliminate any of that, and there's no government that can make it fair. You know, life is Leif, and we all have self-determination -- and Martin Luther King understood it. Whatever you're doing, whatever it is, if you try to be better at it than anybody else, you're not gonna be doing that long. You're gonna move up. Now there are young people who expect instantaneous success because they see it.
That $12,000 in 1979 is the equivalent to $38,000 today, so says the old inflation calculator. I made $12,000 a year. It wasn't much, but that's what it was worth. It was a new job. They'd never had the job before. They didn't know what it would pay, and there was no such thing as commissions for selling tickets. I asked them about it. They said, "Well, if we give you a commission, then don't we have to give the player who hits a home run the night before a commission on additional tickets sold the next night if we win the game?
"How are we gonna do this commission business? No, here's what the salary is: 12 grand. Take it or leave it. No commissions." Okay. I ended up getting a $1,000 raise every year, so when I left I was making $17,000. It's just the way it is. I was mad about it, and I wasn't happy about it, and it's why I eventually left. I don't like using myself 'cause it's the old fogey, old fuddy-duddy thing. But economics, it's one of the most intriguing subjects because when it is properly explained to you, it is just common sense simple.
But it's complicated at the same time. The common sense simplicity doesn't occur 'til somebody explains it to you. Economics, free market economics has to be explained. These people protesting for doubling the minimum wage at McDonald's? Like I said, do you think they walk in there and ask for the price of their Big Mac to be doubled so that the employees can get a higher raise? No. They don't. They think jobs are just another government thing handing out benefits.
They think the purpose of a business is to provide jobs in the community and health care, and it isn't. So Americans today are down in the dumps, thinking that the best days are behind us, thinking the American dream is over -- and if there's no American dream, there's no America. That's a uniquely American thing, the American Dream. We never heard about the Soviet Union Dream, and we don't hear about the ChiCom Cream, and we don't hear about Cuban Dream.
But there's always been an American Dream, and if there is no American Dream, there isn't any America. But there's still an America, and there's still an American Dream. A lot of people are out there doing it. But a lot of people have been talked out of trying. A lot of people have been depressed, made to believe that it's not possible, and so they've lost faith. And they're depressed, and they're ticked off, and all of it's understandable.
But they need not have lost faith in the country. The country's still there. The country's still capable. The country is still free. The country's still filled with opportunity. But we're led by a bunch of people who don't believe that, who have never believed that this country was just and moral. They have never believed that this country was legitimate. It was an accident, it was a coincidence, and only now are people finding out what the real America is like.
Only now are Americans finding out what it's really like for everybody else in the world.
The American Dream, American greatness, American prosperity?
That only happened, in Obama's view, because we stole and pilfered from the other peoples and nations of the world. "We didn't really build anything here. We stole it, after going to war and defeating people." It's a perverted, corrupt, near criminal opinion that they have -- and it's a disservice to every American that they attempt to govern and lead with the set of beliefs that they hold -- and the sooner these policies are erased, the sooner these policies are replaced, the better off everybody is going to be.
RUSH: Now, an employee's worth to somebody is different from employer to employer. Some employers don't want turnover. They don't want to deal with it, don't want the distraction. So they find people they like and they may pay them above market, may pay them more than is necessary, may pay them higher than what the standard is for that business. But there's a reason that's happening, and that is the value of not having the person leave.
There's all kinds of reasons that people get paid what they get paid. There are all kinds of employers. There are all kinds of businesses. There's all kinds of opportunity. It's not a zero-sum game, and there is not only one way to earn a living. There's not only one way that employers pay what they pay. Employers value their employees and maybe every employee has a different value. It all is different.
I'll tell you, it's cutthroat, too.
Capitalism is a cutthroat, competitive thing.
There's no two ways about it.
It is what it is, and that's not bad. I don't mean to say that that's bad.