Been a busy morning for a little socialist evangelising on the Today programme. Earlier we had a charming item on the minimum wage postulating the theory that it has reduced in real terms over the past number of years because it has not always kept up with inflation. The focus of the interview was that the rate needs to increase and it was asserted that the advent of the minimum wage has had no impact on employment levels or other wage dynamics. There are plenty of economists who would dispute that this leftist political lever is not without negative consequences but they are conspicuous by their absence on Today. The listener is left with the impression that the minimum wage is unquestionably a good thing, it’s just we need to force employers to pay even more.
Then, we had an item on 70’s singer, Patti Smith. Never cared for her music myself, apart from her cover of Springsteen’s “Because the Night”. Anyway she was allowed to waffle on about the music industry but I smiled when she talked of the sheer horror of “working in a non-unionised factory” before she got her recording contract. How dreadful. If only the Unions could control everything what a benevolent world we would live in.
The messages are always subtle.