YouTube - American Samoa: The real story 60 Minutes missed



Schiff's comments reminded me of Henry Hazlitt's attack on the NRA entitled "The Fallacies of the NRA" whch was published in the American Mercury in 1933.

The immemorial assumption behind all popular legislation is that a law or a political programme is to be judged by its intent rather than by its probable results. No matter how often this assumption is exploded—as it finally was so violently by the effects of the Eighteenth Amendment—it returns to the mass mind with undiminished force. This accounts for the popularity of the minimum wage provisions of the N.R.A. It is naively assumed that all the workers who have previously been getting less than the minimum will have their pay raised by the designated amount and will continue to be employed. The plain truth is, of course, that if no one is to be employed in industry at less than $11 to $15 a week, then no one who is not deemed worth that amount will be employed in industry at all.

Obviously, we cannot make a man worth $14 a week by saying that he shall not be offered and shall not take any less. We may be taking away from him even such miserable earnings as he could make, and we may be taking away from the community whatever product his labor could produce. What do we offer him in return for terminating his earnings and his labor? The brains in charge of the N.R.A. do not appear to have thought that far. Must we offer a man a choice between being worth $14 a week and starving? If we throw him out of work don't we owe him a permanent dole in return? And must not this dole be at least greater than the amount he previously earned—since we have already pronounced this to be below the level of decency? Must not the dole, in fact, logically be at or just below the minimum set?